Well-writ­ten thank-yous can be short and sweet

The Progress-Index - - NATION & WORLD - JEANNE PHILLIPS —Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

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 thank-you 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 610540447. (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.

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