One source of southern pride is our reputation for writing prompt, thoughtful, and beautiful Thank you notes.
I heard someone once say that a bride has a year in which to write all the Thank you notes to those who gave her wedding gifts. Really? A year??? Not a southern bride! Our general rule of thumb is to respond within the week the courtesy was given.
Southern ladies wouldn't dream of taking any longer than necessary to show their gratitude in a carefully worded, hand-written note, usually on custom stationery. My dear sister-in-law recently spent a week in the hospital's ICU with a serious illness, yet two days after returning home I found in my mailbox a Thank you note expressing her appreciation for a few visits and a home cooked meal. This is while she was still on medication and recuperating at home.
While it's not necessary to purchase a customized stationery wardrobe, many southern belles do. I, myself, have several sets of note cards and matching envelopes with my name and address engraved. And thought goes into selecting a matching ink in which to write the note and a coordinating stamp.
The sentiments expressed don't have to be flowery or poetic, they just have to be sincere, and generally show recognition, appreciation, and affection. By all means, use proper grammer. And make sure your handwriting is legible. Practice if you must. And never get lazy and resort to email. Tsk!
There is no occassion when a Thank you note is not appropriate. My mother, who has been battling cancer for eight years, sends thank you notes to her church friends who send her notes of encouragement. But just to get you thinking, definitely send a thank you note for the following:
- after receiving a gift
- when invited to someone's home for an overnight visit or a meal or a party
- when given a job reference
- after the job interview
- when treated to anything special or an inordinant amount of one's time or talents
- any special courtesy or kindness that you want to acknowledge
Moreover, it is considered good manners for the recipient of the Thank you note to acknowledge the Thank you note, preferably in public. For example, right before church begins or between services and Sunday school, you may approach someone who sent you a Thank you note and say, "Ida Mae, that was the sweetest note you sent me this week. Thank you so much! Where on earth did you find that lovely stationery? I must get some for myself."
It's like the gift that keeps on giving.
~Thank you~Pin It