December 12, 2007 Edition

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Christmas gifts and holiday parties

Linda Lou Moore
Guest Writer

You have just received a Christmas gift from a friend or a relative, or you've been a guest at a holiday party. You show your appreciation by doing the following:

A. Nothing.

B. Trying to remember to thank the person the next time you see them.

C. Writing a thank you note.

Consider showing your appreciation by (C.) ~ writing a thank you note.

Silent gratitude often results in doing nothing or forgetting to thank the person who gave us the gift. Never underestimate the power of a thank you note. Showing your gratitude by writing a thank you note is a small gesture that makes a big impression.

Why write a thank you note? The purpose of a thank you note is the following: to acknowledge the person who gave the gift; to recognize the gift; and to show your appreciation for the gift.

Thank you notes are a great way to acknowledge Christmas gifts and holiday parties. Don't panic if you think you can't write a thank you note, or you can't find the right words to say. It's easier than you may think.

Quick tips for writing thank you notes

If you dread writing a thank you note because you can't think of a thing to say, here are some tips to help even the most "note-writing challenged" sound like a "pro":

1. Thank you notes don't have to be long, that's why they are called notes.

2. Personalize the message. Use the person's name such as: Dear _______,

3. Identify the gift by name.

4. Let them know how much you appreciate their time and effort in choosing the gift.

5. If possible, tell how you intend to use the gift.

Writing a rough draft of the note often helps in deciding what to say. If you still have drawn a blank there are several good books that can assist you in writing thank you notes. Try your library or bookstore for this invaluable help. By the way, if you don't like the gift, don't complain. Instead, thank the person for remembering you and thank them for their effort.

It's always best to write the note promptly. Try to write your thank you note within a few days of receiving a gift or attending a party. Although e- mail is convenient, it does not convey the level of personal communication of a hand-written note. Receiving a hand-written note of thanks adds a personal touch. And, that is a gesture others remember.

Quote of the day: "Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." ~ G.B. Stern.

Linda Lou Moore is trained and certified by The Protocol School of Washington in Washington, D.C. She offers customized individual and group etiquette programs for children, teens and adults. She may be reached at P.O. Box 145, Paragould, Arkansas 72451 or at manners@paragould.net.

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