Thank you notes show good manners and are still an expected part of social life. They should be sent in the following situations:
• to recognize the sender's significant gift for a major life event and to let the sender know the gift was received. A gift represents a considerable amount of cost and effort. Therefore, if the gift is sent by mail or is left at a reception to be opened at a later time, the sender needs to know his gift arrived safely. These occasions include:
- baby showers and births
- religious occasions (bar mitzvah, etc.)
- holiday and birthday celebrations.
• to recognize the efforts of the host and hostess (the parents or adults) when you are invited to spend an overnight or a weekend at someone's house (formerly called bread and butter notes).
• to recognize someone who has done something meaningful for you: written a letter of recommendation for a scholarship or for college, given you a job interview, done a favor, or done something kind or thoughtful like visiting when you are ill.
A thank you note should:
• be short, direct, and informal in tone unless it is a formal thank you for a job interview or the person is not well known to you.
• use the form of a friendly letter. If the person receiving the thank you is familiar with the return address, this need not be included on the note itself.
• be personal: use personal stationary or a blank card and use cursive if your handwriting is attractive, although typing is more acceptable today than in the past.
• be sent as soon after receiving the gift, interview, favor, etc., as is practical.
• start with a direct statement of why you are thanking the person.
• explain what the person's thoughtfulness has meant to you.
• end with a warm statement that recognizes your ongoing relationship with the person you are thanking.
June 23, 2000
Dear Mi and Mis. Edward,,
'Thank you for the money for my g/iaduatixon. I wilt be using it to buy a new pninteA to use for aMege next year. Y<ou could not have given me a better gift!
You know you are my faavorite neighbors. I always took forward to our Fourth of July cetebrations with you. <Jetl Jenna hetio for me next time she drops by.
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