Saturday 30 September 2017

Etiquette of Thank you

Thank you

Two simple words that have always been important to show gratitude and appreciation to others. The words have been turned into poems, songs and documents over the centuries. Today, some people still forget to convey these words to others and especially on occasions when they should not be forgotten.

Thank you should be used to tell and show someone you are grateful for something they have given you or for something they may have done for you. “I love the chocolates you gave me, thank you”. You should also say thank you when answering a polite or complimentary question about you, “You’re  very kind, thank you”. It can also be used to accept or refuse something that has been offered to you, “I do not wish to attend, thank you”. It can also be shown as a way of expressing your like or dislike of something, for example, “I would be delighted to try some of your produce, thank you”.

Sadly, today a lot of people forget to use these words to convey that about to each other. I think its a combination including the fact that our lives have become so chaotic that we forget to say thank you for the basic things in life. If someone holds a door open for you or when a waiter brings your food to the table or when a bus driver drops you off at your destination. Of course, there are occasions which people do remember but it can appear as a passing remark and again, this may need backing up by the all too rare handwritten letter.

I strongly recommend people get back into the habit of written thank you letters to each other rather than a text, phone call or email. There is of course nothing wrong with these ways of showing thanks, however they must always be backed up with a letter.

A thank you letter is a very simple yet thoughtful idea which takes very littler time to construct. All you need is some quality paper (I use Piccolo press), a good pen that you are comfortable using (I prefer a fountain pen), however, use what you are comfortable with. You put your address on the top right hand corner followed by the date underneath. On the left hand side, below the line the date is, you begin the letter with Dear (and the name of the recipient) bearing in mind to use titles where appropriate. If it is someone close to you, then you of course may use first names. You then start the new paragraph of the letter with the reason you are writing the letter in the first place, so in this case a thank you letter would be your reason of thanks. This is then carried on in to the main body of the letter during which point you may go into more detail. For example, if you were given money you may wish to explain what you have bought or what you will use it for. You should then bring the letter to an end by asking after the recipient and finishing off by repeating your thanks before ending the letter with something that is appropriate. For example, if it is someone close to you, then it is With Love. If it is an acquaintance, then its yours sincerely, however if you do not know the person at all well then finish with yours faithfully.

Recently I ran an online poll where I asked people: Is it still important people send handwritten letters?  I was staggered at the amount of people who took part in the poll as it was treble the normal amount. The results were:

Yes 83%
No  17% 

This thankfully showed me the majority agreed with my feeling that thank you letters are still important and will hopefully be continued to be written and received for many generations to come, and hopefully my guidance above will help the future generations. As always, a huge thank you to one and all that took part in my poll. 

Friday 22 September 2017

Etiquette and Art of The Letter

It was Anna Jarvis who first formulated an idea to celebrate mothers in 1908. Her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, had been a peace activist who looked after wounded soldiers on both sides in the American Civil War. She created Mothers Day Work Clubs to address issues around public health.

Anna Jarvis wanted to honour her late mother by continuing her work by setting aside a day to honour mothers. The proposal was rejected in 1908 but in 1911 all US states observed the holiday with a few of them officially recognising it as a holiday.

In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mothers Day  would be held on the second Sunday in May as the national holiday to honour all mothers.

In 1912, Anna trademarked the phrases "Second Sunday” and "Mother's Day" as well as creating the Mothers Day International Association.

By the 1920s, Hallmark Cards and similar companies were selling mother’s day cards. Anna did not like the idea of these companies exploiting Mothers Day and threatened legal action.  Anna rightly believed that people should appreciate and honour their mothers by writing them hand written letters expressing their love and gratitude, and did not agree with the idea of buying gifts or cards.

The etiquette of mother’s day is very simple and is in line with the principles of Anna Jarvis. It’s the things that cost no money that mean more than anything.

Why not compose a beautiful, hand written letter? The art of letter writing seems to be dying, as smart phones, tablets and computers take over. It's wonderful to receive a letter and read the thoughtful words from someone who cares, and then read it over and over whenever you want, and it costs no more than a pen and paper, a little time and some careful consideration!

Last week I ran a poll asking my social media followers how they will express their love for their mothers. The results were

Card   31%
Letter 12%
Text.   8%
Other 49%

The results were interesting and from my point of view, sadly the letter got the smallest amount of votes.

If anyone is considering writing a letter on good quality stationery, then I would highly recommend my stationer, Piccolo Press in Scotland who look after my personal and work stationery. Their stationery is simply beautiful.

I would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who took part in my poll. Without your votes these blogs would not be possible. Thank you.

To get in touch with Piccolo Press, please look here: