Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Musings ~ On the importance of thank-you notes

Occasionally, I resort to lazy blogging. Today is one of those lazy days, so I hope you will overlook the method and still take something away from the message.

Receiving a thank-you note in the mail these days is a rare occurrence, at least that's been my experience in recent years. But that doesn't mean writing thank-you notes is no longer important. The way I see it, and the way I was raised, is if someone is kind enough to buy you a gift, to pick out a card just for you, to package the item and see that you receive it, either by standing in long lines to mail it, or by taking time out of their day to attend your special event, then the least you should do is take a few minutes and write to say "thank-you."

Maybe people are no longer as courteous as they used to be, or as grateful, or something, but, in my opinion, not sending a thank-you note to the people who cared enough to remember you with a gift shows a real lack of manners and class. I'd be curious to know your opinion.

I wrote about this subject recently in The Beaumont Enterprise. You'll need to click on the image (twice) in order to read it. Again, my apologies for lazy blogging.


  1. "A thank you note is a completion of the transaction between the giver and recipient."

    I liked that part. It sums it up so well. I'm a big fan of writing thank you notes and have tried so hard to teach my daughters the craft. Miss Whimsy (daughter #2) recently graduated. Her gifts were displayed, and she knew that she couldn't remove them from the dining room table until the note had been written. It was a nice visual for her of the gracious abundance that had been showered on her and that HER part in turn (or as you would say, "transaction" ) was abundant thanks.

    And you know, there is a great pleasure that a mom gets when someone stops you to say, "I got the sweetest note from your daughter." Isn't there?

    Loved this lazy old post!

  2. I couldn't agree more! I've heard it referred to as a dying art, but I don't think it's an art to show gratitude. It's an obligation, a duty, and actually a privilege. Someone took the time to think of you (first), physically get the gift, and then get the gift *to* you (which is honestly, usually the most involved part of the whole thing).

    On a selfish note: I love that that Ben can write now, those are that many less thank you notes *I* have to write, ha! (Believe me, I've paid my dues!)

    This is a great reminder!

  3. I just couldn't agree more. My daughter too was taught this from a very early age. My boys too for that matter but I didn't have much luck getting them to continue that after I no longer had a say so in what they did. They do always express their gratitude in one or another though to tell you the truth...I do have an interesting story about this though. My daughter married a couple of years ago and had a HUGE wedding with maany, many gifts. She went on her honeymoon and when she got home they opened their many gifts. I carefully wrote down on a list all the gifts and who they were from and then we loaded everything up in their big moving truck (they were moving to Texas the next day) and she put the list in her suitcase and loaded that in the back end of his truck that they were traveling in. My hubby was driving the big truck, and I was following along behind with my car loaded too. (such a trip, but that is another story, haha) Anyway, before they reached their new home we were rained on multiple times (even hailed once) before we ever got there. Her list in the suitcase in the back end of the truck was destroyed....She was hysterical to put it very mildly. Literally in tears. Whatever would she do? She had NO WAY of knowing who gave what. Some gifts had the cards tucked into them but the way we had to pack didn't leave room for some things to remain in their boxes. She ended up coming up with the idea of a form letter that thanked everyone for coming, their gift WHATEVER it was, an explanation of their dilemma, a bit about their honeymoon, some pictures on the actual letter of both the wedding and the honeymoon etc. It was heartfelt, and cleaverly done. She mailed one to everyone on her wedding list. I can't tell you how many replys she got to that letter. People were soo touched that she went to such efforts to thank them. They loved the stories and the pics. Sorry about the book I just wrote in your comment section, but this story just flew into my head when I started reading. Have a wonderful day. HUGS

  4. Actually, this is one of my biggest pet peeves. Shall we call it a soapbox issue?!!

    I think thank you notes are VITAL!!! To not acknowledge receipt of a gift is the height of poor manners.

    For many years, I sent gifts (usually checks) to some younger family members. The only way I knew the checks even arrived was by checking my bank statement!!! That ought not to be!!!

    I am reminded of Jesus, who healed ten lepers, but only one bothered to thank him.

    Great post.


  5. I couldn't agree more that a proper written thank you is due when a gift is given. It's become a bit of a sore spot around here. My kids were raised to write thank you's...admittedly with Mom standing over them, but they know it's the thing to do. Still, they don't. I guess I could get over it for Christmas gifts, but wedding gifts? Baby shower gifts? I have a real problem with not acknowledging those. My mother goes one step further. It doesn't matter how closely related she is to you, if you don't write a thank won't be getting another gift.

  6. Only yesterday a friend posted on Facebook that she received a handwritten letter in the mail. (The first in a long time). I replied that I had not received a letter in a while, but had recently received two handwritten thank you notes. My mother taught me the importance of acknowleding receipt of gifts.

    And by the way, I love this lazy blog post. I've been doing a bit of lazy blogging all month. :)


  7. Dayle,
    I am so with you on this! I always encouraged my two daughters to write thank you notes and they have never forgotten it.
    I have one to write to my sister for a surprise gift she sent last week.


  8. I just need to tell you what a real blessing your blog continues to be to me. You banner is exceptionally beautiful, and your posts continue to bless and inspire me in many ways, whether it is your personal encounter with George Bush and the privilege that entailed, or your thankfulness for an empty dishwasher, or the importantance of a handwritten thank you note, it all was so interesting. Thank you for your contribution to blogland.

  9. Hi. I am your newest follower! and nothing takes the place of a handwritten thank you note, and no, I dont think email thank you's count! I am trying to instill this in my children, as well as practicing what i like to call "active gratitude". Sadly, Not many of my daughters peers (she is 6) are receiving this training at home. Great post and much needed to today's world!

  10. Hi Dayle,
    I came across your blog today. I agree with you about sending thank you notes when you receive a gift. It does seem as if manners have gone by the wayside. I love to write. I have written letters since I was a little girl. I have always cherished a hand written letter or a thank you note popped into the mail. I continue to write old fashioned letters and sometimes I send them via the email. I always attach a picture and choose a background that compliments the art. I have found so many wonderful fonts on the internet and I use them all the time in my writing, emails and cards that I make. Your thoughts are appreciated.

    Take care,

  11. I couldn't agree more. My children and I gathered at the kitchen table not more than a few days ago so they could write thank-you notes. Though, I haven't been as diligent with this as I should be,I hope to be better at remembering to express our thanks for the less obvious occasions and gifts. (Those who attended a play or babysat for the children, for example) I am always amazed by the people who do not write thank-you notes for wedding gifts or other momentous occasions. They are people that, I know, have good hearts and good intentions, but probably were never taught the importance and value of offering a sincere, hand written thank you.

    I think I will have my children read your article! Thank you!


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle