One of the top tenants of good manners is the thank-you note. After you receive a gift, attend a party, or get help from someone, it’s essential to jot off a note to the person, thanking him or her for such generosity. A good thank-you note takes a little bit of structuring and thought, but it’s not hard to write and will go a long way towards making the recipient feel good. Not only is it a kind thing to do and part of traditional etiquette, it is a good way to get ahead in your career. People notice those who write notes.
The content of the note
The basic parts of a thank-you note are the same as any letter: a greeting, a body, and a conclusion. But what do you actually say, you ask? Start, of course, with a greeting. In the body of the note, specifically, thank the person for the product or service. You might write, “Thank you for the baby socks,” or, “Thank you for giving me a lift the other day when my car was broken!” Then, state why you’re so grateful for the gift–that is, how it’s helped you out or why you enjoy it. For someone who’s been present for you during a hard time, thank him or her for being there and how much it meant to you. Next, express gratitude for the gift giver, with a statement such as, “I can always count on you,” or “You’re such a thoughtful person.” That’s really all you have to do. It doesn’t have to be a long letter; just a simple note expressing your gratitude.
The hardware of the note
You will definitely need a card, envelope, writing utensil, and a stamp. If you’ve just been to a fancy soiree, you may want to go all-out and get nice stationery. If you have an event during which you expect a lot of gifts, such as a wedding or baby shower or a housewarming party, invest in a package of 100+ cards. You can buy simply cards that say “Thank You” on a black or white background, or you can find more personalized, artistic cards. You know what represents you best!
Handwriting versus emailing
It’s generally accepted that handwritten thank-you notes are classier and more meaningful. Sometimes, though, an emailed or even texted thank-you is sufficient. Base it on the size of the gift and the closeness with a person. If you have just had major assistance from your Long Island Tax Attorney, you’ll want to send that lawyer a handwritten note. He or she has probably saved you thousands of dollars or helped you defend yourself in a scary situation. But if your cousin mails you a few pictures of her daughter for your collection, you’re probably well-off just calling and thanking her or shooting a text. If you don’t have someone’s address, it’s acceptable to send the thank-you via email. Some people even won’t mind if you email them asking for their address so that you can send a formal note! The gesture of a thank-you note is always appreciated.
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