From the Managing Editor's Desk: Thank you cards: A thing of the past or still necessary?
by Elizabeth Deprey
Jan 04, 2011 | 766 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
My mom read me a note sent to an advice columnist this weekend. The writer said she and her husband had paid for some newlyweds’ trip to visit them and given them a bunch of cash as a gift.

Apparently, the young couple failed to call or send a note in thanks, although I would guess they said “Thank you” at the time. I believe the couple did get an e-mail from the newlyweds. The letter-writer asked what was wrong with America’s youth today – are they rude or just clueless?

As one of America’s youth, I have to say that they (we?) aren’t trying to be rude; we are just clueless.

E-mails and text-messages account for a great deal of our conversations, not to mention Facebook. We don’t send letters to our friends and, as a generation, rarely send cards.

If we’re going to communicate, we’re going to use the tools we’re used to, without thinking that it might offend someone to say “Thank you” by e-mail rather than a card.

Even old stand-bys like Christmas cards and birthday cards have transitioned to e-cards and posts on Facebook for many of my generation.

Personally, I love to get snail mail. My heart just about stops every time the post office mentions getting rid of Saturday mail – one day without mail per week is more than enough for me! I’ve found, however, that the best way to get mail is to send it out to others.

I send cards at Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and birthdays.

When I see (on Facebook, usually) that someone is sick, if I have enough stamps, I’ll send out a card. And, of course, I send thank-you cards.

Not only does sending a card save minutes on my cell phone, (and remind people of my own address!) it reminds the recipients of how fun it is to get mail. I know reporter Tory Bonenfant agrees, there is something extra special about getting a card in the mail, checking to see who it is from, wondering why they sent you a card, seeing which card they chose with you in mind…

I have a bulletin board near my deck door that I hang all the cards I receive during the year up on. Of course, I have to take them all down in November to make room for Christmas cards.

When I take them down, I put them into a box to save and look at again later. I get a lot of smiles out of each card that way.

I don’t keep them forever, of course, but I’ll keep the Christmas cards from this year in a box and open that box when I’m decorating for Christmas next year, reading through them again and getting into the holiday spirit.

A little extra effort to send a thank-you card to someone who gave a little extra effort to make your day better makes sense to me.

I think it is the ease of e-mailing that was off-putting to the woman who wrote to the advice columnist, even if the appreciation was sincere.

So, fellow Millennials, aka Generation Y, go ahead and keep texting and Facebook-ing and e-mailing. Just remember how much you love getting a birthday card from your Mémère or Matante and keep the greeting card tradition alive a little while longer – even if it is just to avoid being rude to the Baby Boomers.