Handwritten thank-you notes really stand out
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Monday, December 24, 2012
12/24/12 at 2:40 AM
This time of year there's a lot of giving and a lot of receiving but not so many thank-you cards.
Area etiquette experts Rachel Wagner and Jana Christian say handwritten thank-you notes are becoming a lost art.
Wagner, owner of Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol, said that despite social media, cell phones and text messages, thank-you cards are still relevant.
"It's nothing like going to the mailbox and having a small note there," she said. "It's really nice that they took the time to handwrite a card. It really makes a person stand out."
Christian, president of the Etiquette School of Oklahoma, said sending a thank-you note is a sign of good character.
"If you ask, 'Should I send a thank-you note or not?' then you should, whether it's for a kind gesture or a gift, homemade or store bought. It's not based on any monetary value," she said. "It simply shows respect and gratitude, two things we need to amp up in our world today."
A thank-you note should be sent to anyone who gives a gift, hosts a party or has guests stay at his or her home, Wagner said.
"It doesn't have to be long. It's a short note," she explained.
Both Wagner and Christian said people should acknowledge the gift or act specifically when writing the card and should say how it's appreciated. If money or a gift certificate was given, some explanation of how it will be used should be included.
"It's meaningful. People are in a hurry; our lives are busy and hurried. It takes a little more effort, but that effort is appreciated," Wagner said.
Christmas is great opportunity to start writing thank-you notes and for parents to pass on the habit to their children.
"Get them in the habit," Christian said, and if the children are young or unable to write, they can dictate to their parents what they want the cards to say.
Wagner suggested preprinted, fill-in-the-blank type thank-you cards made specifically for children.
Thank-you notes make people stand out in a positive way and are a sign of good manners, Christian said.
"I have three that I keep on my desk. There are times when I pick them up and read them. The handwritten thank-you note means something to me," she said. "It's something we can touch, we can feel and we can hold on to."
Thank-you notes should be sent within two to three days after receiving a gift, but no longer than a week if possible. However, it's never really too late, she said.
"My mother used to say, 'Swift thanks is sweet thanks, but slow thanks is better than no thanks,' " Wagner said. "A handwritten note, it will always be welcome. It will always put a smile on someone's face."
Original Print Headline: Thank-you notes really stand out
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465
Adults who are helping children write thank-you notes should have age-appropriate materials, such as crayons, on hand. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World file