Well-writ­ten thank-yous don’t have to be long com­po­si­tions

The Garden Island - - Pau Hana Time - JEAN PHILLIPS

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.

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