by Anna Post
As an etiquette author and expert, people sometimes expect me to eat with seventeen utensils on the table, wear gloves and a hat at all times, be 114 years old, and have no sense of humor.
Not the case! I am quite normal, and don't worry too much about living up to others' expectations for good behavior (no crooked pinkies here!)--I choose only to live up to my own. The one place the two do meet is over thank-you notes.
I talk about the importance of writing thank-you notes at wedding book signings and business etiquette seminars. I am well aware of the egg that would be on my face if I then failed to practice what I preach.
I love writing notes, and I don't find thank-you notes a chore. I think most people avoid them because they place too much pressure on themselves. You don't need to write a Shakespearean tome of gratitude; a few simple lines saying thanks for the gift is all it takes:
- Say thank you for the specific gift
- Say something in praise of it (and if that would be a lie, just say how thoughtful it was of the giver, as this much is true)
- Add a few personal lines if you wish ("look forward to seeing you this summer," etc.)
- Or just end with a "thanks again" and then sign off
A large part of my affinity for writing thank-yous comes from the joy I take in the cards themselves. I love the style options out there today, and save the beautiful note cards that are sent to me. My current favorite (photo above) came from my editor at Brides.com; she thanked me for a baby gift I sent her on a note card from Blue Ribbon, a letterpress company out of Brooklyn. The site answered my desire for cards that are classic enough to say a serious "thank-you" but also chic and stylish enough to feel fresh and modern.
Enjoy! (And no need to thank me.)