Did you make the effort to thank those friends and family members who generously sent Christmas gifts this year? What about thanking those who honored your wedding or graduation? Maybe you are one of those countless gift givers who are now wondering if your acknowledgment of the celebration was even received.
Not to lay a guilt trip on anyone, but even if you postponed thank-you notes, you still have time because “better late than never” is certainly true in this case. January is still right on time for Christmas, and even if you haven’t penned an acknowledgment for last year’s May graduation or June wedding, it is never too late to say “thank you.”
Perhaps the thank-you note seems unnecessary, and even archaic, in today’s electronic world. After all, the person sending the gift very well may have gone online to choose and send it, or the giver may have simply written a check and sent it to you in a note or card. Was that personal enough to require an expression of thanks? The answer is yes.
In the days before the electronic era, you called a certain department store or silver and china shop to send a gift in the couple’s chosen pattern. The store tracked the number of items the particular couple received so to advise you on what was needed. You then typically received a brief nicely written note by the couple acknowledging receipt of the gift with thanks for your kindness and generosity. We are lucky in Columbia to still have several of these local, brick-and-mortar gift shops that track registries and make sure the gift is picked up.
In today’s electronic world, many simply go to a website, choose the gift, enter credit card number, and voila, the gift is on its way — one hopes. When the individual or couple sends a thank-you note, they remove the wonder. By this gesture, they have accomplished two things: they fulfilled a social obligation that showed good manners, and they let you know the gift has been received.
Rather than being left to wonder, many who have given wedding and graduation gifts would agree that a simple thank-you in some form would have been nice. At this point, Emily Post or Miss Manners might disagree, but even a text or email message would work. As for checks, the check writer can see that it cleared, so they know it was cashed. But must they accept that as the sole acknowledgement that it was appreciated?
Many reasons are given by people who think a thank-you is not required or even needed. Don’t be the person to make excuses. Take a few minutes to dash off those notes and know you are doing the right thing — for you and for the person thoughtful enough to recognize an important milestone in your life or share holiday cheer with you.