A How-To on Personal Correspondence
In the age of computers, text messages, instant messages, cell phones and the like, it’s easy to use time and added inconvenience as an excuse to not properly handle the little things in life. THAT is an embarressing statement. The modern man in all his glory should embrace tradition, and learn how to say “THANK YOU,” in the proper way.
For the purposes of this article, The Dignified Devil is going to assume that you’re busy and your lack of time complaints do not come from being lazy. But, being busy is only going to get you so far. You see, etiquette is one of those things that the modern man has lost in certain situations, and saying a proper “thank you” — the cornerstone of etiquette — is the focus for this lifestyle post.
Chances are if you were not a host this Thanksgiving you were someone’s guest. You ate their sweet meats and drank their fine wines, you delighted in their pie, drank their beer, enjoyed their conversation and, most importantly, took part in their company. We also assume that you thanked them, shook their hands, and invited them to your house on some unknown future date. Well, guess what? All that is fine, but it’s not enough.
A dignified man understands that time and effort account for something. The time your host spent buying, preparing and setting the stage for your Thanksgiving enjoyment deserves a little more than a few lines typed the next morning from your iPhone, computer, iPad, etc. As a matter of fact, in some circles these cheap and easy messages might even seem ungrateful.
The proper way to tell someone thank you is to write a proper letter on personal stationary. Every man worth his salt should have well-designed personal stationary. It shows a certain kind of connection to the physical world, and it stands out in this climate of simply disposable communication. However, if you really want to do it right, follow the steps below:
- Make sure you are using personal stationary, not your company’s stationary. Remember, this is a PERSONAL thank you. Even in cases of business, it’s best to use personal stationary when sending a personal thank you;
- Personal stationary should be a simply designed item. 8.5″ by 11″ heavy texture paper that suits you and your personality is best. Of course you can get different sizes, just make sure it fits in the envelpoe you are sending it in. DO NOT use the standard “from the desk of your name here” approach. Simply use your first and last name, and include you middle name if you desire;
- Always strike though the last name on the letterhead if it’s written by you personally. If the last name is not crossed out, the recipient should assume the letter was sent on your behalf, and not from your hand;
- As mentioned above, get matching envelopes. A complete package means you thought about and care about the presentation. It should be a well-thought out experience for the recipient;
- For a personal thank you we recommend you hand write your letter. It can–and should be–short and sweet. Typing is certainly ok, but it lacks that personal touch;
- Fill out the envelope, stamp it and mail it.
Don’t be lazy. Trust us, you will stand out from the crowd by practicing this age old male tradition of sending personal correspondence. You will be suprised at the response you get as well. Nothing truly says thank you like taking the time. This method is simple, elegant, and dignified. What could be a better thank you than that?
Oh, and one more thing. If you were a host this Thanksgiving we would like to remind you of this old Chinese saying:
“It’s easy being a host, and hard to be a guest” -Meaning it’s easy to ask someone to give you their time, and much harder and far more meaningful to give it.
So writing a nice letter to each of your guests would be a dignified and elegant touch to your event.