17 Sep 2014

The Art Of The Thank You Is To Write More

The Art of The Thank You on vickiarcher.com

I have been meaning to write about the art of the thank you for some time.


I am worried “thank you” is loosing puff and being forgotten or relegated to one of those meaning-to-do jobs.

This upsets me.

I am a great believer in the power of those two small words.

They won’t change the world but they do make it a more gentle and civilized place.

Saying thank you is easy, it’s fast and it costs nothing. What is difficult about that?

Saying thank you gives friends, family and acquaintances great pleasure and it turns strangers into willing accomplices and brightens up many a dull day.

Writing is even better especially by hand.

By email, a poor second but so much better than nothing.

I understand life is busy and we communicate constantly with each other through social media.

Perhaps in our mind that is as equivalent as saying thanks.

We are attached to our mobile devices as if our lives depended on them and for some that is the case.

I am guilty and hate myself for these lapses; I hope I have not lost sight of the difference.

I would like to think that the younger generation are the only guilty party. Not so.

It is true, they are not well versed in the art of the thank you.

Not all, but many don’t have the idea that saying thank you is customary.

As for a thank you note, it is not something on their radar.

Sadly it is slipping in our generation too, myself included.

I do take the easy way out, write an email when I should put pen to paper.

I justify the laziness with all sorts of lame excuses. The truth is none of them cut it.

Being thanked, whether verbal or written makes us feel good, makes us feel appreciated and in some cases makes us feel loved.

It is time to return the favour.

Thank You.  xv

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In This Post:



Anita Rivera

Et merci à VOUS, Madame!

I am so fortunate that my students in all the levels I teach, at least say, “Merci Madame” after every class. They former French teachers taught them well that it is very proper, civilized, KIND and French to say “Merci, Madame.” How I love the sound of those words. How our spirits feel the love when someone takes the time to say it or write it.

Thank YOU Vicki, for always sharing with great care about the things you love and that we love too. You are my favorite, and I SEE that I never got a chance to come BACK to your leather post yesterday. I saw it off my tablet at work, but was unable to comment. I’ll wear leather until the end!!!

Have a truly lovely day. Anita


I too love the politeness of the French… Pehaps it is functionary at times but it does make me feel good…
I think we should write a little about that subject Anita… :)


Hello Vicky and thank You for this wonderful and inspiring blog. Merci pour tout! It’s about time I wrote on this blog because mostly every post is inspiring and I have pinned many pics of Paris-London …I love your generosity and feel lucky to receive your posts right on my iPhone everywhere I go!
Bises de freida
I don’t think it’s old fashioned to write a letter and send it by mail. I am not young but at 40, I think this world should just take a bit more time , take the slow version and just savor things…OT I know , désolée:)

Christine Schiff

Thank u for discussing this topic and I love all the wonderful comments and opinions. When I was growing up thank you was not on the top of our priorities; everyday survival was. But when I think back now as an adult, I now realize people who were in the background, in the shadows ,helping us out, who I never got to say thank you too! So now I do my best to encourage my children to write those cards and I write them now myself
(It brighten ups the receivers’ day like you wouldn’t
believe! And imagine getting a thank you card for a thank you card!!

The Enchanted Home

Thank you for the reminder. I am a big believer in the written word. I always take time to write out thank you cards because I think everyone still loves to open a thank you card that someone took the time to write. Even if they won’t admit it:)
And yes in today’s hurried world..we need to stop and think of what is really important and what makes us feel good and that is being acknowledged for the big and small things we do, to know we matter and that people care and it all starts with a thank you.


I agree about the written word.
I think the problem is that it’s so easy to write an email… over and done in seconds… it’s not that it’s not thoughtful or that the words are meaningless… it’s just nowhere as lovely as the feel of the note in the hands and the time spent to write and post…
Maybe we are old fashioned, Tina… :)

miss b

I’m so pleased that you mentioned this subject as for some time now I have become increasingly disappointed when I have bought a gift and not received a thank you. It’s so easy now with texts and emails even though I would prefer a note! Having said that, only this week I received two beautiful thank you cards in the post, both hand written and they made my day!
This is a good time to say merci to you too for entertaining me with your varied posts! I’m sorry it’s not written on one of my lovely thank you cards but the thought is there!

