Because “thank you” means everything.
Confession. I am offended rather easily by what I perceive to be ingratitude and I don’t think I’m the only one. But there’s an easy fix and it’s “thank you.” While I am traditional enough to enjoy a lovely thank you card, I can appreciate a phone call or text too. But to say nothing when you receive a gift is rude.
Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me and now I’m sharing them with you.
- Timing is critical. In other words, don’t wait too long to send a thank you – whether it be a note or message. When I was a kid my mother used to make me phone in a thank you to my aunties right after I received their gifts in the mail. The same principle still works. Different occasions have different timeframes (for weddings I think you have a year), but my advice is not to let the grass grow under your feet.
- Keep your message simple and personal. You don’t have to wax poetic nor be verbose in your thank you notes (or texts). I think that authenticity is best. So if you’re appreciative just say so. I guarantee that it will be well-received.
- In other words – don’t go overboard. You don’t have to overshoot your thank you. I remember when my father died a friend sent a card with two books of stamps. It was an ideal and appropriate gift for me since I was planning to send thank you cards out to people who had sent me gifts and cards. When I called to thank her she made it clear that she did not want a thank you back from me using the stamps lol. I could have ignored her but I didn’t. She knew that I was grateful from the call and sending her a thank you would likely have been been going overboard.
When to send a thank you:
- For a gift. In general, if someone gives you a gift, I think that you should send a thank you note. However, there are modern ways to do this. I know someone who posts a message on Facebook and tags us all in thanks. Not traditional, but the message is sincere and immediate.*
- For an experience. If someone goes out of his or her way to do something nice for you I believe that it’s appropriate to drop a card in the mail or send an e-card via email. This is especially true if you appreciate the gesture.
*Exception: With some of my family and friends who have become family, we have a tradition of gifts for birthdays and other occasions. I would be sending notes constantly. So I think that this is the exception to the rule.
Stay tuned for ideas on creative ways to say “thank you.”