With the holiday season upon us, I can’t think of a better time to offer a gentle reminder about the importance of “Thank you” than on Thanksgiving. Whether it’s for a great party, a fabulous meal or a beautiful gift, a heartfelt thank you is both essential and appreciated. That “Thank you” can take the form of an in-person expression of thanks, a phone call and/or a handwritten note. Here are five tips for giving thanks and showing your appreciation:
1. Thank them twice. Once as you’re leaving the party and then again the next day when you send a note. While the note isn’t obligatory, it sure will be remembered, and your thoughtfulness appreciated.
2. Make the effort to write it the next day. It’s is easy—three to five sentences and you’re done. “Dear Mary and Tom, Thanks so much for hosting Thanksgiving this year. The meal was superb, especially the unexpected sweet potatoes with marshmallow on top. It was great meeting your friends Rebecca and Harry. The day couldn’t have been better. Hope to see you soon. Peter” That’s it. Put it in an envelope with a stamp and mail it.
3. If you open a gift with the giver watching you, you can simply express your thanks in person. You’re not obliged to send a thank-you note or make a call the next day. If you don’t open the gift in front of the giver, then you should send a note or call to say “Thank you” right away..
4. E-mail or snail-mail? If you send an e-mail, you hope it gets past spam blockers and gets read amidst the dozens of other e-mails in the person’s inbox. Once read, it’s deleted. If you mail a note, it stands out from bills and junk mail. Once opened, most likely it remains on the counter or desk for a while where it reminds the person of you. Would you rather be deleted or remembered?
5. Get a gift that’s not your favorite? Find something about it you can comment on positively—“I really love sweaters, especially in blue” or, if all else fails, “That is so thoughtful of you, thank you.”