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When to Write a Thank You Note

kate spade thank you note

Never underestimate the power of a handwritten thank you note. It’s a lost art, which according to Emily Post, “reflects your appearance, taste and character.” In a world filled with text messages, emails, and social media posts, a little handwritten note can go a long way. It is tasteful and demonstrates a genuine gratitude.

As you can all tell, I am pretty passionate about thank you notes! So! How do you know when to write a thank you note? My best advice – when in doubt write one, but here are a few factors to consider!

When You Receive a Gift – No matter the size of the gift, always write a simple thank you note within 3 days of receiving the gift. My mom always told me to write the note before I used the gift, so to this day, I still write a thank you note either before I use the gift or within 3 days…whichever is first. The main exception is wedding gifts. Etiquette suggests you have 3 months to send thank you notes upon receiving the gift.

Get Well Gifts – Thank you notes should be written by the patient or a friend or relative as soon as the patient recovers. You can also call or email closer friends to thank them rather than sending a formal note.

Condolence Notes or Gifts– A thank you note should be written by a close friend or relative of the recipient for each gift whether it is in the form of flowers, notes, or donations. THANK YOU CARDSKind Act – Always write a thank you note after a kind act. If someone invites you over for dinner or to stay with them, it’s proper to send your host a little thank you note telling them how much you appreciate their hospitality.

Interviews – Emails are the most popular way to thank potential employers for an interview; however, I highly recommend sending a formal handwritten note thanking them for the opportunity and their time. This will help you stand out from the rest of the candidates. However, if the employer is making the decision within the next few days, an email thank you is appropriate for the sake of timing.

If you’re not currently in the habit of writing thank you notes, that’s okay! Not many of us are! But start small! If your friend’s parents take you out to dinner or invite you into their home, send a short little note! Nothing lengthy, just a simple display of appreciation. As you start doing this, it will come much easier and will soon become a habit! You will be amazed at the impact it has on the recipient 🙂