To Thank, or Not to Thank?

Have you read Alexandra Jacobs' article in the NYTimes Style section? It brings up an interesting debate over thank-you-notes, something we scratch the surface of a lot here at The Gift Wrap Blog.

Jacobs' conjecture is born of the idea of thanking someone in a 21st century fashion; what is the appropriate way to do it? Is it appropriate at all? Jacobs brings up the fact that thanking someone for a great party on Facebook is too casual, might slip past the receiver, and its public nature might make uninvited guests who see the post feel left out. I have to agree with the whole "out in the open" issue--I don't necessarily think a thanks needs to be on widespread display. But I do think it's a quick efficient way to reach someone, especially by private message. And as anyone with a Facebook page knows, it won't go unnoticed.

But an old-fashioned thank-you-note can be super generic and unoriginal, too. Dear BLANK, thank you for the BLANK! I have gotten many compliments on it. You are very generous. Goodbye. I can understand Jacobs's point on the need for a new millennium spin on the old thank you.

In my opinion, any thank you is better than no thank you, and you just need to make it a little original. Did someone sponsor you to go on a trip? Send a disc of photos with a card. Or did somebody get you a great outfit? Draw a cartoon in which you wear the ensemble and conquer the world. As far as I know, the best thanks for a fantastic party is a nice bottle of wine. This never goes overlooked.

And of course, a note on great stationary is a must.


  1. The problem is that I never know when a thank you note is appropriate. In my opinion, a formal hand written thank you note is a little tedious and old fashioned. This day and age who has time for that!? My parents enjoy getting thank you notes, but never expect them from anyone as far as I know. They usually suggest I send a thank you note to someone's family if they have me at their house for a week, or give me a christmas present, but I know of other people who's parents tell them to send a thank you note for staying over my house for one night. ...that just seems overly polite. Anyways, I'm always paranoid that I don't think to send one when others would think it common courtesy...

  2. Yeah, that really is the problem. I've known people who are actively offended if they don't receive a formal, written thank you, which I think is a bit ridiculous. Often times some kind, spoken words are all it really takes. And of course if the friendship/relationship/acquaintanceship is balanced, any kind gestures should be repaid anyway.