It was ten years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. My best friend was throwing me a baby shower for my first born and had asked me to go with her to pick out invitations. When I mentioned it to my grandmother in passing she didn’t skip a beat- “Don’t forget to get matching thank-you cards.”
Thank-you cards? That’s still a thing? Apparently, it is.
Millennials have been accused of killing napkins, motorcycles, and even diamonds. But it’s at the ever ubiquitous thank-you note that my grandmother drew a hard line.
So, does this mean I have to write thank-you notes all the time? Not necessarily. Would you believe me if I told you there were times when even my grandmother would be okay with you sending an email, or even just politely saying thank-you to a person?
Read below to find out the thank-you note rules that even millennial’s should adhere to.
So, you just got married, it was a lovely wedding, but now you’re in your new home staring down a pile of wedding gifts. Do you really need to write a thank-you note for each and every one of these? Yes, yes you do.
Any time a gift is given at an event held for you, or someone in your family, you need to send a handwritten thank-you note. These people have taken the time to come to your event and then shelled out their hard-earned money to buy a present. The least you can do is send a thank-you card.
What events do I mean exactly? Here’s a list to help you out:
But these are not the only time you need to give thank you cards a personal touch.
Did you receive a gift in the mail? Send a thank-you note. You should also send one anytime someone treats you to a meal, whether at home or at a restaurant. And if someone brings you food or does a kind deed during a time of need, like an illness or death in the family, a handwritten thank-you note is also warranted.
Does the idea of writing out thank-you notes make you want to fall asleep before you even pick up your pen? Then you’ll be happy to learn that there are situations where a physical note is not required.
In fact, there are situations where a simple email will suffice. And millennials everywhere gave a simultaneous sigh of relief.
Emails are appropriate in several situations, such as if you do not have the physical address of the gift giver. In this case, an email is better than no thank you at all.
Emails are also appropriate if you are giving a thank-you for someone that did a small act of kindness. Like a neighbor mowing your yard, or someone helping you throw an event.
Sometimes you need to send a handwritten thank you note, sometimes simply sending an email is okay, but is there ever a time where a verbal thank-you is enough? The answer is yes.
Verbal thank-yous are okay in cases where the gift is opened in front of the giver, but it’s not at a party hosted for you, think Christmas gifts that everyone opens in front of each other. In that case, a verbal thank-you is completely okay.
Verbal thank-yous are also okay when a gift is given as a thank-you gesture itself. Like when you host your friends baby shower and she gives you a thank-you gift.
In today’s world sending a thank-you to your guests just got a lot easier, thanks to fotobooks. As soon as your event is done the app gives you the option to send out a thank-you note to your guests. You can even send out return gift cards to stores like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s etc., as a special thank you. Starting at only $5.00 each these are a great way to let your friends and family know that you are grateful they came to help you celebrate your event.
I’m sorry friends, thank-you notes are here to stay. And honestly, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a good thing. While I’m happy to give up napkins (seriously, who needs to waste money on a napkin when a paper towel will do the job for less money), being gracious should never go out of style.
Meagan Cheney is a freelance writer who loves reading, knitting, and all things Harry Potter. She lives in Colorado with her husband, three children, two cats, and one dog (Milo, who is her best friend and companion). She loves to write about parenting, personal finance, and how to go green on a budget.