The Roundup -

The Lost Art of the Thank You Note


November 15, 2017 | View PDF

My generation grew up writing thank you notes. Whenever we received a gift from anyone, we sat down and wrote a brief note expressing our appreciation for the item in question. Sometimes it proved difficult to thank someone for a totally inappropriate or disliked present, but nonetheless, we wrote some sort of note anyway. Our mother saw to that.

In this day of texting and emails, the thank you note seems to have fallen by the wayside. Someone texts a thank you using a few unintelligible symbols that only the young people can decipher, or thinks that a “yo, thanks, man,” serves the purpose. It really does not.

I think it is time to bring back the thank you note, written in simple English and saying a little more than “gee, thanks for this gift.” I still do write thank you notes, and I try hard to make them fun, let the gift giver know I appreciate his or her thoughtfulness, and that I truly value the thought behind the gift.

For instance, I recently left my full-time job. Technically I called it retirement, but actually I think of it more as a change of direction. I am not retiring, I will continue to work my several part time jobs, but I choose to no longer work at that particular full-time job, and I choose to try something else and to expand on a few of my current part time job opportunities.

The Wednesday during my last week of work at my full time job, I did throw a change of direction party at the local bar, and my coworkers did gift me with wonderful items that they hoped I would enjoy. I did write a thank you note to them as a staff, and I did try to make it fun. Here it is, my idea of a proper thank you note.

Hi there,

I would love to say that I miss getting up and trudging off to work first thing in the morning, but I cannot lie – I don’t. However, I can say that I do miss my coworkers.

I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for your friendship and the opportunity to work with and learn from all of you. I also valued the jokes and banter that put a smile into the day.

I also want to thank you sincerely for the most unexpected but greatly appreciated farewell/retirement/good riddance gifts that you gave me. Rod and I will check out Deemo’s this week to redeem some tasty meat that we probably will choose with Thanksgiving and Christmas in mind. We have begun sampling the many treats in the Harry and David package. Of course, I snatched out all the chocolate items first and hid them from Rod. Ok, ok, so I am greedy and selfish when it comes to chocolate.

Chad, thank you for making the effort to ensure that I received a marvelous retirement cake. It was fabulous. I will share the remaining portion with my neighbors here on Lois Lane.

Mark, I enjoyed each and every kiss you gave me. (A note to the uninitiated. Mark always had Hershey’s chocolate kisses in his drawer at work, and I could count on him to see me through when I needed a quick fix of chocolate. Receiving kisses from Mark became an office joke.)

Jackie, after finishing my shift at the café on Sunday, I cashed in the drink chip you gave me. It hit the spot, and finished off the work day on a happy note.

Myrna, you are welcome for my drink that you took when you spilled your own. (Another note: Myrna knocked over her drink at my little retirement/change of direction bash. I happened to be at another table talking to someone else at the time, so Myrna dumped my wine into her now empty glass. I think it was Mark that replenished my glass of wine so I could come back to my place and find a full drink waiting for me.)

Brandy, thank you for your patience when I had a particularly dense day (or is this what they call senior moments?) and couldn’t seem to get a project completed to your satisfaction.

Thank you all, and I hope you have great careers and some fun along the way as you plod through your daily grind in this office. I hope all of you have nothing but smooth sailing.

Let me know, I can meet any of you at the Pioneer whenever the mood strikes you.”

So folks, happy thank you note writing. It really does mean something, at least it does to me, to receive a heartfelt thank you from someone that you have gifted or for whom you have done a kindness. A few words of thanks can go a long way to make someone’s day.


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