In our world today with everything at a convenience and where we think nothing of sending off a quick email or BBM or text, we sometimes forget about the proper etiquette and well, just the really nice thing to do, of thank you notes.  Yes, while sending a quick “it was great to see you” text is totally fine and acceptable after a fun lunch or cocktails, nothing can replace the good old-fashioned, hand written thank you note.  For many things in our lives, a traditional thank you is absolutely imperative and should never be forgotten.  I know many are thinking that it is just a waste of time now. There are e-cards, or emails with fun emoticons to do the trick and besides, you said thanks in person.  Let me tell you this…it doesn’t matter.  Proper etiquette is proper etiquette, and no advancement in technology or modern convenience can or will change that.


The Art of the Thank You Note


The reason I am so adamant about this is that while our lives have been enhanced by technology, we also are getting busier and more stretched to the limits.  When someone takes time to attend a shower, or wedding or birthday party, they have taken time out of something that they want to be doing for themselves to come and celebrate with you.  And while many of us look forward to these events, most of us, at some point, have dreaded attending (remember the 5th wedding you had to go to that one summer?). When you don’t take the time out of your busy schedule to thank those who did the same for you, well, it’s just plain rude. And it gives the impression that it didn’t mean that much to you.


The thing is, you probably don’t think that at all.  You probably are delighted that people shared in the event with you and respect that they took a piece of time out of their lives to do so.  So why let people think it? Write the thank you.  You’ll feel good, your friends and family will feel good and good times will be had by all.   Admit it…we all love getting a little something in the mail.  Who doesn’t like a little note?

Send a thank you note no later than one week after the event:

  • If you have hosted a party where people have brought you gifts
  • If you are the guest of honour at a bridal or baby shower
  • If you have a birthday or anniversary party where people have brought gifts but you do not open them until after the party is over and everyone has left
  • If someone has left you a gift (with a friend, family or on your doorstep)

Send a thank you no later than One to Three Months after the event

  • If you have a wedding and people have brought you gifts
  • If you have a wedding and people did not bring a gift – you still must send thank you’s out to all your guests for attending and sharing in your special day
  • If you have a significant event with a large guest list, like an anniversary or milestone birthday


Okay, so I’m not a total task master.  You don’t have to send a thank you note for every little thing or get together.  If you feel that you should send a note, then you probably should.  And if you feel a little guilty about not sending one, then you probably should.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our busy lives that these little things do slip our mind.  I know, I’ve been there.  But, the truth of the matter is, people still do expect a thank you and they are really nice to give.  Trust me, you’ll have a warm and fuzzy feeling inside after you’ve taken the two minutes to write a little note of thanks. And the person receiving the note, will never forget that, and they too will feel all warm and fuzzy.  Awwwww.

Photo credit: Tricia O Design


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