Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thank You Notes!

Since November is the month of gratitude, I thought we'd touch on the subject of being grateful for all those fabulous wedding and shower gifts that are piling up!

The answer to your questions: yes, you must write hand-written thank you notes for wedding and shower gifts you receive and no, you don't have a year to do it. I've heard this year concept bandied about and it's wishful thinking. Etiquette dictates that you should write a note as soon after you receive a gift as possible but a up to three months later is acceptable. They don't need to be long but they do need to be personal.

Here is the nitty-gritty on structuring a proper thank you note:

-Address the recipient as “Dear {Name}”, then open the letter by thanking them for the gift.

-Your second sentence or paragraph should give some indication of your enjoyment or use of the gift.

-Some people like to go on to share a little news, especially if they have been out of touch with the recipient for a while.Just don't go on too long about yourself. The purpose of the note is to thank them.

-A good closing sentence or paragraph is one which looks forward to seeing or speaking to the recipient again. Mentioning “thank you ” again is great as it emphasizes the point of the letter.

-Try not to end with “yours sincerely” but with a less formal phrase like “love” or “love from” for relatives or “best wishes”, “warmest wishes” or even “thanks again.”

Example of a Personal Thank You Note
Here’s an example, from the Etiquette Grrls’ book More Things You Need to Be Told (p56):
September 1, 2005
Dear Katherine,
Thank you so much for the wonderful book about nineteenth-century architecture of Long Island that you sent me. Not only was it the perfect present (I haven’t been able to put it down!) but it will certainly come in handy for my studies. You always pick the perfect thing!
Again, thanks so much, and I’ll talk to you soon.

As you can see, a thank you note doesn't need to be long to be warm and effective.  Happy writing!