One of the most useful things I’ve learned growing up is the importance of saying thank you to someone. It may seem like common sense, but in today’s technology-driven world, the art of thank you has evolved into an impersonal afterthought. When a friend sends you the notes from a missed class, helps you move to a new apartment, or gives you a really thoughtful gift, a quick ‘oh, thanks!’ is generally the extent of the expression of gratitude. It’s not that verbal thank you’s aren’t enough, because they often are, but nothing quite says “I really appreciate you taking the time to help” like a thank you card sent in the mail.
I remember when I was a kid, I’d get chain letters from a friend, and I actually had to write the entire letter out six separate times. Truthfully, I don’t think I ever actually forwarded the letters on because I just couldn’t endure the hand cramps. Damn how I wished for a way to write just one letter, and turn it into ten. But now, I actually get excited at the thought of writing a hand-written note, because I know the recipient will be pleasantly surprised to receive something in the mail that isn’t requesting a payment of some sort.
I write thank you notes for a plethora of occasions: after job interviews, for my references, when I receive a gift, and more. I’ve even begun to send ‘hello, I miss you!’ letters to my friends, who are located all over the globe. Sure, postage can be expensive, but a couple dollars to brighten someone’s day, or possibly help you land that job post-interview, is absolutely more than worth it.
Because I’ve become such a regular at my local post office, I’ve actually been considering ordering some personalized note cards. I think they’ll elevate the already impressive tone of my note-sending, and amplify the sentiment and professionalism even more, don’t you think? For as long as I can remember, and even when I lived five minutes away, my grandparents have sent me cards for every holiday or occasion, including Easter and Halloween. I always thought it was the sweetest thing, and if I can achieve that kind of esteem in my friends’ and colleagues’ eyes, I don’t see any reason not to head straight to the post office and buy a massive book of stamps ASAP.