Graduation. Weddings. Baby Showers. WOW! It’s the season, all right! Time to remember the ALWAYS important Thank You note. Need a refresher? Here’s one of our most popular posts. A lot has been written these last few years on gratitude. We keep gratitude journals. We’re encouraged to have ‘an attitude of gratitude. And I, for one, have much, much to be grateful for. Most of the time I’m a glass half-full kind of girl, truly appreciating what I have. But how often do we share our thanks ‘out loud’? I learned at an early age that a thank you note was required when a gift was given. “When someone takes the time to shop for and give you a gift, whatever it may be,” Fran of Marietta told me, “You need to write them a thank you note.” Keep in mind that this was my mother, who sent me off to college with a paperback copy of Amy Vanderbilt’s social etiquette so I would be properly prepared for ALL occasions even while off at school. (Smile). As with so many things, she was right. Saying ‘thank you’ is always correct and never goes out of style. When I started my first business, the second thing I printed (after my business cards) were professional folded notes, my business branding on the outside, blank on the inside. I kept a stash of them in the glove compartment of my car, envelopes stamped and ready. When I’d emerge from a client meeting, I’d sit in the car, write a note to the person (or the people) I’d just met with and then drop it in the nearest mailbox. Yes, that was ‘then’. Nowadays, when tweeting 140 characters is the norm, and even many invitations are delivered via email, is there a place for the old-fashioned thank you note? Well, I firmly believe there is. And I can offer you, as they say, social proof:
- When we were touring colleges over spring break, admissions officers at not one but two different schools commented on how impressed they had been when they had received ‘actual thank you notes’ from students. (Note, not parents but students!)
- Several years ago, I experienced a detached retina. Very scary stuff that required emergency surgery. After all was done, I ordered one of my friend Karen Taylor’s amazing apple cakes and sent it to the savior of my eyesight Dr. Scott Lampert and his staff, along with a heart-felt note of gratitude for their care. Just last month, at my now annual follow up appointment with him, I spotted the corner of my signature red thank you peeking out of my medical chart! Six years later and that note has found a permanent place in medical history. Hmm, it must have meant something for them to add it to the official file, don’t you think?
- And then, just last month, I actually received a thank you note thanking me for MY thank you note!
So let me ask you this: who do you need to thank? What gift has been given? What kindness done? What connection made that has you expressing gratitude and appreciation? Who do you need to say ‘thank you’ to today? Don’t wait. Dig out that dusty box of notes, or get thee to a stationery shop near you and start writing. I promise you’ll make someone’s day, and your attitude of gratitude will pay off in ways you can’t begin to imagine. What’s the best ‘thank you’ note you ever wrote? Who needs to hear ‘thank you’ from you today? Hope you’ll share, and let us know what happened!