We say "thank you" numerous times a day: when your barista yells your name, when someone holds the lift for you, when you're responding to almost every email in your inbox . . . But what about when you really want to thank somebody. So they really know how much they or their actions mean to you? The answer, is a handwritten card (whether it's accompanied by flowers and a gift or not). And this is something that's been backed up by research. In a recent survey by Pilot Pen Australia, 88 percent of the 1,600 mums participating said they appreciated a loved one taking the time to put pen to paper, with 68 per cent saying a handwritten card is much more personal than an email or text.
But how to get it right? We asked fashion artist Megan Hess (who has her own Hallmark card collection) for her tips on how to master a winning thank you card.
Make It a Surprise
There is certain etiquette around when to send some thank you cards, the most obvious one being after your wedding, but like all gifts, the best thank you notes are the ones that aren't expected. "Send it when they're least expecting it. It will blow them away," says Megan.
"Use your best stationery, and preferably something that's personal to you," says Megan. Personalised stationery doesn't have to be expensive either, Kate Spade has packs of 10 monogrammed correspondence cards for $39.95, and even having bespoke stationery made can work out at less than $5 a card at French Navy. Otherwise, select a card that really does say something about your relationship to that person, and what you want to thank them for.
Take a Moment
We naturally take longer to handwrite rather than type — partly because we only get one chance, and partly because we're trying to be neat — so we are more inclined to really think about the sentiment we're trying to get across. Expressing positive emotions enriches your relationship and if good for both you and the receiver's wellbeing, so really take a moment to think about it before you put pen to paper. And no Googling phrases to write — use your own words, and make it specific.
Use a Good Pen
This might sound obvious, but when you've gone to all the trouble of selecting a personalised card don't ruin it with a dud pen. "Blue biro never looks quite as good," says Megan.
Think About It as a Keepsake
We don't tend to print emails or texts, but the handwritten is often saved, and sometimes displayed as a happy reminder. Keep it in mind that it might be the kind of thing someone treasures and pulls out when they're feeling down so make it something really special, that you wouldn't necessarily say in a text.