I have always been a huge believer in the power of the written word, and teaching Phoebe the importance of expressing gratitude through the thank-you note is something I will start from an early age. We may live in the digital age, but there is still nothing like the feeling you get upon receiving a hand-written note in the mail. It seems that I can never have enough personal stationery. What’s in my current rotation? The Big Diamond, the Hello Darling and the first in Phoebe’s collection, the Indio, all from my go-to paper source, Minted. There is truly an art to writing a thank-you note, so I sat down with my friend and Southern Living’s Editor-At-Large Kimberly Whitman (who’s managed to bring perfect etiquette completely into the modern age) to see if she would share a few tips on crafting letters of appreciation. Keep reading for her great advice, as well as a peek at my current stationery collection and an exclusive discount on your own personalized stationery from Minted!
“It is so important to show gratitude in writing for so many reasons! It is good for our own souls, but it is also a beautiful way to take a moment or two and write to a friend or family member and express some sentiments that might be hard to say out loud,” Kimberly says. “Thank you notes are cherished even more today than ever. It is so easy to whip up a quick email or send off a text, but to take the time to write out a handwritten note is special!”
As for the cards themselves, I tend to go for simple, modern designs that can be adapted for lots of different occasions, and I’m a sucker for really high-quality paper and special details like rounded corners. Minted has loads to choose from (seriously, you could spend hours narrowing down your favorite) that meet all qualifications, culled from independent designers all over the world.
How soon after receiving a gift do you typically send out a thank-you note?
Kimberly: Three days is the goal, but late is better than no note at all. I have a friend who writes a thank-you note every night before she goes to bed. I love this idea! It isn’t always for a gift or to a hostess. Sometimes she just randomly picks an old friend or a family member and tells them about something they did that she feels grateful for. She says it puts her in the right mindset before she goes to sleep and, obviously, it is a wonderful feeling to be the recipient of one of those notes! I want to start this ritual with my son when he is old enough and make it a part of his bedtime routine (and mine!).
Kimberly’s number one piece of advice? Think in threes! Send your note in three days, and it should be three lines long.
When writing a thank you for a gift…
1. Show gratitude & acknowledge specifically the gift you received.
2. Express how you’re going to use the gift.
3. Acknowledge a future meeting with the person you are thanking.
When writing a thank you for being included at an event…
1. Express gratitude for being included.
2. Share a specific moment of memory from the event.
3. Let him or her know that you’ll meet again soon.
*above: Hello Darling
A few do’s and don’ts:
-Don’t scribble; Do write clearly!
-Never use a label to address the envelope. The address should be written by hand, too!
-Don’t use a fill in note unless you are 7 years old or under!
-Do use a pretty stamp (not metered postage).
-Do show your “voice” in your note. Write as if you ran in to the person on the street and were having a chat.
-Do send a note even if it is late. A late note is better than no note at all.
As an exclusive treat for Camille Styles readers, Minted is offering 15% off kids and adult personalized stationary (valid through Sunday, June 29th). Hop on over to get your code, and start shopping!
*photos by Emma Banks