Tis The Season For “Thank You” Cards

We know from first-hand experience that receiving a “thank you” card for a gift is becoming an increasingly rare occurrence. Although it is just common courtesy (at least in our opinion) to acknowledge generosity, for some reason many people just can’t make it happen. But don’t contribute to the erosion! Set an example by making it a habit to send a “thank you” for every gift you receive.

If you’re really not sure how to write a card, here are the basics:

First, purchase some nice cards. If you have the resources, personalized cards with your name on the top but simple, elegant ivory card stock and matching envelope will do. Thank-yous are always handwritten so take your time writing to improve your penmanship.

- Always start with the name. “Dear Mr. Anderson,” or “Dear Joe.”
- Be grateful. Express how you appreciate the gift, and if possible, how you are going to use it/wear it/display it, etc.
- Tie it in. Acknowledge your relationship to the giver. “I look forward to seeing you . . . ” “I can’t believe we’ve know each other since college.” You get the idea.
- Thanks and Good By. End by reiterating your gratitude and close it appropriately. “Sincerely,” “Regards,” “Best,” and then your name (if you open with their first name, you end with your first name).

Ideally, send the card within a week of receiving the gift. However, even if you are woefully late, it is far better to send a thank-you anyway. Just include a line apologizing for the delay . . . don’t get into anything deeper than that.

How can you get your grandkids to send a thank you? Clearly you have to speak to your own children about how important to you it is. Remind them that thank you notes teach children an important social skill, and make grandparents feel loved and appreciated. They also encourage two-way communication!

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