Karen in Oxford

I find having a nice pen (I love my Mont Blanc) and pretty ink (usually blue but never black) I find is an incentive to write a thank you after a supper invitation or a gift. I buy a small selection of thank you cards from a delightful shop in Oxford that stocks beautiful cards and wrapping paper. If someone has taken the time to give something of themselves, the least I can do is express my heartfelt thanks.

Marian from UK

Hi Karen. I also buy beautiful cards when I see them. It’s almost like giving a gift rather than just a thank you. As I live in Wiltshire and visit Oxford occasionally, can you give me the name of the shop?! You’ve also made me think about buying a good fountain pen again. We used them at school!!! My husband used to use a pretty turquoise ink which I think I’ll do again. It will make those lovely thank you cards even more special. Thank you for sharing the idea!


Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! I was just thinking about how so many young people that I know never respond verbally or in writing to birthday or graduation gifts that I have given over the years. I have trained my teenager to write handwritten notes to everyone that gives her a gift. As parents we must lead by example.

Lisa Richey


Thank you for writing such an informative and creative blog. French Essence is my favorite.

I teach business etiquette and I always include the topic of the handwritten note in my seminars. It is a key piece in the art of the human connection.

Lisa Richey


Writing Thank you notes is indeed a fading courtesy.yet when we do get a card whether it’s a condolence or a Thank you there is warmth that we get just from reading it.So I do hope we all continue to do this and take time to teach this newer generation also.

lisa thomson-The Great Escape...

I agree, Vicki. I’m also guilty of being on my phone too much. I just wrote a thank you card last night which I’ll be popping in the mail today. It’s for a dear friend who hosted a party at her house. I don’t usually go to the effort of buying and mailing a card but she deserves it! So, it’s not a dead art but it might be dying…

Karen in VA

Oh yes … Everyone I know still loves to get snail mail, and thank you notes are so short and easy to write.

Service people also feel a boost when they know their efforts are noticed and appreciated.

It’s a good feeling to brighten someone’s day with a compliment.


I agree, in this busy hi-tech world hand-written thank you notes are few and far between but then, penmanship class disappeared too, seems they went hand-in-hand. I would encourage you to look at the site http://www.jacquielawson.com – I think her cards are the most engaging beautiful animated cards available! Usually accompanied with classical music, the receiver has the option to send a note back! Membership is $12 a year, and she’s based in England!
Vicki, love getting your little bits of Europe in my email box every morning, thank you!!


I was talking to a guest that was staying at my Inn.
The subject came up about thank you notes.
Her family is very wealthy.
From the time her children were little she has taught them . To write a thank you note for every little gifts they get. They have a couple days, if they don’t do it they have to give it to a charity.
I have met both young men. They are the most polite boys.
I taught that was a wonderful way to teach them the beautiful art of saying thank you.

Jean Rowland

Ha! I have just sat down with blank paper in front of me in order to write a thank-you note for someone who invited us to dinner a few days ago. I always write proper notes/letters if I need to thank someone.
I am fortunate to have a holiday home high in the French Alps and have had many people to stay over the years and I find almost everyone writes a thank-you letter on proper paper and I have many, many letters from the young – friends of my children. I would say the art of the thank-you letter is not dead! I have kept every letter and display them in folders, kept in the chalet – wonderful to read over and over again, full of happy memories.
Thank you for you always interesting and inspirational blog!
Good manners will never go out of fashion!


Thank you for bringing this to attention. I cannot understand why people don’t take the time to say thank you. Even if you have to sms a thank you with some kind words it is better than nothing. Sadly I know friends who have lost this art and I find it disturbing. But to those who still do thank you and in Afrikaans we say dankie. Regards Hildegard

Erica S

I make it a point to send a written thank you to friends, family, etc. I enjoy using special pens, and perhaps a cute, hand-cut stamp (typically a black cat), and the outside. Peope are so impressed by this, which surprises me. There’s something special about holding a hand-written note close. It has a heart beat and a soul. Has technology surpassed the art of the written word? … I hope not!


When I receive something so beautifully put together… it really is a pleasure.
It is also a gift…


I cannot agree with you more Vicki, my mom taught me about thank you notes, she always kept engraved cards and envelopes for those times that just came up out of the blue so she had something immediately to send someone, it is a lost art, though I have not changed. It is sad. I remember when I got a card via the internet from a person, I knew then, the art of writing a card was the beginning to the end. NOT for me, I have my engraved cards at my desk. One simple kind line means alot to someone I believe. I am finding people are tired of the cold world, yet continue the same behavior, actions speak volumes to me! xo


I regret that I was not trained as a child to write thank you notes. I have tried to change this as an adult and I taught my own children to hand write a thank you…there is just nothing like a hand written note. Thank you, Vicki for this important reminder.


