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From the Desk of Dixie

Dixie's Guide for Your Handwritten Thank You Notes

With the holiday season now behind us, thank you note obligations can seem daunting. But our Southern mothers raised us to know that this form of etiquette was never to be overlooked. We were taught to always acknowledge our thanks in a written form.

Our mothers’ opinion on this matter was not unfounded. The queen of etiquette herself also mandates the handwritten note: According to The Emily Post Institute, the “the handwritten thank-you note speaks volumes simply as a medium and sends the message that you care enough to invest yourself personally in acknowledging another.”

So if thank you notes are still lingering on your January to-do list, please allow us to share a few of our guaranteed-to-make-them-smile thank you note tips... 

  • Designate a Special Spot - Create a cozy nook in your home specifically devoted to your note writing. Our Creative Director, Holly Hollon’s beautiful secretary desk (pictured above) has inspired us to do this very thing:

Last Christmas my mother gave me a secretary. I have an office in my home, but it is full to the brim with art supplies and my work, my address list and stationery would easily get lost in there and delay in me writing thank you notes. I filled the secretary in my living room with my stationery and all the things needed to write a note. This helped me in having a designated spot to pen notes promptly, consider a special place in your home to store your stationery, a nice pen and stamps.

  • Thoughtfully Choose Your Stationery - While we certainly have a plethora of lovely personalized options available here, the possibilities are endless! Have fun with your notes, so that they reflect your personality in the design. Also, we have learned so much from Holly Holden’s take on the traditional approach to thank you notes from her tutorial here. Fun fact... Holly designates the fold-over stationery card, rather than the the flat note card, as the most formal note.
  • Date It - Etiquette Expert Lee Cordone, of DoSayGive, says to always include this when you are writing notes you think someone may keep. 
  • Greeting - This may seem completely obvious, but check and re-check the spelling of your recipient’s name. You do not want a misspelling to be their first impression of your note!
  • A First Line Challenge - Holly Holden, in the same video mentioned above, challenges thank you note writers to never begin the first sentence with the word “I.” She says it presumes you are more important than the person to whom you are writing. So we encourage you go beyond the formulaic “thank you so much for xyz” to creatively express how much the gift meant to you and why. We always love to read how our gift is being used in thank you notes we receive.
  • Make Your Recipient Smile - We borrowed this advice from the talented Kalee Baker of Kalee Baker Events. She is a firm believer in the power of a well-written thank you note: "Each day is a gift, so always include a memory or leave them with a kind, positive thought."
  • In Closing - Depending on the depth of your relationship with your recipient, “Sincerely” is always a safe option, but we also love to use “Best” or “With Love.”
  • Late? - Don’t Fret! - We are of the mindset that a late thank you note is always much better than no note at all! 

Still overwhelmed by the long list of thank you notes that may even include note writing for your children and your husband? We love this idea mentioned on The Emily Post Institute of getting your entire family involved in the thank you note process:

The smallest (ages 4-6) drew pictures of their gifts, and Mom and Dad added dictated captions and thank you’s. The 7-8 year-olds wrote one or two sentences, practicing new writing skills. The 9-and-olders were able to work more or less independently. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad helped with spelling words and addressing, and, in the quiet moments, wrote a few notes themselves. When everyone was finished, there was hot cider and banana bread. The kids were involved, the notes were done and the family had time to be together and talk about their holiday, friends and relatives.

Happy note writing!

Fondly,
The Dixie Team

    Myka Meier's Guide to the Perfect Post-Interview Thank You Note

    We are thrilled that we are just days away from our Paper Petals Plates and Etiquette and Entrepreneurship Luncheon events that will feature the fabulous etiquette expert, Myka Meier! We wrote another blog post about Myka here if you would like to read more about her. But in the meantime, she has allowed us to share her expertise on how job candidates can pen the perfect post-interview thank you note. Her advice follows…

    • In the age of technology when it's most common to email or text, it's more impactful than ever to send a handwritten thank you note after an interview. Here are a few tips to follow to ensure your thank you note stands out!
    • Timing - I recommend dropping your thank you letter in the post the same day of the interview (or as soon as possible). As it could take a couple of days to reach the recipient, it will arrive perfectly timed 
    • Opening- Starting your letter with "Dear XX" is still best for formal business; signing off with "Best regards" is recommended as the formal sign off for corporate protocol
    • First line - Jackie Kennedy taught us that the most impactful letters to show gratitude never have the first line start off with "Thank you for..." and instead a line that creates emotion and sets you apart such as: "I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to come in to interview for a director position at the firm and meet with you. I left feeling enthusiastic about both the role and how my experience could truly make a valuable contribution to the XYZ team. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me...etc.  
    • Call to action - Always include something specific that you spoke about that shows you really enjoyed both the interview, opportunity and conversation. End the thank you note by saying if the opportunity presented itself, you would be available to meet with the rest of the team or answer any questions. 
    • Equally important - Your stationery is a tangible takeaway of yourself - so make sure it represents your style yet remains professional

    We, of course, love that Myka recognizes the importance of stylish stationery! We think our Diamond Pineapple notecards or our Watercolor notecards would make a very impressionable, yet still professional, statement for your thank you notes!

    And if you simply cannot get enough of Myka (We understand! She’s fabulous!), you must enter to win the one-on-one session with her that Regions HerVision HerLegacy has so generously sponsored. To learn more about this giveaway and to enter to win, please visit our Instagram page.