Follow Up to Our Proposed Change to Thank You Note Etiquette

AUGUST 25, 2014  /  ADINA BAILEY  / 

Follow Up to Our Proposed Change to Thank You Note Etiquette

I was overwhelmed by the positive response to our suggestion that thank you note etiquette should be changed. If you are interested in reading our original post, you can find it here.

In my first post, I proposed that in the situations of illness, sympathy and welcoming a new baby that the expectation of a thank you note be reconsidered.

In nearly every comment, meal providers said that they did not expect a thank you note when taking a meal. Some people even went as far to write that they felt badly after receiving a thank you note because they know the recipient used precious time to write the note.

Vici wrote, "I couldn't agree more. We participate in meal gifts because it is the right thing to do, because someone needs us, because it is a gift...generosity. The thank you is the relieved look, the tears of gratitude, the tight hug. Perhaps folks need to redefine the thank you note, and take note of the joy and relief the gift created?"

I also received several emails from women who are currently facing a difficult time. All the women said that the post helped them release guilt they were holding for not having time to write thank you notes right now.

Here are two excerpts from specific emails I received:

I appreciated your post regarding thank you notes... I would love to send one to everyone who has given - meals, monetary gifts, gifts of toys and other items, encouragement, but I am consumed with care of Dave and the kids, trying to tie up loose ends all over before Dave gets sent off to Richmond. I appreciated the grace your post gave me.
Your post on thank you notes was a therapeutic read for me today. I have felt such an obligation to send thank you notes to everyone that helped me this summer after my mom's death, but I can barely remember what happened since June. I finally let myself say, "It's okay. I don't need to have impeccable manners right now, I just need to take care of myself." That's been a big step to feeling better.

After the may responses to my original post, I can say with confidence that meal providers are not looking for a thank you note, but instead, they desire to provide recipients with the gifts of nourishment and time to care for themselves.

Read other recent articles by Adina Bailey:

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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