Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Lost Art of the Thank You Note

Good morning! I am curious do you send thank you notes? Not by text, email or on Facebook, I mean the ones that are hand written and addressed with a stamp and then sent through good old snail mail?

My parents taught us at a young age to write thank you notes and I still do to this day, not only for physical gifts, but the gift of time, help and more. I am beginning to see that for some it is a lost art, not only the note itself but the sentiment as well.

Thank you card from Invited by Audriana Etsy Store

 In the last year my husband and I have attended two millennial weddings and have never received a thank you. We traveled half way across the country to attend the weddings, taking 3-4 days from our busy lives and nary a thank you was sent. I am sure that while we were in the receiving line we where thanked but still, its not the same. Is it?

I am not alone, a friend and I were recently talking about this and she said that of the 3 weddings she attended this year the only thank you that she received was a P.S. "Thank you for the gift" scrawled on the bottom of the newlyweds Christmas card. 
Maybe I am getting old, but I do not think that you are ever to young or to old to offer or receive old fashioned courtesies.

I recently read that only 30% of kids are required by their parents to write thank you cards. In addition thank you of any kind much less a card are falling by the wayside after interviews. Which makes perfect sense, if you did not write them as a child why would you write them as an adult? Did you know that for some companies, the tank you or lack there of can be a deciding factor for the job candidate?

In this age of technology we have gained many things but we have also lost and continue loose so many things. For instance, many states to not require kids to learn cursive, some kids do not read books, by that I mean actual paper books where they turn pages, and some people only communicate by text and Facebook. I could go on but I won't.

Card from H MArchant Illustrates Etsy Store

Call me old fashioned but  I love to find a handwritten card or letter in my mailbox, it is like a hug from the recipient and always brings a smile to my face and a spring in my step. It makes me feel special!

What do you think, is writing thank you notes a dying art? Do you think it is an old fashioned sentiment that needs to be replaced by texts, emails and phone calls? I think for some cards are considered antiquated but for those of us who were ingrained with this notion growing up I think we will continue to send cards and hopefully instill these old fashioned manners in our children.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great day!

P.S. April is National Card and Letting Writing month, the perfect time to send a card or letter to someone that you love.

By the way, today is National Peanut Butter Day. Why not celebrate with a little chocolate and peanut butter combination? I have compiled my 12 Best Chocolate and Peanut Butter Treats on Once Upon a Chocolate Life.


  1. I think it has fallen by the wayside, but weddings should be one of those big things where it is a must.

    1. William, I agree it has fallen by the wayside but I think for a wedding that you should get your pen and note out to thank someone. How can you not?

  2. To me, a handwritten thank you note is imperative. Not to write a note of thanks for a gift is the height of rudeness. Not only does it reflect badly on the recipient, it also speaks badly of their parents.

    1. I frequently say that, who raised these people to be so rude. It is so important to be grateful!

  3. Elizabeth, you are singing my song.

    I was brought up to write thank yous,
    and have done the same with my kids.
    People who receive notes from them
    are highly complementary, and that makes
    my sing. But, my kids find it very
    deflating when others do not send
    THEM thank yous. (Welcome to the
    new world, right?)

    I am crazy for gorgeous paper goods,
    and what better excuse to stock up
    then hand writing cards and letters : )

    One of my pen friends, a neighbor
    that lived across the street from me
    growing up, died last week at the age
    of 90. We exchanged letters up until
    last Christmas, when she could no
    longer write. (She had her son send
    out a note to her friends apologizing
    for not being able to write back!) I
    assured her that it brought me great
    pleasure to continue writing, and had
    just popped a postcard from Vegas
    into the mail from her the day that I
    rec'd the news of her passing.

    They don't make 'em like that any
    more, and I'll miss seeing her notes
    in my real mailbox.

    Anyway, let's not despair, and keep
    picking up those pens!!!

    xo Suzanne

    1. Suzanne, I am sorry for the loss of your friend. I am sure that will be hard after all of these years not to hear from her. But what wonderful memories to have after all of these years.

      I will indeed keep picking up that pen!

