‘Tis the Season to be Thankful!

Guest post by Oh My Goodness Gracious friend Sarah Marie Powell!

This is an important post, folks! You’ll thank me in the end! We are now fully submerged in the most beautiful of seasons. If you’re a procrastinator (like me), the beauty may be lost on you at this point, but it will show itself soon enough! During this hectic time of decorating, baking, caroling, gifting, and getting, it’s important to remember how blessed we all are to have these “first world problems.” It’s important to say thanks.

Way back when, handwritten thank-you notes were borderline required upon receiving a gift. Certainly, they were expected. Nowadays, our selfish generation (okay, my selfish generation) has completely forgotten how cherished these simple notes can be. This holiday season, I charge you to take the time to write a note or two. I promise it isn’t so hard to do. To make the painstaking process easier, I’ve written a formula. Feel free to use and share it. I’m sure I’ll be famous for it one day….

Make it special…

  • If someone gives you stationery as a gift, write your note on a piece of it.
  • Include a photo, if appropriate. Example: My boyfriend’s aunt and uncle always let the two of us use their home as a hotel when we travel to Tampa. When I send their note, I like to include pictures of our trip.
  • Fit your stationery to the gift received. Example: If someone gave you tickets to an athletic event, use team-specific notes!

There are also situations that probably don’t require a full thank-you note but still beg for some sort of thanks. Find creative ways to say thank you, like (but not limited to!) these:

  • Scenario 1:A co-worker surprised you this morning with a treat from Starbucks.
    • When you finish the drink, write a quick note on the cardboard sleeve, and put it on his/her desk!
  • Scenario 2: A friend/family member sends you a Christmas/holiday card
    • Shoot them an email, IM them, tweet about it, or post a note on their Facebook wall!
  • Scenario 3: A friend whisks you away from your overflowing to-do list for drinks/dinner.
    • Tweet, Instagram, or “mupload” a photo to Facebook, publicly proclaiming how thankful you are for him/her!

Finally, I can’t do an OMGG blog post without referencing my beloved Emily Post. Here are some thank-you tips from the 18th edition of Etiquette:

Oh My Goodness Goodies: Superb Stationery Sources

  • Kate Spade: Her “All Occasion” note set (available via Papyrus) is a great staple to ensure you’re never at a loss for words.
  • Traylor Papers is a treasure for personalization addicts. Be sure to check out the Kids section for fantastic fill-in-the-blank options!
  • Snapfish is a one-stop-shop for incorporating photos into your stationery library. This extra step of personalization is a great addition to notes sent from the entire family!
  • May Designs is my new favorite. My dear friends, Helen and Charlie, recently surprised me with a pack of notes, and I simply can’t get enough!
  • Be sure to check out local paper/gift shops for fun ideas, too!


8 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season to be Thankful!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Tailoring stationery to the gift or event is one of my favorite ways to personalize a thank-you note. I love anything that gives it a special “POP!”

    • Paperless Post has some beautiful e-cards, but if there is any doubt as to whether the occasion calls for a handwritten note, always go for handwritten – and that’s really most occasions! Nothing beats a message written personally and snail mailed.

    • Hello Mary Catherine!

      Thank you for reading. You bring up a great point made by Miss Manners ( I see Judith Martin wrote: However, “thank you” should not be the opening words, because that would suggest you were writing by rote. Start with a statement of emotion — that you were delighted that they came to your party, or thrilled when you opened their present…

      This is excellent advice for thank you note writers. I believe most recipients will undoubtedly appreciate the sentiments of gratitude regardless of how the note leads, but Miss Manners brings up a thoughtful approach, and I appreciate you sharing it.


  1. Nice to know that there are still those of us that exist that still believe in the importance of a hand-written thank you note. This seems a lost art, especially with our younger generation. My mother always made me sit down and write proper thank you’s when given a gift. My husband and I are in the process of writing our thank you notes to wedding guests. I have been disheartened to have given gifts and not been acknowledged at all or to have received a generic, signed photo card as a thank you. This small piece of etiquette is something I feel strongly about and should not be dismissed to the wayside as are so many of the other “traditional” niceties that were once more a part of communication in our society.

    • Jenny:

      I couldn’t agree more! I think there is a lot to be said for a hand-written piece of snail mail, thank-you note or otherwise. In this online-absorbed age, people always enjoy a nice card. It tells them you’ve taken a little extra time and put a little extra thought into brightening their day.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!


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