Well-written thank-yous don’t have to be long compositions
DEAR ABBY: You have mentioned in the past that you have a booklet on writing letters, including thank-you notes. Where do I send for it? I’ll need four because my grandkids are lacking in that area.
It’s truly a shame that younger generations haven’t been taught about the importance of such notes. A simple “thank you” can not only open doors of opportunity both socially and in employment, but also help grandparents feel appreciated after their heartfelt gift-giving. — NANCY IN NEVADA
DEAR NANCY: If there is one subject that crops up repeatedly in my mail, it’s thank-you notes — or rather, the lack of them. I print letters about it because of the number of complaints I receive. When a gift or a check isn’t acknowledged, the (unwritten) message it sends is that the item wasn’t appreciated, which is insulting and hurtful.
Chief among the reasons that thankyou notes are unwritten is that many people don’t know what to say. They think the message has to be long and flowery when, in fact, keeping it short and to the point is more effective. My booklet, “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” contains samples of thank-you letters for birthday gifts, shower gifts and wedding gifts, as well as those that arrive around holiday time. It also includes letters of congratulations and ones regarding difficult subjects, such as the loss of a parent, a spouse or a child. It can be ordered by sending your name, mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby Letters Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.) With the holiday season approaching, this is the perfect time to reply with a handwritten letter, note or well-written email.
Because the composition of letters is not always effectively taught in the schools, my booklet can serve as a helpful tutorial, one that is valuable for parents as a way to teach their children to write using proper etiquette.
DEAR ABBY: Why do married couples exclude single people? I have been friends with these people since long after I was divorced. But sometimes when they get together, they leave out their single friends. We are not a threat to their relationships. Is there a reason for this? — EXCLUDED IN THE EAST
DEAR EXCLUDED: You are asking a question for which there is no single answer. The reasons could vary from something as simple as having to do with the seating arrangements to concern that the single person might not be comfortable when all the other guests are couples. Readers? ••• To contact Abby visit DearAbby.com.