I taught mine do but I know that not all of them do it as often as they should… I am about to get at them again!


I have been noticing the lack of for many years now.It is SAD that you cook and clean your home and make the time and shop and clean up and all they have to do is sit there and enjoy and they cannot be bothered to pick up the phone the next day or write a note………
Then again no one entertains in my circles anymore either!We are ALWAYS having people over for dinner.WE rarely get invited out.
Your right the THANK ~YOU note will be a thing of the PAST!I agree a sad state of affairs!


We are all so busy!
I sometimes wonder doing what!!
We always eat out in London… going to someone’s home for me is the ultimate treat… There is nothing better.

Mary Eman

Thank you for writing about this! It may not change the world to say “thank you”, but it most surely makes things just a bit better.

It’s nice (and reassuring) to know that I am not the only dinosaur writing thank-you notes.


I agree wholeheartedly, Vicki. Thank You very much for sharing so much with everyone and for your generous spirit. By the way, I took your kind advice about highlighting my greying dark hair, with great results. So thank you for that too!

Rebecca Hively

Thank you! As an etiquette consultant, this is one of the things I teach first and foremost!

david terry

Oh, I think you’re being more than a bit harsh and judgemental, Vicki. You and I, as you know full well, have more disposable time (in the sense of our being able to DECIDE what we care to do or don’t do) than is the case for most folks.

I entertain at least twice per week, and I’m going down to the post office in an hour or so to pack off three birthday presents. I suppose it’d be nice if I got a handwritten thank-you note from every recipient (good luck if you’re betting that my 76 year old mother will send one to me; she’ll just telephone two or three days after her party at my younger brother’s house….she’s a Busy Old Lady these days…).

Still?….to begin fussing over whether a note’s handwritten or not is to take your first step down a path whereby you’ll end up like half the snooty-boots old Southern ladies I grew up with…….turning a wedding invitation over and rubbing the back with your thumb to determine whether it’s “really” engraved or just printed.

I receive email “thank you”s all the time, and I’m nothing but/simply glad for them. Quite frankly?…..most come from friends who are so harried between jobs and children that it was difficult to schedule the dinner in the first place.

In any case, I think that one would have to be living in a remarkably self-referential world to begin calibrating the degree of gratification one receives from a thank-you note. I was raised to consider that the first and only thing that should matter is the writer’s intent……and, if you truly meant something (be it a dinner, a present, or whatever) as a sincere gift?…..well, then the only truly graceful response is “Well, thank YOU….it was a pleasure.”

Perhaps I should emphasize that I’m probably the most “old fashioned” guy you’re likely to meet anytime soon…..and that (2) even I still know that you DON’T email to say “Sorry your mother died last week”.

Otherwise, I’m fine with emails. Generally speaking, Im just glad to know that no one died in a drunken, fire-filled crash on the highway after one of my late dinner parties.

Skool-marmily as ever,

David Terry


Mmmm… What to say…

I’m not judgmental that’s for sure, just saying…
Certainly not harsh… but I am observant…
I’m not fussing and so far have not found myself debating the engraving v’s printed invitation… nor caressing the back of the envelope…
Not anti an email for thank you… just love the art of the hand written…
Actually, I just like the idea of saying thank you…

Thank you for the “lecture” School Mistress Terry…
I feel severely chastised and shall never be so harsh in my opinions again ; ;)


I am not sure about how articulate I am at all times… ***thinking ginger martinis here***… but I will say thank you… ;)


Another loss is the response to Thank You…
“You’re welcome.” How many times do we now hear
the response “No Problem” in its place?


I am not so in tune with that as I think it is more of an American custom… but I would hate to see it fade away, I have always loved it.

Judy Lambert

THANK YOU! For the reminder. I always make sure that I say it, or email it, however do not write cards or letters of Thank you. I do even have the cards in the house. I will endeavor to be more diligent in this.

