What mom-to-be doesn't love opening presents of adorable little baby outfits and booties at a shower? And it's fun to be on the receiving end of a bouquet in the hospital or a home-cooked meal shortly after baby is born. While friends and family may overwhelm you with their generosity, the thought of writing all those thank you notes can make your hand ache and your head spin! Are you dreading putting pen to paper? Try some of these tips and you'll see that writing thank you notes can be fun and (relatively!) painless if you use a little thought and approach them as a creative way to express your gratitude.
The ABCs of Expressing Your Thanks
"A thank you note should be sent as soon as possible in the order of the gifts received," says Robyn Spizman, author of Giftionary: The A to Z Guide for Solving Your Gift Giving Dilemmas. "Everyone understands you are very busy with your new bundle of joy, but it helps to put yourself on a schedule and write a few notes a day." You're likely to find that if you break up the project into short little writing sessions, the task will be much easier to manage—and not weigh heavily on your mind.
May Mitchell, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Etiquette, also recommends a fast turnaround. "I aim for two days; no more than a week."
Thank you notes should be written whenever possible and should be personalized, says Spizman, adding that generic thank you notes passed out at showers are "thoughtless reminders that you are too busy to express your gratitude." Weighing in on another recent trend to give shower guests envelopes to address to themselves (making the job easier for the mom-to-be), Spizman says, "Asking guests to address their own envelopes is not a thoughtful way to personalize the thank you note writing process. A better idea would be to pass around an address book for everyone to add their addresses to."
We live in an age of technology—so how about a few quick emails to gift givers? "Email thank yous are better than nothing," says Mitchell, though she admits she doesn't care for them adding, "They simply do not have the same warmth of a handwritten note."
Now that we've covered the basics of thank you note writing, how do we make the job fun and easy?