Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Who Were You Expecting, Emily Post?!


I was recently asked by The Daily Obsession to comment on thank you notes. I am by no means an authority on etiquette (read on...) and was feeling pretty guilty about even responding because I, myself, have not written a lot of our long-overdue wedding thank you notes! I'm ashamed - but, yes, it's true! I'm a terrible terrible person. And even more so because I'm going to follow it up with, what else, an excuse!

My computer died earlier this year, and I lost everything. All of my work until that point - all illustrations, all InDesign, Photoshop, Word and Excel files - gone. And along with my precious three years of work was our crazy super duper Excel spreadsheet titled, Master Guest List. This was our list of those invited to our wedding, those attending, what day they were arriving, what they were eating, where they were sleeping, and what gift they so generously gave us and on what day. And when this list disappeared into Cyber La-La Land, so did my motivation to thank anyone. Terrible. But sadly, very true.

So what follows is my attempt to have an opinion on thank you notes - which I think are the just about the nicest, most gracious way to show appreciation and gratitude. And in my defense, barring the whole wedding list/thank you note mishap, I'm pretty good:)

You should send thank you notes that are appropriate. To me, this means 1) you actually like the card you're sending, 2) the card matches the the reason for the thank you note in formality/design, and 3) the tone you use reflects the level of relationship you have with the person you're thanking. If you barely know this person, it's completely okay to keep it short and sweet. A gesture, if you will. (This goes very far. Who poo-poos someone for sending a thank you note? No one.) If you're thanking a good friend or close family member, feel free to throw in some humor (I must add here: ONLY IF you are a person who jokes anyway - your thank you note is not the time to play stand-up). But most importantly - don't be fake. I attribute this to all letter-writing - but be gracious and heart-felt without gushing to Aunt Betty that the cookie sheets she gave you at your bridal shower are the best gift you've ever received. No they're not. And Aunt Betty knows they're not too. But perhaps in addition to the nice cookie sheets, you're grateful she was able to be there or very sorry she missed it. That might be something Aunt Betty would like to hear and appreciate.