Stephanie Anderson

Thank you for writing about this. I have tried to instill upon my four children the importance of a written thank you. Even my son has written some pretty amazing thank you’s! MERCI BEAUCOUP TO YOU VICKI FOR ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS YOU BRING TO SO MANY OF YOUR READERS! I am ENRICHED by your writings! THANK YOU! :)


Thank you Stephanie… I feel that we enrich each other’s lives. I am so fortunate to have such wonderful readers… I don’t know what I would do without you…
Probably have too much time on my hands and write more thank yous… ;) ;) ;)

Patricia Cowan

Writing a Thank You note is a lost art as you say on many of the current generation. However, here in the south, we like to follow the practice of proper etiquette not only in writing notes but proper introductions, table manners and assisting with doors, as well.
My 13 yr old grandson always returns a handshake and follows with “very pleased to meet you”…obviously much of this behavior is due to his Mother’s parenting skills!
Thank you for bringing this to your online followers attention! Will post on my site.


Dear Vicki

I have recently subscribed to your blog and so love reading your thoughts.

I so agree with you about the demise of the ‘thank you’ note. My mother taught me to always write a thank you letter and in turn I taught my son and daughter to do the same. I always try to write a pretty thank you card or note as I find so much joy in notes sent by friends and family members who have taken the time to write. I always remembered colleagues who took the time to write little thank you notes for one’s efforts and I always did the same.

Recently I sent a wedding gift to a friend’s daughter and didn’t receive so much as an acknowledgement whereas my daughter who is a busy nurse and mother of two small children wrote personal cards to all those who sent her a gift for her recent wedding. I feel very proud that she has such good manners.


Merci beaucoup, Vicki! I am so very, very pleased that you wrote this commentary on the (lost) art of gratitude. I am in total agreement with you, and don’t understand why people view expressing their “thanks” as a major effort, and so they neglect to do it. Saying “thank you” should be as ingrained as brushing one’s teeth! We ARE a civilized society, n’est pas? And, I guess I am so old that I still cherish the hand-written word over electronics……


I don’t want to supercede one with teh other, I would just like for them both to live happily side by side…


Thanks for this post. I’ve noticed use of “You’re welcome” is also becoming more rare; replaced by “no problem”, which is no where near as gracious and giving. I’m teaching my children the difference. Impeccable manners really are so wonderful and powerful.


I think you said it just right Nancy… “powerful”… thank you is a powerful word and should never be under-estinated..

Gail Y. Bennett

Thank you for pointing out this small but significant effort. Saying thank you is so natural to me . I must admit, I do feel somewhat disheartened when people do not take time to say thank you to me. Among my cards and notes, most are thank you cards. I always have just the right one to send out when needed.


Strangely, and happily, I have found that it is the young women in my daughter-in-law’s age group (30’s) who never fail to write a beautiful thank you note for every occasion: a gift, a meaningful conversation, a stay at our home, a special dinner party. Not only am I enchanted by their lovely messages (full paragraphs, not just a line) but also by their stationery. The art of the hand-written note is alive and I am finding the busy, overwhelmed ladies of MY age group (60’s) have returned to the art they passed onto their daughters


I totally agree with you !! I love to send out lovely thank you cards and have lots of them as I can’t resist buying these thank you jan

Barbara Lilian

Thank you Vicki.
It’s a joy to read your posts. I have followed you since I first started my own blog, just over 2yrs ago. I don’t very often leave a comment but this is close to my heart. Living in France I am always hearing ‘merci madame’ however when I’m back in England I get so annoyed as very few people say thank these days. I do confess I too am among those who send email thank you messages. not always, but always a card for a special Thank you.


Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is a subject that needs to be discussed, with children, adults and especially adult children.
I find the younger generation to have lost all sense of manners. My son and daughter-in-law were married in last October. Last August (a year ago) I gave a bridal shower. My Daughter-in-law has yet to finish sending out thank you notes for either occasion. I have spoken to my son about this repeatedly. This drives me crazy! I find it so rude! I have apologized to my friends and family and I have made excuses ( they are so busy etc.). It does not seem to bother my friends much as several have confided that their children have not sent notes either. I do not understand this behavior. I know my children were raised with manners and always sent thank you notes or made thank you phone calls for whatever niceties were bestowed upon them.
My friends and I always bring some type of gift of food or something small when invited and always send a note or atleast a thank you Email. We laugh that we are keeping the postal service in business.
I hope this lack of manners does not become the norm. It would be a sad loss for polite society.


