Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thank You Note Revolution

During this time of year when people give and receive, wedding, graduation, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts in addition to birthday, shower and other occasion gifts we hear, “The art of thank you notes has died.” Forget about the art I’d just like people to write thank you notes. Today begins the Thank You Note Revolution (TYNR).

TYNRs goal is to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to formally acknowledge kind acts and gifts. Will you join the TYNR? Come on. It’s easy. Just be an example. Write a thank you note. Mailing one is as good as paying it forward in the TYNR world.

I was raised with British West Indian sensibilities. At four years old I could cut a pea with a knife and fork. As I aged and became more relaxed so did my adherence to proper etiquette. However, I never sacrificed thank you notes. Admittedly often I take too long to send a proper thank you but that’s fine because I subscribe to the Better Late Than Never Rule. See how I’m making it work for me? This doesn’t apply only to me. A standard refrain in our home is, “If you don’t have time to write a thank you then perhaps so-n-so doesn’t have time to do nice things for you.”  

Today there are many thank you options email, text, phone, in-person, and handwritten. The sentiment stands. You must recognize and appreciate kindness. Email, text and in-person are good for passing acknowledgments such as thanking someone for watching your child, party attendance follow up or participation in a business meeting. However, if you are emailing, please send individual messages rather than mass emailing a group.

Thank you notes may be sent at any time for any reason. Job interviews require personalized, professional thank you letters. Every tangible gift deserves a hand written thank-you note.  Why? People like being appreciated. It makes them feel good.  What an easy way to create good will. When in doubt please know that it’s never wrong to send someone a note of appreciation.

Tradition dictates that a proper thank you correspondence has the below six elements. Don’t feel bound by this. Let your personality guide your expression. It’s simple. The note is exclusively about thanking somebody for something specific. Resist the temptation to pollute it with other chatter.

Thank You Note Elements
1. Greeting
2. Expression of gratitude
3. Discuss use of the gift or how the kindness helped you
4. Pleasantry about your relationship with the giver.
5. Reiterate appreciation
6. Closing

That’s it clear and can be. Welcome to the TYNR where the motto is Stationery is a Great Gift.

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