Northampton Press

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Respectfully Yours: Send thank-you card for holiday gift

Friday, December 20, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST Special to The Press in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

During the holidays, I receive a number of gifts and I am wondering if I should be writing thank-you notes. I have never done this in the past. What are your thoughts regarding whether one should send a thank-you note for every Christmas gift received?

Dear Reader,

There is no better time to show your appreciation than around the holidays. It is a polite gesture, but it is not necessary to send a thank-you note to everyone who took the time to give you a Christmas gift.

Etiquette guidelines suggest that you write a thank-you note for any gift you received but weren’t able to personally thank the person. For example, this would apply to gifts that you received in the mail.

For gifts you received in person and thanks were expressed, then there is no reason to send out thank-you cards.

When there is a gift exchange and both parties are giving and receiving, it is not necessary to send a thank-you note.

But if someone has given you an unexpected Christmas gift, then you should consider writing a note to let them know how grateful you are.

A card makes the recipient feel good because you took the extra care to write it. Your message should be graciously-worded and kept to a few sentences. Thank the person for the gift and mention how you’ll use it.

Emailed thank-you notes are fine if it’s your main form of communication with that person, but nothing beats a handwritten card.

In today’s fast-paced world, sending thank-you notes is quickly becoming a lost art. But people will always appreciate getting a personalized thank-you card and it’s impossible to be too thankful.

Respectfully Yours,


Have a question? Email: Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol, specializing in etiquette training. She is on the board of directors of the National Civility Foundation.

All Rights Reserved © 2019 Jacquelyn Youst