Oh Vicki you are a girl after my own heart. Since my kids were babies I have tried to instill in them the art of the thank you. Not just the note, but the true thank you.. they often say it now more often than I do. I definitely agree, there needs to be more time taken for the finer things in life, the letter, the thank you note. We must continue to instill it in all , you are never too young or too old for a tender thank you, we all do need it, so thank you for this lovely thank you post!..




Firstly and mostly, Vicki, thank YOU …. so much

I am so lucky to have found your wonderful blog, and books and I treasure all that you give and share with us.

and then there are the thank yous, notes, letters, cards I dont think it matters..I wrote one today actually. I still use a fountain pen and headed paper,I hope that doesnt sound old fashioned

( although my rather grand Italian M.I.L. did show a letter I wrote, to all her friends …it was to thank her for one of our early stays at her holiday home…….its just the way I do things !! :)

I do hope letter writing remains as part of our lives


Vicki what a lovely, poignant, and timely post. I just wrote one of my sister-in-laws a thank you note for all she has done(above and beyond) these last four years during these many surgeries I’ve had.

Those two words are so very meaningful and I can never say them enough to all of my friends, family, and followers!

Stunning Fine Art Photography by Darryll Schiff


There is no doubt that a handwritten thank you note makes a BIG impression nowadays. I’m kind of glad it’s unexpected, because when I do make this gesture (especially when I write with a fountain pen!), the impact is greater.

Rachael Wright

I’m 26 I’m some sort of an enigma to my generation. I adore thank you cards and often find myself searching high and low for the little beauties to write my sentiments on. There’s nothing like a little post to cheer you up…even for the smallest things. Maybe it’s my own little way to help someone smile.


As soon as our children could write, they have sent thank-you letters. They are now 35 and 33 and still send thank you’s ….. I do have to give them a little reminder sometimes and they are often a little late but they do them in the end { and not because they are made to. They really are grateful for the gifts they have received or an event that they have been to } Sometimes, if they are busy, they will send an email but, it is usually a thank-you card. I do feel that it is a shame that these ‘ old fashioned ‘ values are getting lost. Modern technology and the way of the world nowadays I suppose Vicki !! XXXX

Patricia Nauman

Dear Vicki, I could not agree more with your post, and it made me feel uplifted just to read about the importance of saying thank you, and also see your thanks to your readers. Thank YOU for your always kind, and always lovely all-things-French blog. Patricia

Leslie Magidsohn

Vicki, I am new to your blog and love love love it. A friend told me about it. I have a request…..IS IT POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO ENLARGE YOUR FONT A TAD…….I am a young 70!!!!! (just this Aug.)but act like I am 13!!!!!!!!!!!!! and it is a bit of a strain to read your blog. I want to be able to enjoy it but even with my readers on I am finding it a strain. So sorry. If your current font size works for you and all your followers fine, but boy would I appreciate it if you could just enlarge it a little bit. Thank you so much.
As a matter of fact, MERCI!!!!!
Leslie Magidsdohn (Lmagidsohn@yahoo.com)


Did you know you can enlarge the page yourself on your screen… make it all a bit bigger…?
If you have a Mac… Hold down the control key and tap the + key until the screen is magnified to your liking… :)
I will look into enlarging the font size in any case…

Tina Clark

Couldn’t agree more Vicki! I always send a hand written note when I am entertained at someone’s home. Now I have started sending notes for people who are supporting my business. The response is lovely

Sharon White

I too, agree. The little courtesies go a long way to building relationships. A simple but heartfelt thank you brings pleasure to both giver and receiver. When someone takes the time to sit down and pen a thank you card or note the gesture seems more special. Thank you for this reminder.


I agree. A simple thank you whether written or spoken can mean so much. In Australia it is not said enough. I love visiting France where people are so polite and I advise anyone I know who is travelling to France to remember to say “bonjour” “merci beaucoup” and “au revoir”. Vicki, do you notice this when you come home to Sydney? I don’t think it is expecting too much to be thanked after a purchase. I love collecting beautiful stationery, so a written thank you will always find its way to the appropriate person. My eldest daughter recently married and I loved the way she spent so much time writing a long thank you to every guest. A hope this tradition never dies.

