Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Danka Shoen, darlin' "(Dunka-shayne)..."




I could hear Wayne Newton singing that in my head as I wrote the title!

"Thank you" What a simple phrase. The way in which we deliver it however, can determine whether or not we are really heard (most of the time). I was in a long line last night for an overpriced T shirt at a concert and when I got up to the front, I could tell that the girl behind the counter was tired (it had been a long night for me and I really wanted to be there). As she handed me my merchandise, I looked her straight in the eyes and said, "Thank you so much, I'm so excited." She paused, then said, "You're welcome, have a good night." Then the shocker came for her; I said, "You have a great night!" She stopped, looked up at me again, and said, "Thank you so much." This was not a big deal on my part, mostly because I could talk to a brick wall for an hour...but I know it made a difference to her.

We've talked a bit about saying, "Thank you" and complimenting those around you who might serve you in restaurants. Today I'd like to cover "Thank you notes" and above is an example of personalized stationary you can use, found at Stationary Studio.

The criteria for a thank you note are very simple, the most important of which is that it be sincere and written promptly. Here is a list from "Emily Post's Etiquette" where she indicates whether a note is "obligatory, optional, or unnecessary". This is a good one for the inside of our desk cupboards.
Here are some other examples of stationary and thank you notes that are available for purchase. Fine Stationary is my other favorite source for thank you notes, but if you're looking for something economical, Target has a great selection both online and in store.

I don't love my handwriting, but I'm always happy I wrote a note saying "thanks" for just about anything. I enjoy knowing that I've remembered to thank the person and though it may not make a big difference to them, we should never take that risk. My Grandma Sheila is very happy that I have a cupboard full of thank you notes!

Question for the day (sorry I forgot yesterday, but we did a pole instead): Do you think an email is an acceptable form of thanks? In which cases can you use email and which situations call for hand written thanks?

46 comments:

Comeaus said...

I appreciate an email of thanks as much as a handwritten card for most things. I feel most comfortable sending an email thank you to friends my age, but will send handwritten thank yous to older relatives or those I know less well. I have a friend that will occasionally send me a card that just says, "I thought of you when I read this," and I can't tell you what that does for me!

Comeaus said...

Another question. There are times when I would like to give a small gift as a thank you, what sort of gifts are appropriate for events such as a special dinner party or to say thank you for tickets to an event?

Janine said...

I agree with you about email. It is generally accepted to send an email of thanks instead of a written card, especially to those say 35 and under. I love a hand-written note, and maybe in the "optional" cases, an email would be a great compromise. I love it when I get an email forwarded that someone was thinking about me too, that does wonders doesn't it? Thanks for your comment.

Janine said...

I think giving a thank you gift is so nice, such good manners! There are many inexpensive options and I will go over several of those, I can do that tomorrow for you!

Mom Linda said...

I saw the "new" Emily Post (probably a descendant of the original) on "The View." She said technology is here to stay and like it or not, email is a perfectly acceptable form of saying thank you! I'm so glad because its the only way for me to do it personally! Hey, how about leaving your posts up longer for your "occasional" viewers, like me, that only check in periodically!

Janine said...

So true! Technology is here to stay. I'm sure no one is going to discriminate against an email, just saying "thank you" is so nice! Good comment!

Evenspor said...

I like to use an e-mail as an immediate thank you, especially in the case of something like a package, so that the sender knows it arrived. Sometimes I follow up with a written thank you card, but if I forget or don't get around to the card, at least they got the e-mail.

Trish said...

Hello, and happy SITS day!

I prefer email to the old fashioned paper thank-you cards. For one thing, email is more environmentally friendly, as most people do not keep the paper thank-you cards, and they end up adding to recycling or (heaven forbid) being just thrown in the garbage. Also, email is more economical and I think the receiver appreciates it just as well.

Having said that, if the gift received is really sizeable, a paper thank-you card is probably still in order.

Just like me ... said...

I totally love the 'thank you' note - it si one of life's great 'pats on the back' when one comes thru the mail or email.

Long live the thank-you - cheers le

Laurel said...

We weren't allowed to have whatever someone gave us until we handed over a TY note to Mom!

And hey - I would revise the "35" number! Geeeeez!!!!

Kimmie0270 said...

