Last updated: November 07. 2013 10:45PM - 884 Views
Natalie Netzel Staff Writer

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When is the last time you received a thank you note? Have you written a thank you note recently?

Thank you notes are a rare commodity these days as the electronic age has overwhelmingly allowed people to give a quick thanks out of convenience.

After all, it’s easier and faster to say thanks for something or acknowledge someone’s birthday rather than taking a couple of minutes to sit down and write a few sentences on a card thanking them for doing something.

If someone invites you to a party, shower, reception or gives a gift to you, the least you can do is come up with more than a mere e-thanks. After all, that person took time (no matter how little) to do something nice for you. Isn’t it appropriate to carve a couple of minutes time out of your schedule to send a thank you note?

I know people are busy but are you really that busy and selfish to not do a simple task for someone who thought of you?

Thank you cards do not have to be fancy or expensive, although if you want to go all out, more power to you.

They can be as simple as taking a sheet of plain white computer paper and folding it three times to make a card and writing a message. You can write your thanks on a notebook paper or index card or you can head to the store and buy a bulk of thank you cards to keep on hand. You can even take that paper that you folded three times into a card and let your child decorate it to get him or her into the thank you note fun.

You can even continue using a thank you card and keep sending it back and forth. Just make sure you send it to the same person. Think of it as a chain of thanks.

I’m sure that when you send that card, the recipient will care more about the thought behind the note rather than the note itself.

There’s a psychology that supports the benefits of thank you notes. It’s called positive psychology.

According to a blog on Psychology Today’s website, “One of the staples of positive psychology is the gratitude letter: a written and specific expression of thanks to someone who has been especially kind or important to you who has never heard you express your gratitude — parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, teachers, coaches, teammates, employers, and so on. Over the years, I have asked students in my positive psychology classes to write such letters. If they cannot deliver it by hand, they should mail it. As a positive psychology intervention, gratitude letters ‘work’ 99+ percent of the time, by which I mean that the recipients are touched, usually profoundly, and so too are the letter-writers, despite misgivings they may have had in the first place about doing something that seemed so corny.”

Think of your thank you note as a smile that you mailed. It really can brighten someone’s day.

If you’re stuck about how to write a thank you note, here are simple guidelines from Hallmark. You may need to head back to elementary school and consider the who, what and when for writing your thanks.

One, make a list of everyone you need to thank. It could be for a gift received, help for a party or shower or even a simple thanks to someone for being a good friend.

Two, write the what. This includes a greeting (Dear so-and-so), say what you are thankful for, tell the person how you plan to use the gift, adding a picture is optional, mention when you may see the sender again or that you looking forward to seeing them again, restate your thanks, end with a warm regards.

Finally, send out your thank you’s as quickly as you can but don’t let your tardiness exempt you. Still send it but don’t go overboard with the apologies either.

Oh, and while postage stamps increase, the cost of a stamp is less than 50 cents. I think people are worth more than 50 cents, don’t you?

Natalie Netzel is a staff writer for The Newberry Observer and can be reached at nnetzel@civitasmedia.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.

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