A Casual Approach to Etiquette
Have you ever given a friend a gift but failed to receive a ‘thank you’ or anything of the like? Odds are this applies to most of us! While it is true, one should never give and expect to receive (even in the form of a ‘thank you’) – I’m sure you, the reader, would appreciate some kind of acknowledgment… You might even have a thank-you card or two you could stand to write yourself!
This blog post is not meant to guilt anyone into etiquette submission, but to try and remove the somewhat stereotypical extreme properness associated with the word etiquette. From the ever important ‘thank you’ note to being a guest at a dinner party or low key bbq- we hope this post will serve a casual reminder of just how important ‘little extras’ make others feel extra appreciated!
With the hustle and bustle of our everyday go, go, go lives, taking 5 minutes to write a thank-you card feels more like 50 minutes. While we do not live in the Victorian era, where manners dictated, etiquette has evolved over the years and continues to be just as important- just not quite as proper.
Below is a summary of three examples of when a little etiquette (manners) goes a long way!
1.) Thank-You Cards (Snail Mail): The short and sweet is that there is really not a replacement for putting pen to paper. Plus, who doesn’t like opening the mailbox and finding something other than a bill or junk mail? And just think how good you will feel sharing the joy of whatever it might be that warranted the note, by taking a few minutes to thank the giver.
*Quick note- A good rule of thumb for knowing if a thank-you card is in order, if you have to ask if you should send a note, then you probably should.
Here are a few examples of when you should write a (handwritten) thank-you card (no texting or emailing):
• When you are an overnight guest in someone’s home
• Post interview
• Upon receiving a gift (this can refer to an intangible gift)
If you do not already have stationery for thank-yous, the good news is they are easy to find and the options are truly endless. However, for a truly special personal touch, note cards with your monogram / initials are perfect! Crane & Co. has amazing paper stock for their cards, but several other lines are just as great.
2.) Hostess Gifts & Offering to Bring Something: Casual or formal, manners are universal when it comes to attending a friend or acquaintance’s get-together. You should always ask if you can bring something (wine, bites, etc.). In addition to offering to help by bringing something to eat or drink, a small hostess gift is always appreciated. This can be something as small as a sachet in a cute little gift bag, or a bottle of wine, or even flowers. The thought is what matters. …And if point number one (listed above) hasn’t soaked in just yet- YES, a thank-you card should be written afterward!
Hostess gifts also apply when friends or family host a shower for you!
3.) A verbal ‘thank you’: At last, a really easy one! This is quite possibly the most important one. Your mother might have told you to treat others as you would like to be treated. And well, mothers are usually right! Next time your water is refilled while dining out, a door is opened for you, or somebody lets you over/in – in less than desirable traffic, try saying thanks (or waving if in traffic)!
As it turns out, etiquette isn’t such a stuffy word after all!