Thanks you. I'm a big fan of the old fashion hand written thank you note. This was another great post!

Jennnifer said...

Thank You is one of the very first things I taught my son, I told him that its the most appreciated thing you can give someone. I also like to include a handwritten Thank You when I sell something online and have to ship it. Very cute website! Happy Friday!

momof3crazykids-Val said...

Just came over from SITS. Have ag reat SISTs day.
I love your blog, this will be one I add to my reader!

christyhulsey said...

To answer your question, in our area it is not acceptable to email thank yous. Sure, you can email notes of gratitude but you must always send a thank you note. I live in the Deep South, however. Our etiquette traditions are more strict than a lot of areas. I can not think of any thing we do not send a thank you note for. happy blogging. i love yours!

Elizabeth said...

Visiting via SITS!
I always thank the clerks in stores and try to look them in the eye when they let me.
As for sending email thanks, I guess it depends on your relationship with the person and the level of the gift. I have received beautiful, well-written thank you cards when I have just given a close friend something I found while cleaning out a closet! Not a real gift. Totally unnecessary, a quick email would have been fine if she felt the need.

EmBee said...

Thanks for reminding me I need to get a Thank-You note sent out to a friend. And NO!... I don't think e-mail is EVER an acceptable form of thanks, best wishes or what have you... The hand written word is SO much more meaningful, ALWAYS!
I'm adamant about this subject, it's one of my pet peeves.

Pink Ink said...

Great question. I think e-mail is okay, but an actual thank you note sent through the mail is even better.

Lorie said...

Thanks for that list! Thank you notes are something that I am trying to improve on!

As for your question, If a thank you is required I feel it should be hand written. If it is one of the cases above where it is not necessary or optional I think a quick thank you email is appropriate. It is better to be overly gracious, right?

ElleBee said...

I think it's interesting how people seem to be a bit stunned to receive a "thank you", written or spoken. Clearly it's not the norm it once was!

Tracy P. said...

Great post! Actually, a little less strenuous than I would have expected. My son just finished his birthday thank yous yesterday. Many of his friends have sent thank you notes for birthday party gifts, and so have we, but I am now wondering if I should just stress to our kids that if they remember on their own to SAY thank you at the time, that will suffice! I'll have to think on that. Thanks! I'm glad Heather sent us to you from SITS.

Evi said...

Thank you for the reminder to show common courtesy. Emily Post is awesome and so practical! Love her!

A fellow SITSta.

Rhea said...

When I got married, someone gave me a book on how to write thank-you notes, and it was so helpful! It really taught me how to do them right.

I have cute stationary, and I try to write thank-yous as much as possible. I appreciate receiving them but it's a lost art these days.

My mama made me write them and I make my boys do them too.

Mamarazzi said...

popping over from the SITStahood! i just did a post about my adorable 13 yr old daughter and the fact that i no longer have to beg her to write thank you notes! i am so glad that i instilled this little bit if graciousness in her!

lovely suggestions.

Brooke said...

I agree. A simple thank you goes a long way and I too try to thank all those that serve or help me and I as well appreciate a thank you. It is amazing how much those words can brighten your day!

CanCan said...

I am a big thank you note advocate. I do think that e-mail thanks are acceptable in "small" thanks.

Jacie said...

It seems that genuine Thank You's are harder to come by nowadays so I'm happy with any form of a Thank You whether it's spoken, emailed or written. But I have to say that there is something special about a handwritten thank you note.

Sarah said...

I have to admit that while I am very good about saying thank you in person, I am horrible with writing thank you notes. I always send them but feel that I don't convey my message as well. Although, I do love stationary.

Thank you for the reminder!

Live.Love.Eat said...

Yay, more useful info. I printed this out. I do love sending a thank you note. And love receiving them too! THANK YOU for the info.

Jenni said...

I think hand written Thank You cards are great, but seen less these days. I try to teach my girls to write them for gifts and things. But those cute personalized cards might make it more fun! Email is certainly quicker and I think generally fine, but I love to get a note the old fashioned way.

Melissa Lester said...

I was surprised reading Emily Post's directions that a thank you note is not necessarily required for shower gifts. In our area of the deep South, I think some people would be offended not to receive a handwritten note. Along with expressing appreciation for a gift, I think thank you notes provide a good opportunity to let the recipient know how much you appreciate or admire him or her.

