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Commentary: Thank-You Notes Are Better in Tangible Form

By Josh Mitchell

Corinth Today News Editor

In our Internet age there are still times when there is no substitute for a handwritten note, and this is never more apparent than after Christmas.

Of course, in the land of hospitality known as the Deep South I know I am preaching to the choir when it comes to the importance of sending thank-you notes for gifts.

Even though everyone in Corinth and Alcorn County has probably already written their Christmas thank-you notes I figured I would discuss this topic for people in other areas who read this publication.

I feel that thank-you notes should be in a tangible form and not through email, text, Facebook message or other electronic communication. That’s because the gift you received from the person was likely a physical object, and therefore the means to express thanks should also come in a hard copy format.

Josh Mitchell

The person who bought you a gift might have exerted some physical activity, such as getting in a car, driving to a store and taking an item off a rack. Therefore, when it comes to showing thanks you should also have to exert some physical activity such as taking a letter to the mailbox or hand delivering the note. It does not seem right to tap out a thank-you note on your cellphone when a person drove across town to buy you a present.

Some people may think that they can send a thank-you note via email if they receive a gift that was ordered online. While that is a strong argument, I still feel that a physical thank-you card is merited in this case.

That’s because the person who bought you a gift spent money on you. You should also spend a little money to buy a thank-you card and send it through the mail or at least deliver it in person. Sending an email message or text does not cost you any money, which is another reason that it makes a poor medium for a thank-you note.

You don’t have to spend money to buy thank-you cards if you make your own. This can be even better than buying one because it shows that you devoted time to design a unique card for the person who gave you a gift.

A thank-you card in itself can be a gift of sorts depending on what you say in it and how the message is presented. But you do not have to send a thank-you card for a thank-you card.

When I was in college I learned that “the medium is the message.” I think this is true in the case of thank-you notes. While the words in the card are important, the true message comes from the fact that someone took the time to put pen to paper, stuff an envelope and put it in the mailbox.

However, if the only way to say thank you is via electronic communication, please do. That is better than nothing.

Thanks for reading this column.


Josh Mitchell

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