The Frugal Hostess once made the mistake of agreeing to write all of the thank-you notes for her wedding gifts, because The Frugal Husband’s handwriting is hard to read. Little did she know that he was totally faking her out and could pull out perfectly legible script whenever he wanted. She was sure that she would stay on top of them, writing a note each time she opened a gift, so that she would never get behind. Ah, such are the futile dreams of brides-to-be, drunk with power and crazed by marriage classes.
It is so easy to find yourself staring down a pile of unwritten thank-you notes. It happens to TFH every year, at least once or twice. Here’s the formula for facing up to your stack of stationery.
Step 1: Pour a glass of wine (or beer, or milkshake, or loose-leaf tea – whatever beverage makes you feel like something fun is happening).
Step 2: Commandeer the remotes. If you are writing the thank-you notes for your family, you get to watch whatever you want. Or listen to any music you choose.
Step 3: Make a quick list of the notes you have to write, listing the recipient’s name and the gift/deed for which s/he is being thanked.
Step 4: Write out all of the envelopes and put stamps on them. That way, you’re committed. You’ve already invested your money in these notes, so you might as well send them.
Step 5: Pick your three favorite people or gifts, and write to them first. Vary an adjective here and there – it really is tacky to write a form letter of thanks – and be sure to mention the gift/deed specifically. Here’s a sample:
Dear The Frugal Mother,
I absolutely love/adore/can’t live without the beautiful/hilarious/life-saving item you gave me for President’s Day [Getting that hint, The Frugal Mother? Let’s start a new tradition where you buy gifts for TFH on President's Day. Dig?] It looks/feels/smells great. Thank you so much for thinking of me/your kindness/your generosity. It was fun hanging out/skydiving/doing tequila shots, and I hope to see you again soon!
The Frugal Hostess
Please note: It is considered bad form (by whom? Not sure. Maybe just The Frugal Hostess?) to use the words “thank you” in the first sentence of a thank you note. Your note should read as though you are so overcome with the glory of the gift that you have to go on about it before you can get down to the business of saying thanks.
Step 6. OK, so you’ve written the first three notes. Since they were to the people you like the best, they were the easiest to write, right? So, don’t put them in their envelopes yet. Use them as guides for the rest of your notes.
Step 7. Pour another glass of wine, eggnog, motor oil, et al.
Step 8. Finish your notes, you lazy sloth.
Photo by scottfeldstein