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You have to agree . . . a thank you means so-o-o-o much!   Today there are many ways to thank someone for a gift, dinner, party & so on.  You can say thanks . . .
    – in person
    -on the phone
    -via email
    -by writing a note
I don’t care how old you are, it is always fun to open your mail box and see a note (not a bill or junk mail) addressed to you.  I call it a smile in the mail box.  Writing a personal note lets the recipient know how much you appreciate their act of kindness.  When someone takes the time – not to mention the $$$ – to pick out a gift, prepare a meal, entertain you, etc., a personally written note is the most proper method of saying thank you.  It exemplifies my RST theory (respect, sincerity & thoughtfulness).  

Writing a brief but thoughtful thank you note can be quite easy.  I prefer using my personalized folded notes or correspondence cards.  The American Stationery Company has a fabulous selection of such stationery ranging from very traditional to fun and whimsical.  There is no need to look any further when it comes to stationery!!!  However, if personalized stationery is not your style, a tasteful note card is perfectly fine.  

Below are 5 common elements of a thank you note . . .

  1. Opening greeting Dear Aunt Mary – the person you are thanking
  2. Naming the specific item received or event attended
  3. A special comment about the gift, event –  how you will
           use the gift or what a fun party it was.  If the gift is money, how you plan
         on spending it.     
     4.  Summation/reiterating your thanks – Warm comments about the gift giver or hosts such as “hope to see you soon, thanks for including me/us, family is important, your friendship is important, etc.”
  1. Closing & signature – Love, warm regards, hugs, whatever you want to precede your signature

    Here are a few examples of thank you notes for different social situations . . .

    THANKS for a GIFT

    Dear Aunt Mary and Uncle Bill,
    I want to thank you for the beautiful personalized stationery.  I love the color pink!  These notes will come in handy when writing my thank you notes for graduation gifts.
        It was great having you at my graduation party.  Family is so important to me. Thanks again for thinking of me.

    THANKS for a Party or EventDear Mary and Bill,

            Dave and I had such a great time at your dinner party.  The meal was yummy and the conversation lively.  If you share your recipes, I would love to know how to prepare that wonderful potato casserole.
           Again, we want to thank you for including us in a lovely evening.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

                            Warm regards,
    Please note that this note is written and signed by Susan on her own personalized notes.  The first sentence includes her husband as part of the thank you.  A point of etiquette . . . the signature should match the personalization!  This is the format I use a lot when writing a thank you on behalf of my husband & myself.

    THANKS for a GIFT that is AWFUL
    We have all received these terrible gifts that we will NEVER use!!!  You still need to say thanks while trying to be non committal so you don’t receive more of the same thing.

    Dear Aunt Mary,

          Thank you for remembering my birthday.  The scarf and gloves that you knit for me is such a thoughtful gift.  I know a lot of time and love went into them.
          I love my new job and life in Chicago.  Hopefully you will come and visit in the near future.
    Ashley thanks her aunt for the gift but especially the thought not the item.  Hopefully she won’t get a matching knit hat for Christmas!!!
    I hope I have given you some food for thought about thank you notes.  Writing them isn’t really as bad as you think!  I always told my sons that if they wrote a nice thank you note they would most likely continue to get gifts from that person (especially grandparents, aunt & uncles, etc.)

    THE BOTTOM LINE  . . . no matter what form of thanks you chose, please make it timely . . . within 2 weeks (1 week is even better).  Brides get a break.  My rule of thumb is to get those thank-you notes out as soon as the gifts arrive.  You say, “not possible” . . . OK . . . 3 months after the wedding is still a good goal.  Some sources say you have a year, but it’s best to send out the thank-you before the gift giver forgets what they sent or that they even sent you a gift!

    More later . . . Ms. Carey

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