So, not to reveal my age or anything, but I grew up during a time when you handwrote Thank You notes. I mean, actually sat down at a table and looked at the list of gifts you received and who bought them for you, and then, in turn, handwrote each person a personalized Thank You for the gift they brought you. When I began interviewing for jobs after college, I would send every individual that I interviewed with a personalized Thank You note for taking the time to meet with me. My, how things have changed.
In today’s Digital Age, handwritten Thank You notes have almost become a thing of the past. Although I still write them when I can (e.g., after my wedding, or when I have a person’s physical address), I did something for my daughter’s first birthday that I NEVER thought I would do…I sent EMAIL Thank You notes.
I was a little horrified at the idea myself. Honestly, I don’t really know when I became an etiquette expert Peggy Post (probably dating myself again with that reference), but originally the idea of not handwriting Thank You notes from my daughter seemed preposterous. Yet, since the invites for her birthday party were sent through Paperless Post, I did not have the physical address of all of the attendees. I had email addresses for everyone, so how was I going to proceed?
Would I email everyone and ask for their physical address? That just seemed like too much work. But I just could not get over this Thank You note business. I brought the subject up to my sister – the current Queen Peggy Post of our family – and she came up with a genius idea: take a photo of my daughter with each gift she received and include that photo in the emailed Thank You.
This idea seemed perfect. I think that my concern with sending an email Thank You was that it would look too generic and as though I did not put enough effort or time into thanking everyone. Almost like a form letter:
Thank you for the gift. Thank you for coming to my party.
But taking a photo of my daughter WITH the gift really personalized each Thank You. In addition to this, I went on Gmail and got my daughter her own email account, so each Thank You came directly from HER!
I still try to handwrite Thank You notes whenever I can…I just sent out 2 this week. But there are ways in today’s Digital Age to personalize notes so that the recipient knows that you took some time and effort to construct their Thank You. It only takes a small effort to make someone feel appreciated.