The art of giving thanks

’Tis the season for showing gratitude, and there’s no way more genteel than with a handwritten card.


Here, Shindig Paperie’s Trisha Logan—aka the expert on all things stationery—gives us the skinny on how to hit the right note when putting pen to paper. 

“When ‘K, thx’ won’t do,” Trisha says, “you need to be able to break out a stationery wardrobe to put together a note that actually communicates what you feel. Thank-you notes are kind gestures to show appreciation for a gift, a service or simply for someone’s friendship, and should be sent via mail, not email or text. Keep them short and to the point—they are about the giver and the gift. As a general rule, send thank-you notes for wedding gifts within one month of the wedding, and within two weeks for other occasions.”

Flat cards

“Flat correspondence cards are my go-to. Less formal than folded notes, they’re used for thank yous, informal invitations and short notes. Go with a flat, heavy card and matching envelope, and personalize with your name, monogram or initial. Write only on the front of the card.”

03_thankyaetiquetteFolded cards

“Folded notes with your name or monogram should be used in instances that call for a bit more formality: a wedding gift, say, or a note to a business associate or acquaintance. Use only page three—the bottom inside—to write on.”

Small cards

“Typically the same size as standard business cards, personal calling cards can be used for gift enclosures or for social networking.”

Letter sheets

“Letter sheets are used for longer personal notes and business correspondence. Do not write on the back—use additional blank sheets.”

Writer’s block?

Here are Trisha’s go-tos for doing away with that whole but-I-don’t-know-what-to-write thing:

– Write a line updating the giver on your life

– Reference the gift or service provided

– Write about how you plan to use the gift

– Be sincere in your gratitude