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Thank You Very Little

I received two awful thank-you notes last week. One was an e-card that required me to click on a picture of a bowl and then watch for way too long as a trio of blue cartoon birds flew onto the rim of what turned out to be a bird feeder. I needed to see the actual message from the sender, so I had to suffer through this rather than push the delete key like I normally do. I hate e-cards!

The other awful thank-you note was for Christmas gifts sent to school-age children in my extended family. Written with an adult’s hand, the note was written in what was supposed to be the voices of children too busy to write their own notes. To save paper, both notes were written on one piece of ruled paper. I was not impressed.

From an early age, my mother drilled me on the importance of writing thank-you notes that are timely, handwritten, and highly personalized. A good one takes only a few minutes and can create considerable goodwill, so I’m disappointed that proper notes of appreciation seem to be a lost art. I’m not hung up on notes being written by hand, and for business purposes, I think e-mail rather than hard-copy messages are just fine. Still, more and more people don’t even do that. Yikes; I am starting to sound like my mother, but is that a bad thing?

What’s your perspective on thank-you notes? Do you write them? Do you receive them? Which ones make the biggest good or bad impressions?

[Creative Commons-licensed photo by Flickr user Jon Ashcroft.]

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