Heather in Arles

Oh dear. My Mom was not strict about anything while we were growing up save for on one account…manners. So I have no excuse for letting “thank you”‘s lapse but I have. Recently, a friend gave me a wonderful house-warming gift, something that she had chosen with care and brought from another country to give me in person. While I was profuse in my gratitude (which was entirely genuine) at the time, did I write her a note afterwards? I did not. I can hear my Mom tsk-tsking and as well she should…

Of course, it is never too late for me to change course and re-right or re-write the wrongs!


ANd sometimes, between friends, a personal and heartfelt “thank you” is thanks enough… :)

Arlene Jackson

Vicki ~ I love your All~Things~French blog here and absolutely concur with you on the lack of manners and the lack of social graces which we encounter on a daily basis.

I am proud of my son and daughter, both of whom are incredibly mannered and hope they will pass it on but you are right, it is so easy to show consideration of others with those two simple words ~ thank you.

Consideration with these simple words can truly elevate the day of another and make them feel worthy, especially those who serve us.

Trish McB

Merci a vous Vicki for your wonderful French Essence. We visit France regularly. I speak passable French, my husband none. However he has picked up ‘Merci’ and uses it always even back in Australia – I don’t know what the locals think of him! Such a lovely word in any language.


Et je te remercie aussi!
Thank you for brightening our days with your lovely pictures and messages.


I’m so glad you brought this up, Vicki. So glad. I learnt a wonderful lesson from my husband’s 84-year-old aunt. May i share it here? You know, Vicki, she says thank you for every little thing that someone does for her. For instance, if we call her, her first sentence is always: ‘Thank you for calling. Thank you for thinking of me.’ If we include her in something, she makes it a point to thank us first, before participating. If we say something about her teaching (she’s a teacher and takes private lessons), and how well her students do, she first thanks us for recognizing this and then tells us about their achievements. Of course, i’ve heard her do this for years, but somehow it only struck me a few weeks back, and it’s playing on my mind. If someone hands her a glass of water, without her asking for it, she thanks them for their thoughtfulness….If we introduce her to our friends, she’ll thank us first for troubling to introduce an old lady like her to our friends and then talk with them. For everything, and in everything, Vicki, she consciously first says thank you….We sometimes say thank you as a reflex action, because that is what we have been taught to do – but to consciously acknowledge a good gesture, even the teeniest-weeniest one, and to voice the thank you is something else. Sometimes i’ve got the feeling that expressing gratitude makes one feel diminished (as if someone is doing us a favor, and one may not like to be at the receiving end of a favor) – but this lady has shown me otherwise….Through her words of thank you, and her conscious expressions of gratitude, she makes the other person feel good…

sylvia faye

Ladies of all ages…the gracefulness of life got lost not during WWII or shortly after but the tide of the feminist movement swift all things beautiful and charming such as ‘grace notes’ and now nearly 4 generations or more I am grateful to see such a post from younger women and ‘yes’ forty/fifty and even sixty are young. Please follow though with the advice spoken about and we will find at least in this regard a kinder, more gentle world. And ladies it is time to rethink wearting pants. Let us give them back to the man of the house and maybe he will be the king of your life again. So true…men want feminine women and react in a most wonderful way. My husband loves it that I do not wear pants. Ladies didnot wear them in the past and they can weed them from their wardrobe again, n’est ce pas??????????


Hello Vicki, I have followed you for a long time now and have been meaning to write. This wonderful post on the simplest of words has moved me. Your words should be shouted from the rooftops. Saying Thank You is the briefest of ways to warm a heart. I left a job years ago because my boss told me that expecting people to say please & thank you was tantamount to wanting the red carpet rolled out. “We don’t do that here” he said. It’s a happier world when we show respect and gratitude. Thank you Vicki for your wonderful work, the kindness of your words and the wonderful people you bring together. I met your friend Milly earlier this year at the RWA Roadshow in Adelaide and she suggested I drop you a line.
Merci Vicki – you make the world a beautiful place. Sarah x

Fiona Booker

I think I am pretty good when it comes to thank yous – spoken and written and recently I was shown that maybe it isn’t something everyone receives. I am late “of a certain age” and was struggling to carry something. A fellow saw me and came to my aid. When the job was accomplished I turned to him and thanked him with a genuine smile of gratitude. He looked taken aback which I thought both telling and sad.

