20-40-60 Etiquette
Does a get well gift require a thank-you note?

Callie Gordon, Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman answer your etiquette question. Mary McReynolds is the guest writer.
By Callie Gordon, Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman Published: June 3, 2012
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QUESTION: Am I obligated to write a thank-you note after getting a gift when I was in the hospital? I thanked the person who brought it by and I have not had time since I have been home to write one. Would an email suffice? It has been a month now. How should I handle this one? Thank you.

CALLIE'S ANSWER: Due to you being in the hospital I do not think you need to write a thank-you note. If you feel like you need to thank them again, send a quick email explaining how nice it was for them to come see you.

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: This is a question that I know the answer to but often fall short with this in the rush of life. People are so thoughtful and kind and I was raised to thank them, with a note, for gifts and kind gestures. An email is not the same, but perhaps it is better than not writing a note at all.

The length of time I feel guilty about not thanking people properly, with the right sentiment and long, well-thought-out notes is far longer than the amount of time it would have taken to actually write a thank-you note.

Even though my perfectionism slows me down, don't let yours or anything else delay you in getting one out. Since you were in the hospital, I think people will understand why it took a month to write back.

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