By Stacy Thompson
I have too many pet peeves to count – some are fairly typical, such as slow drivers in the left lane, constant interrupters and people who talk during movies. Others are more particular and slightly more unusual, such as the use of the word “irregardless” (I know it has been deemed a word, but it still bugs me), shows about law firms (glamorizing a fairly unglamorous job while making it seem as if all problems can be solved within an hour) and people who leave those little plastic covers on the backs of watches, electronics or glass (I’m looking at you, Mom & Dad). But one thing that genuinely makes me happy each and every time is when I receive a “thank you” note in the mail. Yep, good old fashioned, snail mail does the trick, and as much as I fought the order to write said notes as a child, I have found that sending them brings as much pleasure.
In this graduation season, wedding season and given that birthdays tend to fall in every season, I encourage you to not only consider putting pen to paper, but to make your day better by doing so – it’s easy, it’s fast and it costs next to nothing to accomplish this minor task that will brighten a day beyond measure. Here are a few pointers to making the most of your notes:
- When traveling or around town, look for notecards that mean something to you – whether sketches of your alma mater, watercolors that calm your soul or logos promoting your business, easy access to blank notecards will make the drafting much easier and less of a hassle.
- Pre-purchase stamps so the actual mailing is even easier – who wants to stand in line at the post office or remember to stop by the kiosk to purchase the stamps??
- Write a draft—re-read and then write it again – crossing out, liquid paper and a delete key are not an option – make sure you know what you want to say and how you want to say it before you put pen to paper.
- Open with a salutation that fits your relationship to the thank-you note recipient – is this a friend, family member, future employer?? Cater your opening to reflect how you would greet them in person.
- Make your message personal – if you’re writing to thank someone for a gift, specifically mention the gift itself and how you plan to use it or why it is important to you; if you’re writing to thank someone for a meeting/interview, make mention of anything you talked about or any specific details that were important to you.
- Be informal, if appropriate, and add your personality and language to the note – best to write it as if you are thanking the person in person—your note will stand out, be memorable and will put a smile on the recipient’s face much as it will yours.
So take a page from Jimmy Fallon and write a thank you note whenever you receive a gift, a kind action or memorable meeting – you’ll make your momma proud!!