Dear Abby: With the holidays approaching, a reminder is in order. People: Don’t forget those thank-you notes! I don’t mean an email, but a REAL, honest-to-gosh thank-you note sent through the mail with postage.
My mother always told me that a gift is not truly yours until a proper thank-you has been sent. She said it “completed the transfer.” I was not allowed to play with the item or use it until that note was written.
This is especially true for young people today, who seemingly were not taught this in school or by their parents. Very young children can draw a picture, and the parent can add a line to say it was drawn to express thanks. As the child matures, he/she can use his/her own words of gratitude.
I can’t tell you how many parents comment on the absence of this display of etiquette. Good manners are never out of date. They are noticed and appreciated. From time to time, I have seen you mention your booklet on “How to Write Letters.” If it includes a section on thank-you notes, I’m sure it would be helpful to a lot of people in the next two months.
Elinor In Surprise, Ariz.
Dear Elinor: The booklet does. Not a day goes by that I don’t receive letters and emails from readers who are upset enough to write because they haven’t received a thank-you note for a birthday, graduation, wedding or holiday gift they sent. Some of the writers say they are so hurt and offended that they will stop giving gifts because they were left hanging, wondering if their gift was ever received. The problem may be that many parents no longer insist their children practice this courtesy, so the kids never learn how to do it.