Thank-you notes are vital to the gift-receiving process, not only to be polite but to show friends and family your genuine appreciation. However, a thank-you sent late or in an inappropriate format (read: emailing Grandma) can be worse than not sending one at all. Here, some tips for saying “thanks” with grace.
The Golden Rule. According to Emily Post, send a handwritten thank-you note “any time you receive a gift… and the giver wasn’t there to thank in person.” It’s also polite to send a note thanking event hosts after a dinner party or other such occasion. The exception? Even if the giver was present at your wedding or shower (both bridal and baby), always mail your thank-yous.
To Write, Email, or Call? When the gift is from a close friend or relative, it’s okay to email or call – except in the two situations noted above, or when you know the recipient would prefer a handwritten acknowledgement. (And you can of course do both, notes social-grace expert extraordinaire Kelly Browne in her book, 101 Ways to Say Thank You).
Get-Well and Sympathy Gifts. If you are sick or grieving, feel free to ask a relative to write thank-you notes on your behalf. And yes – flowers deserve a thoughtful thank-you, too.
The Sooner the Better. Generally, write the note within a week of receiving the gift or attending the event. Showers get a brief extension – up to two weeks – and guests expect to receive a thank-you within two months after you say “I do.”
Design is up to you – just make it personal. Buy blank-on-the-inside cards, design custom stationery, or go DIY – either by hand or with a service like Shutterfly. Just show timely, heartfelt appreciation, and you’re sure to stay on everyone’s good side no matter the occasion.
By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer
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