The Found Art of Thank-You Notes

Photo credit:The New York Times

Jimmy Fallon is doing his part to bring thank you notes back into the spotlight! His weekly thank you notes segment on “The Tonight Show” is a humorous reminder that we have so many things to be grateful for. And research shows that expressing gratitude is good for you! From stress relief and better sleep to a more positive outlook, sharing what you’re thankful for benefits you.

New York fashion publicist Cristiano Magni makes a habit of handwriting his thank you notes and keeps a collection of ones that he has received: “It is so important, in a digital world, to have the dignity to sit down and write something in your own hand,” is how he feels about it. “It not only strengthens the bonds between people, in your personal life and business, it also rings an emotional chord,” he adds.

Sometimes sending a text or an email just isn’t enough, because things can get lost in translation and a handwritten note can be much more personal and meaningful to the recipient. As Heather Wise, owner of luxury stationerBell’Invito in Dallas, points out: “If you want to stand out, to be more polished, probably the easiest thing you can do is write that thank you note. Social media, texting and email are all completely relevant. But if after I’ve put my effort forward to interview a potential employee what I get is an email that looks exactly like 200 others, I may miss it.”

And Columbia University student Carroll Irene Gelderman, who is from New Orleans and was the 2014 Queen of Carnival at Mardi Gras, reminds us that you’re never too young or old to hand write your thank you notes. She selected special stationary to respond to the many gifts that she received. Gelderman shares: “Like a lot of people in my generation I might think, ‘Oh, just send them a text.’ But I actually enjoyed writing the notes because in the process of opening a note, feeling the paper, seeing the imperfection of the writing, reading the message in another person’s voice, you actually feel like you have a piece of that person in your hand.”

The New York Times, 4/4/14

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