Thank You Notes Etiquette

Show your gratitude for gift givers by sending out thank you cards. It's a great way to show your appreciation for the gift they gave as well as the thoughtfulness of their generosity. Whether you receive gifts for a wedding, shower, or birthday, all gifts and acts of kindness should be reciprocated with a thank you card. Below are some pointers to keep in mind.

Thank you cards should be handwritten. While this may require extra time, it is more polite to personalize your note with your own handwriting rather than having it printed. Your recipients will appreciate the time you took to write them out.

Don't forget to send thank you cards to the people who helped you plan your event. For weddings, this can include your bridesmaids or groomsmen, your parents and your pastor. For birthday parties, send them to those who cooked the food, helped set up the tables, cleaned out the backyard, and anyone who was instrumental in helping your event run smoothly.

Send thank you cards for all gifts, even if the gift is something you don't particularly care for or don't know what to do with. Remember, you are thanking them for their thoughtfulness, not just the gift.

Treat monetary gifts the same you would your other gifts by sending thank you cards for them as well. Don't mention the amount in your note, but you can say what you intend to use it for. Your intentions should relate to the event. For weddings, mention something that both the bride and groom will share and benefit from ("This will help us purchase the new computer we plan to use in our house!"), not something for just one person (This will help me purchase a new wardrobe!"). The same applies to baby showers--mention purchases related to the baby, not just for the parents.

If you receive a "group gift" from less than 10 people, send a card to each of them. However if the group is much larger, such as an office or book club contribution, post a thank you card in a visible location, and remember to thank the contributors individually when you get the chance.

Send thank you notes earlier than later--within a week after the event is appropriate. For a wedding, two weeks after you return from your honeymoon is a good time. If you receive a gift in the mail prior to the event, send a thank you card immediately so as not to increase the gap between the time the gift was sent to the time the gift-giver receives the note.

If someone sends you multiple gifts for different events, regardless of how close in time those events may be, send that person a card for each gift. For instance, a friend may give you a gift for your wedding shower as well as another gift for your wedding a month later. Send a separate card addressing each gift, even if they're both addressed to her.

Remember to send thank you notes for the gifts received at a children's party. Encourage your child to write a note to the gift givers. Try to make it a fun activity where they can personalize the card with their own handwriting, stickers, crayons, etc. If your child is too young, write the cards on their behalf. The gift-giver will be grateful for the card especially coming from the children themselves.

Bottom line: send thank you notes for your gifts and in a timely manner. Your gift givers will surely appreciate you taking note of their generosity.

Article Written By

Nina Villavicencio
Concrete Abstract
email | website