When Should You Write a Thank-You Note?

Thank-you notes are on the endangered-habits list. Etiquette experts plead for you to do your part to bring them back from extinction. Write a thank-you note within a day or two of receiving a gift. (After your wedding, you have six weeks to send your thank-you notes, but sooner is always better.) Sit down with your children and see to it that they write thank-you notes for their gifts, as well. This is a habit that is best started when they’re young. Steer clear of the prewritten cards that are becoming popular these days, which say something along the lines of “Thank you for the ________.” They don’t really convey much appreciation.

Gifts aren’t the only reason to send notes, though. After you have dinner in someone’s home, it’s proper to thank your host with a call the next day, followed by a quick thank-you note. And always send thank-you notes to potential employers after an interview, thanking them for their time and interest. This habit is fading away nowadays, and a note will make you stand out from other candidates. If the employer will be making the decision very soon, an e-mailed thank-you is appropriate.

More simple ideas for writing your thank-yous:

  • Add a quote: Visit quotegarden.com for a list of thank you quotes.
  • If you need inspiration for writing wedding thank you cards, visit theknot.com’s thank you notes guide.
  • Let the kids help. Parents.com has a gallery of really cute thank you gifts and notes that kids can make.
  • If you want to follow-up after an interview, here’s what NOT to do, courtesy of monster.com.

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