Mind Your Manners, Kids: 4 Times When a Thank You Card is Necessary

When it comes to letting someone know how much you appreciate them, nothing beats a handwritten note. And while it will only take you a few minutes to write, the receiver will be forever grateful after receiving it in the mail.

Not sure when a thank you note is necessary to send and approximately when you should send it? Check out these four ideas.

1. When Someone Sends You a Gift

If your mom ever reminded you to write grandma a thank you note for the toys she sent you for your birthday, the same advice holds true today. Likewise, if someone took the time and expense to select, buy and wrap a gift for you, you should definitely set aside five minutes to write a nice thank you card.

Now, be mindful that a one-off text message or email saying thank you isn’t enough — even if you fill it with plenty of heart emojis. Yes, millennials like you are used to doing everything online, and that’s fine. But when it comes to thank you notes, spend a few minutes picking out real paper thank you cards.

As a bonus, shop online for the thank you cards and keep a small stack of them on-hand so you’re always ready to give thanks in the proper way. As for when to send this type of thank you note, within a week of receiving the gift is solid advice.

2. After a Job Interview

Beyond receiving a gift, you should definitely send a handwritten thank you card after a job interview. Regardless of whether you land the position, you should express your gratitude to the person who took time out of his or her busy day to meet with you. The sooner you send the thank you card, the better; and remember, even if you set up the interview via email, go for the paper thank you — it will make a favorable impression.

3. When a Friend Hosts a Party for You

If your BFF just threw you an epic party — anything from a surprise birthday party to a wedding shower or bachelor party — he or she deserves to get more than a phone screen full of emojis and a promise of coffee. Instead, sit down and celebrate your thoughtful friend with a heartfelt thank you note. Strive to send out the card a few days after the party is over; this way, if you see him or her again soon, you can follow up with more thanks in person.

4. After Being a House Guest

You slept in their guestroom, you used their towels and soap, and you ate dinner at their kitchen table. Now that you’re back home, it’s time to send your former hosts a nice thank you card. Whether you stayed with friends or relatives does not matter. Your hosts made an effort to get the guest room ready for you and likely did a number of additional things to make you feel welcome. A warm thank you note is a necessary response, preferably within a week of returning home.

Being Polite Will Never Go Out of Style

In addition to these occasions, if you’re unsure whether to send a thank you note, it’s always best to err on the side of polite and write a quick card expressing your thanks. When people go out of their way for you in some manner, they definitely deserve a nice thank you card that comes in the mailbox, and that they will enjoy receiving as much as you appreciate their generosity.


Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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