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The Fine Art of Thank You

Canadians have the reputation of being excessively polite. We apologize when someone bumps into us. We ask people for permission to sit in empty chairs. We wait patiently behind people who aren’t even in line.
While this may seem extremely polite, I believe we have simultaneously lost the fine art of the well placed Thank You. Like anything else, said too much and too often it loses meaning. And what about the Thank You note? Does anyone take pen to paper anymore for this thoughtful gesture?
I recently wrote Thank You cards to some professional contacts. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d handwritten anything beyond messily jotted project notes. I remember travelling before the Internet (yes I am old enough to remember that) and communicating with friends and family through letters. How great would it be to receive a personal letter today? So, with that in mind I thought it would be nice to send my contacts cards instead of the all expected emails that have become commonplace.

When I sat down to write (understanding that writing is a big part of what I do) I was actually stumped. And if the Internet is any gauge of popular sentiment, apparently there are lots of other people out there as perplexed as me about what to write in a Thank You card. So, if you count yourself among them and would like to revive this gesture, here are a few links you may find useful:
Or if you just want a laugh, check out Jimmy Fallon’s thank you notes.
Do you write Thank You notes? Do you appreciate a card more than an email or do you think there’s no difference?


  1. Yes, I do write thank you notes and I also have our sons write thank you notes (in their own handwriting). Now 19 & 20, they've been writing thank you notes since they were @ 6 or 7; I would suffice to say they are among a minority of young men who do so. I love to receive handwritten notes; at Christmas, it is always interesting to me to see who takes the time to address by hand Christmas greetings (and inside notes) mailed to our family.


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