Let's face it: Writing thank you notes gets a very bad rap as being utterly boring. Why? "Because," says Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert and owner of The Protocol School of Texas, "most of the time it is boring." But it doesn't have to be. Here, with Gottsman's tips, it can actually be an enjoyable and efficient experience. (Seriously!)
Keep a running list.
The thing that could drive your crazier than a stack of blank thank you cards? Not knowing who to thank for what. "If you have to stretch to remember who gave you what gift, it makes the task much harder," says Gottsman. Instead, "keep a list of who gave you what so that you can reference the gift as you write out each thank you note. A little prior planning will make writing thank you notes much easier and less stressful."
Gottsman recommends you mix a cocktail or brew a pot of calming tea before you get to work. "Creating an environment that is soothing and ceremonial often is an incentive to get creative," she explains. Just give yourself a large enough spill-zone so you don't endanger your thank you cards.
Share it with your spouse.
As newlyweds, you may not be ready to spend a moment apart. So make writing thank you notes a team activity, during which you can get some quality time together. "Share a glass of wine each night and split the job up until it's complete," says Gottsman. Not only will you enjoy the time together, but, "when someone else is doing it with you, time goes by more quickly and you feel like you aren't going it alone," Gottsman says.
One of the easiest ways to turn a tedious task into something fun is to use luxurious items. "Get inspired by using beautiful stationery and a nice pen," Gottsman says. For some, that could mean using an inexpensive fine point felt pen, while others could use this as the excuse they've been looking for to learn the art of calligraphy. "Personally, I enjoy writing much more when I am using items I love," she says.
You may be tempted to play the TV in the background to force the time to go faster. But turning on the tube "can also distract you from finishing the task if you stop to watch your favorite parts of the show," warns Gottsman. And dragging out this task won't make it any more fun. Instead, "set a short time limit of total concentration without favorite love scenes from your Netflix account," Gottsman suggests.
Don't put pressure on yourself.
One reason thank you note writing might not be fun is if you worry about writing the perfect words. "Your thank you note does not have to be a novel," Gottsman says. "Knowing what to write and understanding how to do it efficiently takes the dread out of the gesture. Just make sure and hit these marks: use their name, thank them for the gift, mentioning specifically what they gave you and how you plan to use it or enjoy it, and close with a desire to connect in the future."