You Asked: Thank You Cards

Dear Melissa,
I have an etiquette question for you, I’m wondering if there is a timeframe for sending thank you cards. Especially with Christmas coming up… A month has passed since the ‘occurrence’, but I’m going away for Christmas and won’t be back until the new year. Are people going to be offended if I wait until then to send thank you cards? I’d appreciate your input on this.
Late But Grateful

Dear Late But Grateful,
It is never too late to say thank you! A sincere thank you is always appreciated, and it’s better late than never. The purpose of a thank you card is to express your gratitude. You are better to focus on writing a genuine, individualized and specfic acknowledgement of their gift, than to dash off a generic typed form letter. Though, popular etiquette is a timely response, is a grateful response. So, for the future, here are a few tips for getting those thank you’s out fast and with fervor.

1. Write a few each day. By taking a large task and breaking up into smaller pieces, you’ll be motivated by the little wins along the way. Which typically inspires you to finish faster than you’d planned, which is a great feeling!

2. Let the thank you match the gift. There is no need to spend hours deliberating, decorating and doting over the thank you’ll send for a $5 coffee giftcard. A simple text message or email will suffice.

3. Be specfic. Mention the gift and how it will impact your life. This will give you something to write about, for even the most casual acquaintance. But it will also show more invested relations that you are aware of the thought they put into their gift.

Plus: Don’t underestimate the impromptu thank you. If you have a friend or family member you wish you had more contact with, a thank you is a great way to rebuild your relationship. Select a moment to celebrate; memories are great, but so are inspirations they may have no idea they gave you. When you think of them, your best inroad to improving your relationship is to send them a note. It can be a 4 line email or a 3 page handwritten letter. Either way it reminds them they are appreciated, and you’ll be surprised when they return the gift in kind.

In short, Late But Grateful, thank you is always welcome. I hope this helped and thank you for being my very first question!

Thank you,
Melissa Lloyd

Etiquette Expert & Champion of Nice
Polite Company


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