Southern Stories
The Art of Thank You Notes: A Sign of Good Home-Training
Jan 09/13

The Art of Thank You Notes: A Sign of Good Home-Training Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 0 Comments


While good manners are fashionable in every part of the world, it’s no secret Southern girls are practically taught to do Bible drills with their copy of Emily Post. If cleanliness is next to Godliness, you can see why thank you notes rank just below bedtime prayers.

Around second grade, children become expected to write thank you notes on their own. These initial works contain some fine literature. “Thank you for the toy car. It is nice,” appears to have been penned by a terrorist demanding the release of political prisoners.

Usually technique steadily improves through the teen years: birthdays, bar mitzvahs, first communions and graduations offer lots of chances to practice for the bonanza of all thank you note writing: a wedding.

The cloud you see hanging over a young bride’s head is rarely worrying about the caterer or the dresses. She’s trying to figure out how to get 4,873 thank you notes written. Because every single person who even sniffed in the direction of her wedding must get a thank you note, or clearly, she will show herself to be a woman with no home training.

Once past the wedding and baby showers, many ladies mistakenly believe the need for thank you notes will subside. While it’s true, that quantity is rarely required again all at one time, thank you notes are a never ending obligation of life. A delightful neighbor brings you a plate of cookies: thank you note. A friend picks up you child from school when you’re in a schedule bind: thank you note.

But who wants to send something dull and lifeless like a plain white envelope? In the right circumstances, that can be classic, but many times, you want to give it a little something.

That’s when it’s time to tap into your inner crafter. Grab a pen, ink and a little craft paper, and let your imagination be the only limit. A sweet thank you stamp added to an envelope, or antlers added to handmade envelope or card, and suddenly a simple note is a postal carnival.

Of course, when preparing anything for the mail, remember the late Mrs. Post’s timeless advice, “Write the name and address on the envelope as precisely and as legibly as you can. The post-office has enough to do in deciphering the letters of the illiterate, without being asked to do unnecessary work for you!”

The letter you write, whether you realize it or not, is always a mirror which reflects your appearance, taste and character. A “sloppy” letter with the writing all pouring into one corner of the page, badly worded, badly spelled, and with unmatched paper and envelope—even possibly a blot—proclaims the sort of person who would have unkempt hair, unclean linen and broken shoe laces; just as a neat, precise, evenly written note portrays a person of like characteristics. Therefore, while it can not be said with literal accuracy that one may read the future of a person by study of his handwriting, it is true that if a young man wishes to choose a wife in whose daily life he is sure always to find the unfinished task, the untidy mind and the syncopated housekeeping, he may do it quite simply by selecting her from her letters.~Emily Post, “Etiquette” 1922




Comments have to be approved before showing up