Over the past few months of being married and living in my very own home with my husband, I've always pondered hospitality and thoughtfulness from a hostess perspective. Although being a good hostess and being thoughtful sound amazing and the history behind the two concepts is really cool, let's be honest, it's hard to do this! The main difficulty is remembering to make the effort and stopping what you're doing and just do it. I wanted to write some posts on how to be a good, southern hostess and how to be thoughtful by taking little steps to show people how much you care. I'm hoping by writing these posts I will become a lot more aware of what I don't do enough of and maybe it will help you guys out as well!
Our first destination on the "thoughtful train" (I'm sorry I had no other way to transition...) is thank you cards. I used to hate thank you cards. My grandma has always expected a thank you card for everything and I never understood why it mattered that much. It wasn't until I started designing my own thank you cards that I really saw how important they were. Since this realization that I've had, I've been really trying to send thank you cards to people "just because" they had us over to their home or I feel a need to. There's so much work and beauty that go into their creation, and even if you just go to Wal-Mart and buy one, they mean the world to those you send them to.
I did some research on the history and etiquette of thank you cards and I wanted to share what I found with all of you!
The history of thank you cards does not have a specific starting point. It has always been a way of expressing appreciation between people. One of the most famous time periods where thank you cards have been noticed was during the 1800s in England. Usually among upper class Lords and Ladies, they would receive what they would call "calls", which are post card like letters requesting an invitation to supper for an evening. The calls sent from the higher ranked people were put on the top of the pile which was displayed in a large bowl in the foyer by servants. They would then have dinner with those who "called" and the guests would follow up with one last note: a thank you card. (I got this information from the December issue of Country Living)
Here is what I found on thank you card etiquette from Dempsey and Carroll:
When to send a thank you card:
- When you receive a wedding, bridal shower and baby shower gift
- When you receive holiday, graduation, birthday or housewarming gifts
- Sympathy letters, flowers, mass cards, or donations made in the deceased's name
- When a host treats you to a cocktail party, dinner or concert
- After a job interview
- Anytime you feel particularly indebted to someone
They also gave the layout of a thank you card which may come in handy; this doesn't mean you have to follow this, but it'll help you get ideas for what to write:
1. Address the giver
2. Express your gratitude
3. Discuss how you plan to use the gift or how much the gesture means to you
4. Mention your relationship to the giver
5. Reiterate your gratitude
6. Regards (sincerely, etc.)
One last tip they gave was the timing of when you send the card:
They say it's best to send the card as soon as you can, within a week is an ideal time.
To get in the spirit of thank you cards, I wanted to do a G I V E A W A Y!
The prize: 10 Free Thank You Cards designed by myself as part of my graphic design/stationary business, White Willow Grove.
This is the design that the set will come in:
H O W T O E N T E R:
- Email me at: email@example.com and let me know you read this post
- Follow me on Instagram: @meagankaypalmer
That's it! I will announce a winner in one week!
If you do not want to enter, but would still like this design of thank you cards, I will be selling sets of 10 for $12.50 a set so comment your email below and I will send you a PayPal invoice ASAP!
I know this seems weird to talk about, but I think that hospitality and the history of this concept is not as appreciated as it should be. Let's stop sending texts and start sending cards!
Team: Thank You Cards,