It seems that these days, it is a lost art. Yet when it is done, it always makes us feel special and truly appreciated. When it comes to the Royal Family, some have kept up with traditional etiquette and some have let it go by the wayside.
The fact that it is even newsworthy - that a bride-to-be and groom-to-be have written personal thank you notes - is a cause for concern. I have always thought that taking a moment to write a quick note goes a long way and should be done no matter the size of the gift.
Nevertheless, it’s become huge news that Princess Eugenie and fiancé Jack Brooksbank sent out handwritten “Thank You” cards to those who sent them congratulations on their engagement. Have we come so far in our society that this is news??
Apparently, this is not done anymore - even among Royals. While it is common for all members of the Royal Family to send thank you notes after birthdays, weddings, births, and the like, it is unusual for them to be handwritten.
But Eugenie and Jack thought it was an important gesture to make the acknowledgment more personal, signing each and every card.
Ever since I was a little girl, I was taught that whenever I received a gift, it was good manners to write a thank-you note. In each note, I was supposed to include the following: 1) Thank you for ________; 2) It was very nice of you to think of me. 3) Say a little something about either how I will use the gift (if it was money, what I will spend it on) or how having it has made my life so much better. (I have always wanted a ________) 4) Some nice comment about my relationship to the giver (“I can’t wait to see you on Christmas” or “I hope all is well with you”)
It looks as though Eugenie’s mum and mine were cut from the same cloth:
With my own children, I added another caveat. In order to encourage timely acknowledgment of the kindness, they would have to write the thank you note BEFORE they would be allowed to actually use the gift. To some people, it might seem to be mean, but it did the trick. It also taught them an important lesson about gratitude and manners.
It seems that the practice has gone the way of many traditional customs and I think it is kind of sad. To me, without the step of acknowledging and thanking someone for a gift feeds into the troublesome attitude of entitlement that we see all too often these days.
At least some of the Royals have bought into the idea that personally acknowledging a kindness is not only gracious but also vital for preserving our important relationships I look forward to watching Eugenie and Jack as they move forward with their life together.
I have a feeling that they will continue to impress those of us who appreciate the social graces that have always been used to keep society polite and considerate of others.
What do you think of Princess Eugenie’s and Jack Brooksbank’s gesture? Do you have a policy about thank you notes? Do you believe a written note is important or do you think it is an old-fashioned idea whose time has passed?