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The Magic 8 Ball’s Guide To Saying “Thank You” This Christmas

Thank You


Difficult questions call for the highest of technological consultation devices.

Ponder your question with deep intensity.  Grab it with both hands.  Close your eyes.  And give that Magic 8 ball a good shake.

Q: Should you write thank you notes for Christmas gifts?
A: Signs point to yes.

I know.  The holidays are already stressful and your schedule is jam packed.  There’s more on your to-do list than there are hours in the day.  And here I am asking you to add yet one more thing to your list.  You probably want to kill me for even suggesting it.

Keep reading and I’ll explain why it’s worth adding writing thank you notes to your to do list.

Receiving a gift means you are special.

What was your favorite gift this year?

Were you one of the lucky few to get a selfie stick?

According to The Statistics Portal, the average number of holiday gifts purchased by US consumers from 2006 to 2013 is actually on the decline.  12.9 gifts on average purchased per person in 2013.  Down from a high of 23.1 in 2007.

That’s over a 22% decrease in number of gifts purchased at Christmas by any one individual in the past 7 years.

At the same time, the dollar amount spent each Christmas on gifts has seen an overall upward trend.  The American Research Group, Inc. reports that expected spending in 2014 is up over 8% just since last year.

Put those two stats together and basic arithmetic will tell you that more money spent on fewer gifts means each gift costs more.

So, if you unwrapped a Christmas gift this year, odds are good that you were the recipient of someone’s splurge!  Of all things people could have spent their money on, they chose to spend it on you.

That’s pretty special.

Feels pretty good to realize that you’re special, huh?  Why not pass that feeling on?

Next up, let’s explore how a simple thank you note can make someone else feel special, too.

Strengthen your relationships with a response as special as the gift.

Picture it.  House full of people.  Mounds of discarded paper.

The obligatory “thanks” amidst a sea of festivities can get lost.

Be intentional.  Show thoughtfulness.  Make your thank you as special as the gift itself.

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.  – G.B. Stern

It’s not just about saying thank you, it’s about communicating a heart of gratitude and love to the person who gave you a gift.  Each thank you note you write is simply another opportunity to connect with your loved ones.

Mailing a handwritten note is a more authentic, satisfying way to build more meaningful relationships.

Still hesitant to send a note?  Up next, let’s look at changing your perspective.

Set yourself apart with an overflow of gratitude.

I can already hear your counterpoint.

“What if I said thank you already?” or  “Why do I need to say thank you again?”

Maybe you are asking the wrong question.  Try rephrasing the question and ask yourself “Whywouldn’t I take a few extra minutes to respond with a simple gesture of gratitude?”

Strive to do more than the minimum and instead seek to truly express a heartfelt appreciation to the person who took the time out of their holiday schedule to think of you.

If, however, you are still stuck on the “Should I?” question, keep scrolling for some easy to follow guidelines.

Consult the Magic 8 Ball to impress your friends and family.

Are you ready?  Let’s shake it.

Q:  The gift was mailed to me.  Do I send a thank you note?
A:  It is certain.

Nothing is worse than mailing a gift and never even knowing if it arrived because the gift was never acknowledged.  Send a handwritten note to acknowledge both the receipt and appreciation of the gift.  Even if you speak to the person before you get a chance to get the note in the mail, send the note anyway.

Q:  The gift was handed to me personally and I said thank you.  Do I send a note as well?

A:  The answer is murky.

According to Emily Post, a thank you note is not necessary if you were able to thank the person at the time you opened the gift.

I disagree.

I know.  How un-Southern of me to disagree with the world’s leading etiquette expert.

I still write thank you notes even if I was there to tell the person “thank you” to their face.  Why?  Because it’s another opportunity to deepen a relationship.

It’s about love.

It’s about celebrating the person who thought enough of you to give you a gift.  A thank you is not about you.

Especially if you only see the person during the holidays and gifts are exchanged, why not nurture the relationship by following up with a note in the mail?

Q:  I was given money (or a gift card).  Do I need to send a thank you note?

A:  It is decidedly so.

The gift of cash can be so impersonal.  Strive to make it personal by revealing to the giver how you made use of their generosity.

Q: I received a gift at a group gift swap.  Do I send a thank you note?

A:  Outlook not good.

Gift swaps are tricky.  More than likely, you don’t even know who brought what gift if it is a “Dirty Santa” style gift swap at a party.  If your name wasn’t specifically on the gift, you are off the hook.

Instead of trying to track down who brought what, simply send a thank you note to the host/hostess of the party for organizing the event.

Q:  So is it ever ok to just not send a thank you note?

A:  My sources say no.

A note is just a way to let the person know they are appreciated.  And who doesn’t want to feel appreciated?  Not just for what they gave you, but for who they are.  The card isn’t the point.  The appreciation of the person is.

Plus, one of the best gifts you can ever give is gratitude.  Thank the person for being a part of your life.

Now.  Go do it.  

The Magic 8 ball is full of wisdom.  But it won’t do the writing for you.

Do you have to?  No.  You don’t have to write a thank you note.  You get to.

When you express gratitude, you carry the goodness of Christmas with you throughout the year.  Get out your thank you notes or get some of ours.  Grab a pen and follow these simple guidelines on how to write a thank you note and get busy spreading gratitude.

Stump the Magic 8 ball with your own conundrum?

Then, continue the conversation on Facebook or Google+.


Flickr creative commons image courtesy of barkbud.

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