Ali said...

Great post - although I have to admit, I am horrible at writing thank you notes, and generally save them for really important things. For instance, our in-laws came to visit us recently, and our MIL had a gift for me. Not for my b-day, or Christmas, a just because gift. It was a huge, framed watercolor picture that she painted from a picture of my first baby, which was taken at a family event in San Diego. In the picture, I'm holding him on my chest and kissing his head, he's looking straight at the camera with a huge smile on my face. One of my favorite pics ever. This was definitely something that warranted a thank you card. Hand written of course.

And on the e-mail thank you, not so much. I think e-mail is hugely impersonal, unless someone takes the time to send you a digital card. Personally, I would rather they pick up the phone and call me to thank me over the phone than to send me an e-mail. But, that's just me.

Happy SITS day!

Blueberry Buttons said...

Thanks for a wonderful post. It is amazing at all the different views we have on a "Thank You". I prefer a hand written Thank you. Thanks for posting this.
Cheryl

EmmaP said...

thanks for your note on thanks! as far as saying thanks in an email...i've actually done that before. It wasn't my preferred method, but it was sort of a "time is of the essence" scenario. And I do think that for small and simple things, it would be ok - as long as it was a heartfelt and sincere message. I do NOT think, however, that email "thanks" are appropriate for things such as gifts, or funeral flowers, or monetary donations, etc. Oh - and one last thing - KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. I mean, if i got a thanks via email, that would be cool with me - since I LOVE the computer. Plus all of my emails go to my phone - and to see that note pop up in the middle of the day - well it would make my day! k - 'nuff said.

Swirl Girl said...

I think that an actual hand written note of thanks speaks volumes !

My children even write them!

email is so impersonal sometimes.

Maren said...

Thank you cards are more important than we realize. It says more than thank you! Thank YOU for reminding us of this.

momto1 said...

Happy SITS day! I love mail...real old fashioned mail. Notes of thanks are always appreciated, but never sent. I especially think that young children should be taught to write thank you notes for all times where a gift is given! An email will suffice, but like I said before, it makes me smile when I have an envelope in the mail!

Shannon said...

I always write thank-yous for birthday gifts... and have raised my girls to do the same.

P.S. I am loving your playlist! La Vie en Rose (Louis Armstrong's version) was our first dance at our wedding!

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

Just saying thank you is a great start...wether hand written or email..but a letter no matter who you are, still feels so much better.

Tabitha Blue said...

Such a great post. I think that a Thank You note is so sincere and very much appreciated by recipients. Emails are too, but definitely more informal. Thanks for the tips!

wendy said...

Sadly, I do not send thank you notes as I should. I do occasionally, but not nearly as often as deemed necessary! My sister-in-law is very good about it and it is one of the things I wish I was better about.

Those are lovely samples but even a handwritten note on a plain piece of paper is nice.

Happy SITS day!

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

I really appreciate thank you notes or emails. I've had my 4 yr old daughter help with thank you cards to her friends after receiving b'day gifts. The kids love getting little cards in the mail. I've also send thank you
e-cards through sites such as smilebox.com which are really cute and you can add pictures from the party or event into the card.

Great post and great playlist too! I am loving your blog! So glad to find it through the SITStahood. :)

Nessa said...

I can honestly say that this is one of the most helpful blog posts I've ever read! Thanks so much for sharing all these things with us!

Debbie Y. said...

To receive Thanks in any form email or note, is very appreciative. At least you took the time to tell someone that you are grateful for whatever it was they did.

Happy SITS day again.

mrsbear said...

Now I know where to come for etiquette tips, so my barnyard upbringing is not so obvious. ;-) I joke. I'm glad you were featured, you've got some useful information.

Michelle said...

Good clarification, especially for the brides (names unmentioned) who think they have a year after the gifts have arrived and then never get around to it.

If you haven't covered how to WRITE a thank you note, that would be good. I detest receiving the "Thank you for my X. I really like it." Totally impersonal with no thought and NOT the way my mom taught me.... But maybe I'm wrong on that one....

Karen said...

I think tha the thankyou, is the most important. How it arrives really doesn't matter that much.

Having said that, I think the hand written card or note is the nicest to receive.

 
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