Thank You Cards: Tips & Tricks
Simple and sweet. Remember these key words.
Growing up most of us were all taught to mind our Ps and Qs, and if you don’t know exactly what that phrase means, I looked it up for you. Minding our Ps and Qs is simply referring to our manners, such as "please" and "thank you".
When I was researching for this blog post, I came across multiple articles on how to write thank you notes. And I had originally intended this blog post to be about that. It’s not. (Unless you skip to the end, then fine - it actually is) I wanted Rosie’s blog to be different. Unique. Things you google for hours on end and still can’t find what you’re looking for. The golden egg.
If you ‘ve ever done this, you’ll know that satisfying feeling of coming across that ONE article, 10 google pages back and 20 different search phrases later, that you swear you can hear Lionel Richie’s voice singing in the background, “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” Listen to the song HERE, in case you needed the full effect.
Anyway back on track, point is I wanted to write about things no one else had thought of. Genius, right? Well I should have known, 5 hours researching and a glass (ok, maybe a bottle) of wine later, this is a lot harder than I thought.
So here for you is my 5 hour research process summed up: with the intention that you have a new understanding about why you should make time (in your busy adult lives) to handwrite thank you notes.
Plus a few tips and tricks to make it easier on you.
To begin I first thought about the times I actually had to write thank you notes.
When I graduated from high school, then college, (my mother-in-law even tried to slip in my now husband’s college graduation thank you notes after excessively nagging him…nice try, not worth the brownie points) my engagement party, my bridal shower, and then my wedding. And each time I had to write these thank you notes, I absolutely dreaded it! I had to buy a million stamps, lick a million envelopes, write 3 appreciative phrases repeatedly (“Insert name here” “Insert gift here” “Sincerely, Mr. & Mrs. Walsh”), and address a million cards. Ok, my wedding wasn’t that big, but you get the point. I actually didn’t even send my wedding thank you notes out until December… I got married in July. But hey, better late than never, right?
My wonderful, thoughtful husband knew I was so busy and overwhelmed after we got married (to clarify, I had 2 jobs and was a full-time graduate student.) And you might be thinking "why didn’t your husband just write those thank you notes himself"....to which I answer: please refer to the story about my mother-in-law above. Plus my husband’s handwriting look like a 4 year old’s, who’s failing Pre-K.
So knowing this, he suggested I use one of those websites where you tell them what to write, and then they write the thank you notes and send them out for you. While this seemed oh so tempting, I knew I was raised better than that. That I shouldn’t, and forgive my French, half-ass a thank you. I was raised that when you receive a gift or a service from someone, it was the polite thing to write them a note saying thank you. Referring back to my Ps and Qs.
What made it so different than just having someone else write the note for you, or even calling them to say thank you?
So then I thought about all the times I had received a thank you note back.
And my conclusion was this: it was a real genuine feeling to be appreciated in this way. And let’s face it, receiving a letter or card from someone in the mail, is way better than opening bills and credit card offers. Which is about 95% of the time. Or when Amazon sends me a gift via myself.
Simply put, it’s the thought that counts. They thought of you. They gave their time for you. They bought a stamp. They wrote you a message of appreciation. They licked an envelope. And they addressed it to you. There’s just something about getting a handwritten thank you. Like something from the good ole' days. Like eating buttery biscuits at Cracker Barrel kinda feeling.
I hope this post has persuaded you to continue to write thank you notes (or if you haven’t before, start to.) Because they really do add a little happiness to someone’s day.
And in case that didn’t help the overwhelming feeling of thinking you just don’t have time to write thank you notes, I also came up with thank you note tips & tricks for the busy bees… And if you skipped my whole speel above…I guess I’ll understand…
Tips & Tricks For the Busy & Overwhelmed
2. Always have stamps on hand. Just buy a boatload. Seriously. Cause lets be honest with ourselves, only if it’s absolutely necessary, it’ll take you forever to go back and get more. A perfect excuse to procrastinate.
3. Just do it. As a procrastinating pro, sometimes I have to refer back to that Nike logo and tell myself (in a very direct, strict voice) "just do it."
4. Know your work style. Do you get all of your thank you notes done in one sitting? Or do you section them off? People work differently and that’s okay. Sometimes doing them all at once can seem overwhelming, but if you do a little each night before you go to bed, you’ll be done before you know it.
5. Think positive. Here’s the setting: your friend, your co-worker, your cousin, your great aunt, whoever it is, opening up their mailbox to see a card addressed from you. What a wonderful surprise! They can’t even wait to get back to the house to open it, they HAVE to open it now. Or something along those lines. Whatever you imagine, remember it’s going to make their day, as it would yours.
6. Use your favorite pen. If you’re like me, a good, smooth, extra fine pen goes a looong way…
7. Get over your handwriting. Fact: no one I know who I have given a compliment to about their handwriting has accepted it openly. This was a hard one for me to let go of, since I do suffer mild OCD. However, the only thing that got me over it, was wasting too many dang cards! So get over your handwriting. (Unless you’re my husband – then they probably can’t even read it anyway)
8. Better late than never. I sent my thank you cards out FIVE months after I got married. And in my defense it was before the year ended. Don’t use this as an excuse to not write a thank you note. People will understand – life happens. Just simply own up to it. All my thank you notes started with, “I’m so sorry this thank you is late coming, but I just wanted to let you know how much we really appreciated…” You don’t even have to explain yourself, just apologize and move on. Because really a late thank you, is better than no thank you at all.
9. Stop being so formal. It comes off fake. Be personal! Add a funny joke from a conversation you had with them at the event. Be honest (or wishful thinking at least) about what you’re going to use your money gift for. “Thank you so much Uncle Joe for the generous check, we are going to put it towards our new washer and dryer!” or “Thank you so much Jane for thinking of me on my birthday! As you know, this Starbucks gift card will not go to waste!”
And if all else fails…
10. It doesn’t have to be long. Keep it simple and sweet. Just taking the time to send a note saying thank you is really enough.
Sincerely, Modern Rosie
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