I love email. Sometimes I prefer it to a telephone call.
I love Facebook. It is a lot of fun, the pictures and the jokes are great.
I miss snail mail. The only thing that I get in the mailbox these days are bills. And lots of them. Yuck!
Why doesn’t anyone send cards through the mail anymore?
Last summer, this was something that really irked me. I received no cards in the mail for my birthday, not even from my parents or my Godparents (sorry to throw you all under the bus, but it’s true!).
So I say: Get your pen, find some stamps, I declare that this will be The Year of the Card!! I have decided I will be making a concerted effort to mail out more greeting cards, birthday or otherwise. Let’s face it, Facebook birthday wishes are grand, they make your day fun, but it’s nothing like the feeling of holding a card in you hand, and reading the sentiment contained within.
I now try to send out birthday greetings to all of my family and close friends, hoping that they get excited when they open an envelope that does not contain a bill, but rather, contains love and good wishes. I hope all of you have the desire to bring the snail mail card back, one person at a time. We could start a new revolution of good feelings, or at least keep a postman employed a little longer!!
Of course, there are many opportunities for us to send a card through the mail. I happen to be a stickler not only about birthday greetings, but about thank you notes as well. Not only do I send them out on a regular basis, but I insist that my children write them for the gifts that they receive.
Why not a text or an email thank you? I think we have covered that, but just in case you didn’t get it, it’s because a handwritten note shows effort, shows that you care.
When should a thank you note be sent? Good question. The simple answer, whenever you feel in your heart that you need to express your gratitude to someone for something. Send out a thank you note for not only gifts, but for good deeds, for a job or school interview, for an overnight stay, a dinner invitation, a party, etc.
How long do I have to send a thank you note out? You should try to get the note out within two weeks of receiving the gift/invitation/good deed. If it takes you longer, it is OK, still send the note. The worst thing that you can do is to not send it out at all.
For shower gifts, I think that you should try to get the notes in the mail within one month. And for wedding gifts, you technically have up to a year to send out notes, but please don’t take that long. Shoot for three to four months. In fact, the worst thing that you can do is to not say thank you for a wedding or shower gift. There is no excuse. Try to write your notes as gifts are received, prior to the wedding. This way you can get those notes finished before you walk down the aisle, giving yourself the satisfaction of finishing a task!
Gift idea: Order the bride or mom-to-be personalized stationery, and pre-stamp and pre-address the envelopes, based on the list of attendees to the shower. Now all the bride needs to do is write the notes!
Should all children send out thank you notes? It is important to get kids into the habit of writing notes to people, at any age, especially in this increasingly electronic age. Consider ordering some fun, personalized notes for your son or daughter. Embellish the notes with fun figures or stickers, and it may just be the little something extra that gets them to sit down and put pen to paper. If they are novice writers, you can help them by writing the meat of the note, and let them put their signature on it.
What should a thank you note say? A thank you note should start with the acknowledgement of the exact gift that was received. You should also tell the giver what you are going to do with it/use it for. Next, you want to tell them why it was a special gift for you to receive. Also let them know how much it means to you that they were thinking of you. Say what is in your heart, and you can never go wrong!
Are there different types of stationery to consider? There are many different types and styles of stationery to invest in. I like to have personalized cards available to me, but I also keep general boxed note cards and thank you cards on hand. For informal notes, I like to use correspondence cards, which are flat cards with no fold. Fold over notes are more common, and are also better suited to more formal note-sending. Sheets of stylish paper will dress up any letter that you send out. Pay a visit to your local gift or stationery store to see what best suits your needs and your personality.
Tips of the Trade: I also find it helpful to stockpile birthday cards, sympathy cards, and good luck cards. Again, this helps me to be ready at any time to drop someone a note in the mail. If I do not need to make a special trip to the store, it puts less stress and pressure on my already stress-filled life!
Make it even easier! Keep a small box with pens, markers, stamps and your cards nearby. When the need to write a note someone arises, you have all of your tools in one place, making it an easy and efficient task!
Happy note writing, and feel free to drop me a line, to let me know how it is working out for you!
Lori Greene is a practitioner of Savvy Style, as well as the owner of Elizabeth Richard Gifts in Waterbury, Connecticut. Visit her on Twitter @elizrichgifts or follow on Facebook at Elizabeth Richard Gifts.