Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty. –Doris Day
A hand-written note seems so archaic these days. Sending a nice e-mail with a card attached is the next best thing, I suppose. And I’ve done that, many times. But to friends and relatives, people I have a very close relationship with, I have always preferred to send a note. Very often, when I was growing up, I would get a box of note cards or thank-you notes on my birthday or Christmas, in order to make sure I followed up each gift with a thank-you note. When my son was growing up, I tried my best to do this – and I often did – but not often enough.
Showing appreciation means doing something especially for a person. Hand-writing is personal; it’s your thought and appreciation, ink to paper. It has charm, something an email, no matter how hard we try, cannot convey.
Even in a card with the perfect picture and words, to just sign your name seems very impersonal. We can have good manners, and like most good things in life, it takes effort. Effort to do something that is not difficult at all; it’s just nice. Showing appreciation in the age of technology has been compromised, but it deserves to come back. Simply because people like to be appreciated and acknowledged.
The Thank-you note is formal and personal correspondence; formal because it is in good taste to send one, and personal because you are addressing someone personally about something they took the time to do for you or give you – personally.
So, go by the time-worn rules:
-Use a nice card without a printed message outside or inside the card.
-In your nicest handwriting, address the person you are writing to.
-Acknowledge exactly what they gave you and why you like it so much and how you will use it. If they gave you money, tell them what you bought or what you are thinking of buying with it, without penning the dollar amount.
-Thank them again and intimately and appropriately, close the letter with your signature.
Charm and appreciation should be in your thoughts when writing a thank-you note. Keep clear of writing anything that may sound condescending or pretentious – make sure to not be so simple as to appear to be carelessly rude. All in good taste, of course.