Thanksgiving is an appropriate time for a good-manners renewal. You're stuffed to the gills with a meal cooked by Mom/sig-other/Whole Foods and in a good unbutton-the-pants mood. So let us remind you of something older than the first time sweet potatoes met marshmallows: the thank-you note. Not just now (Thank you coach, for letting my team win today. Thanks Dad, for the rockin' string bean casserole) but always.
A gift, a nice gesture, an invitation to dinner -- all deserve a written confirmation. Written. Don't call in your thank-you. Don't shoot an e-mail. Sit down and say thanks.
A thank-you note has an important role, explain Keely Chace and Angela Ensminger in their book "On a Personal Note . . . A Guide to Writing Notes With Style." And they should know: Both work for Hallmark -- the matriarch of the greeting card.
A really notable thank-you "does more than just thank people for what they did. It also expresses gratitude for what went into doing it. It's the best way (and sometimes the only way) to return the kindness," the gals write in the first chapter. "Great thank-you notes tell people that what they did -- as well as how and why they did it -- matters to us."
But remember it's a thank-you -- not a dissertation -- so don't sweat it too much.
Janelle Erlichman Diamond