I consider every thank-you card I receive, especially those handwritten, as a gift. I have a few that I’ve had for years and one of those twas from the Hotel Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. After I taught my Mimi’s Manners class at the resort he placed a handwritten note on my desk the next morning letting me know that he thought my class was GREAT and that my grandmother would have been proud.
When you give someone a thank you note, it shows that you care about the person. You’ve taken time (a valuable commodity) to think of them and reflect on what they’ve done to make you grateful. In the example above, the Hotel Manager was pleased (and grateful) that I was introducing manners to future generations.
I’m frequently asked when it’s TOO late to send a note. In my opinion, it’s almost never too late, however the longer it takes, the more it loses its magical sparkle. Typically, a week is an acceptable amount of time. Of course, the very next day is best, or as soon as possible, but I do believe “better late than never” can apply here. Only wedding gifts (or anytime you’ve received more than a dozen gifts) is it understandable to take longer than a week to respond. Even then, it loses a bit of its magical luster. A thank you note only takes a few minutes to write but the power it has can be everlasting! I still feel happy inside when I think about that special note from the Hotel Manager. His note was a great gift to me that I will treasure forever.