From the Desk of Ben Whitley: The Art of the Thank You
“What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can’t reread a phone call.”
As we navigate through this increasingly digital world, some of the finer points of personal correspondence have been lost to us. Where we would have sent a short note, we now send a text. But for gifts received, for acts of service or small kindnesses shown to you, a handwritten thank-you is not only a nice idea, it’s an imperative. Thanking a person for taking time out of their busy schedule to arrange a gift for you is the very essence of common courtesy and mindful living. Remember, the people you are thanking will expect to hear from you – if for no other reason than as confirmation of the gifts arrival to you – so respond in a timely manner. Don’t get caught up in the style of the note…write a genuine expression from the heart. Be brief, but specific – mention their gift explicitly and point to the ways it has improved your life. We often employ the “Sandwich” technique:
1) Thank them for the gift by name.
2) Express how the gift’s addition has changed your life.
3) Thank them again for their generosity and thoughtfulness.
How you express this is up to you, but this general structure makes it easy to make the biggest impression on your friends and family in the shortest amount of writing time.
Wedding bells a-ringing…
Wedding thank-yous were, traditionally, from the bride-to-be. They were small fold-overs engraved in black in with a woman’s proper social name or monogram on the front and if the groom-to-be had special people to write to, he would use his own stationery. It no longer matters who writes the thank you notes, as long as each and every guest is made to feel that their time and effort has been greatly appreciated. Today, we are seeing more combined monogram, incorporating the bride and groom’s first initials with their new common last name or more casual notes with both first names on them. Often, couples will have a more formal set for gifts received at the wedding and a more casual set for shower gifts and miscellaneous presents. Ask a stationer for advice what will be appropriate for your event.
Picking the perfect note…
Informals were, traditionally, rather formal. Today the fold-over note (or flat notecard) has blossomed into a vast array of products ranging from the whimsical to the traditional, the digitally printed to the more elaborately letterpressed or engraved. Many can be personalized by our in-store printers, while others must be special-ordered through one of our vendors. Our knowledgeable stationery associates will help guide you to the perfect note for your personality.
The options are endless…
Here in the Bering’s Stationery Department, we have a note for every occasion. There are flowers and plants. Geometric shapes and patterns. Animals, both domestic and exotic. There are themes for children and babies and notes for bridal showers. This is but a sampling of what’s available. A quick visit with our stationers will put to the rest the rumor that no one writes notes anymore…
“I grew up writing thank-you notes. Real, honest-to-goodness, pen-and-ink, stamped and posted letters. More than simple habit, it’s about what the commitment to expressing your thoughts and feelings in writing says about the character of the writer.
About the joy such notes
bring to the reader.”