The Evolution of Thank Yous
It wasn’t that long ago that printed thank you cards were standard for gifts, interviews, and even nice gestures. Today, we are moving at lightning speed thanks (or no thanks) to technology such as voicemail, texting, and social media outlets. The number of emails we send and receive on any given day would make our ancestors’ heads spin.
However, if we think of these platforms as a way to better communicate, we can truly have the best of both worlds: We can reinvigorate the fading culture of social graces with modern forms. The tools may have changed, but as the adage goes, it’s really the thought that matters.
My passion is to preserve and extol the virtues of the culture of social-communication etiquette—something that was once a formal gesture—and keep it just as relevant in today’s fast-paced world of Tweets and texts.
Talking Thanks: Mille Grazie!
You’ve been treated to a birthday dinner at a swanky new bistro, or perhaps escorted to a cultural event. Maybe the anniversary gifts have been pouring in. Yet, you struggle to send thank yous in the busy-ness of your everyday life.
How do you show your appreciation for the gifts—physical and experiential—you’ve received?
In my book of gratitude, each gift demands an acknowledgement. Whether handwritten or digital, a thank-you is imperative. With the advent of design-savvy digital greetings there’s really no reason not be able to flex your gratitude muscles in ways that befit the occasion.
When You Should Send Thank Yous: Arigatô!
In the world of thank-you etiquette, you may ask yourself: what occasions warrant a thank you? I would say they all do, from the most important events in one’s life to the simplest kindness and gesture. Why not send a thank you? It makes everyone feel a bit more connected and appreciated.
For pure etiquette culture, there are scenarios that require thank yous, including gifts for showers, births, weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and housewarming parties. If you ever find yourself asking should you or shouldn’t you sent a thank you, err on the side of social graces and write the card.
The Elements of the Note: Merci!
In crafting a thank you note, be sure to address the person who gave you the gift by name. Express your thanks in the first few sentences, and for goodness sake, if you receive cash or a check, send the thank you note before you cash or deposit it! Keep it short, sincere, and specific to the gift itself.
Giving gratitude to the people in your life who extend courtesies to you is a very balanced and healthy way to live.
“I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.” -William Shakespeare