  4. My daughter is getting married this summer and she WILL be writing thank you notes. She has been so offended that she has not received a thank you note for gifts from the last 4 weddings she attended. Her shower was last weekend and was hosted by two of my best friends. In addition to the shower, they gave her personalized stationary (that matched the invitations) and stamps. I thought that was such a wonderful idea! Kiera had all of her thank you notes mailed within 3 days of the shower.

    1. Lyn, what a wonderful gift from your friends that will definitely make it easier for your daughter to send Thank You cards. It is a strange thing that your daughter attended 4 weddings and NEVER received a card. So sad.

      Enjoy the whole wedding process, I am sure that you are a proud mom!

  5. I am glad to see I am not alone on this Elizabeth!

    You are so right, letter writing is like receiving a hug from the recipeint, pure and true. Saying that, I do not always practice what I preach. I often find it easier to respond with an email or text just to say an immediate thank you and then follow up in person to gush a bit more. There are times when it has gone right off my radar screen..I hate when that happens.

    I went so far as to buy books for my kids on the art of letter writing when they were younger. We wrote down every gift and who it was from. I still write them reminders to be sure to send a thank you note...even if it is an email.

    But a can a bride who surely reads up on every detail of wedding etiquette let something so simple get away from them? It has happend to me too. I actually wrote to one bride to see if she received my gift, thinking it might have been missed (not so subtle but it got the message across). I can appreciate that posting a note overseas can go into the all to hard basket but for people who are in the same excuses.

    Thank you for allowing me to vent this morning...I feel much better. I am going to write a few notes today and the first will be to you!

    All the best Elizabeth... xxx

    1. Jeanne, vent away! I think that if more people vent about the "incites, manners and lack there of" maybe people will get the message!

      I am sure that your kids listen to you! After all kids learn by example and you are a wonderful one to your kids.

      I hope the packing and moving is going well.

      Have a wonderful weekend, xxx Elizabeth

  6. I think there is a lost art of THANK YOU, in general! YES!

    So I want to thank YOU for always inspiring dearest friend!

    1. Anita, thank you indeed for a beautiful friendship! We are blessed that in this vast blogging world we found one another!

  7. Elizabeth, when the girls were growing up we had a rule in our house. They could not use the gift or spend the money until the thank you note was written. One of the stand-by gifts they would get every Christmas and birthday was a box of thank you notes. I'm with Jeanne about the wedding thank yous. I can't believe how many brides don't send them. Have a good week.

    1. Katie, that is a fabulous rule! I love it! And I love the stand by gift of a box of cards! Excellent idea and one that I think I will start with my nieces and nephew!

  8. I admit I am bad about this, usually with the excuse that I'm overseas and email would be quicker. I can just imagine my mother shaking her head sadly. Especially since it was her dream to make cards. Too bad they didn't have Etsy in the '50s. It's true that if somebody took the time to get you a present or to do something nice for you, you can at least take two minutes to write a thank you card and stick a stamp on it.
    I just read that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg made writing daily thank-you's his 2014 self-improvement pledge.

    1. If we are not grateful for kindness, gifts and more than there is something wrong with us. I am sure that sending an email is much appreciated, as I am referring to the lost of art of thank you's in general. No thank you at all, that seems to be the norm.

  9. elizabeth, i think this is the most important post i have seen for some time. i love sending thank yous and i like receiving them when there are actual words penned rather than a hurried signature. gratitude is everything! people don't understand that by slowing down and composing a letter or short note, they are doing their own soul a great favor. i find that when i am depressed, i have no access to gratitude so i must be extra intentional. bravo to you for calling our attention to a gesture that has huge implications. peace to you.

  10. Well said, Elizabeth...I am amazed by the number of wedding gifts for which I have not received thank you notes. It is such an important skill to instill in children.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend, sweet Elizabeth!! xoxo

  11. U send them! I so enjoy the art of sitting down and giving myself time to pen a heartfelt note on pretty stationery, its a lost art sadly but not dying and lets hope all that gorgeous stationery out there will allow it to make a huge comeback. NOTHING can take the place of a handwritten thank you! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


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