Writing thank you letters for gifts received at Christmas may seem like a thing of the past, but new research by Royal Mail has revealed that the vast majority (86%) of those who receive a note of thanks still appreciate this personal touch.
In an age of instant communication, taking the time to write a heartfelt thank you card can be a touching gesture. Despite the prevalent use of emails and social media, 44% of people still send thank you cards or letters to express their thanks for Christmas gifts. Clearly still a valued form of communication, 60% of people said they were a good way of keeping in touch with friends and relatives.
This highly personal and physical nature of the thank you card also means that it often constitutes a treasured memento, with 46% of people keeping thank you letters for up to a month. In this vein, 68% agreed that it was important to include a personal message inside a thank you card rather than just a generic ‘thank you’.
Writing thank you letters still plays a role in social etiquette; nearly a third of people consider it bad manners not to send a thank you letter. Letters should also arrive in a timely manner – within two weeks according to almost 60% of respondents.
The younger generation is in fact most likely put pen to paper, with 53% of 18-24 year olds writing to thank friends or relatives. This is perhaps down to earlier parental encouragement – almost 70% of parents think it is important for their children to send thank you letters. 23% have even asked their children to write them a thank you note for presents that they themselves have given.
For those who don’t tend to send thank you letters, lack of time was found to be one of the reasons, with 46% of people saying they would make the effort if they had more time on their hands.
Royal Mail spokesperson, David Gold, said: “The few minutes taken to write a thank you letter can brighten the recipient’s day and make them feel truly appreciated for the gift they gave at Christmas. The personal touch of handwriting makes it a meaningful gesture and the physical nature of the card means it can be put on display to give a touching reminder of their connection with the sender”.
Source: Royal Mail