Marian from UK

How true – it doesn’t take long to say Thank You. My elderly Dad, at 89, still sends me a thank you if he’s been to stay or we’ve taken him on holiday, as does my friend’s mum who is 82. Always a lovely card with a little message telling us how much she enjoyed whatever it was. It’s such a lift when you see that envelope on the doormat! Maybe it is a generation thing, but maybe we should all be teaching our youngsters to write thank you notes. A habit that’s well worth learning. Thank you Vicki.


There will never be a replacement for the handwritten thank you note! It’s just so personal, wouldn’t you agree? I also think it’s a great idea to keep a collection of small gifts on hand. When someone has done something kind for you, attach your nice thank you note to the gift and pass it on!

Trish Murphy

Hello Vicki, Another wonderful post and timely reminder to thank you for giving us all so much pleasure with your posts. Thank you is such a simple gesture but often overlooked and so important. We were brought up to always write thank you notes and it is a shame that it is a dying art.My sister still writes letters and thank you cards and always on lovely paper.It is a busy world that we now live in and I think a thank you from email is still very nice it does allow us to thank some one which we probably would not get around to otherwise.Having said that a personal card wins hands down.I moved house some months ago and found so many thank you card sets.I must put them to use after reading this post!XxTrish. Enjoyed the David Terry comments!


Dearest Vicki,
I must confess to being remiss in reading your lovely, and always welcome French Essence emails. I am at the pointy end of my final year studies at RMIT (and my head is consumed with study/family juggle). So not only will I apologise for not reading the last few weeks of French Essences (which I really do miss as they are a joy in my life (almost) better than chocolate!) – I’ve put “on ice” till after 14 November, at the end of my final semester). I must also say a heartfelt Merci for your beautiful spirit and all the good karma you send out to so many of us with most everything you do! It’s soul food for those of us who dream of what you see, live and experience. The way you share your experiences via your online format, books and no doubt, other ways I may not be aware of. Merci Merci Merci!!!


From the time my girls were little, I taught them the “magic” words of Please and Thank You. When they could hold a crayon they began making out Thank You cards for any gifts they receive. Now that they are teenagers, I rarely have to remind them to do so. My oldest turned 16 last month and I received a text from her asking me to pick up stamps on the way home from work because she had run out of them for her Thank You cards for the birthday gifts she received. It made me proud!
When my youngest gets a ride to/from band/school/soccer with someone else, I will ask her if she remembered to say, “Thank You” and she will say, “Always”. I will, in turn, thank the parent myself and have often been told that my daughter already thanked them and what a polite young lady she is. Proud Mama, again!
I don’t think thank you’s are a generational thing, but a parenting thing. If you are never taught to say, “Thank You” and are never thanked, how do you know you are supposed to? I was taught to say thank you and was thanked by my parents so it was what I taught my girls.
Now, since my girls are teenagers, when it comes to their friends, thank you’s are a little different. A physical Thank You card to their friends would be “lame”. But an Instagram or Facebook post with a picture of all the “cool” stuff their friends got them and thanking them for the gifts is okay. As a parent, I am more concerned about the thank you itself rather than the method it is communicated by.
I have not been reading French Essence for very long, but I would like to thank you for what you do Vicki! Merci!!


I think it’s important in everyday business life too. I often thank my long-term clients for their business & ongoing support, it would be too easy to take them for granted & that must never happen.

Thank you too Vicki for all the fun & bloggie friendship we’ve had over the years, long may it continue.
M xx


Dear Vicki,
I am a new reader and simply adore your pictures and posts. After two glorious weeks in France this summer, I was in need of a daily connection to the French way of life. I discovered My French Country Home which led me to your Instagram and blog. I love the way you celebrate women and the niceties of life. Your post on saying thank you spoke to me. As a third grade teacher I strive to teach my students to say thank you by example. As a mother I taught my daughter the politeness of writing a thank you note. She will be 30 this year and I am tickled when I receive a thank you note from her on pretty stationery. They are little treasures. She has also taught her husband to send notes as well which warms my heart. Thank you, Vicki, for sharing your thoughts and wisdom.

Mrs HM Douglas-Irving

Dear Vicki,
There is nothing better than receiving thank you notes from anyone but especially from my students. I have kept them all…they still make me smile. Spending time selecting quality paper and cards is also an enjoyable treat. Sending a handwritten note is sending a little joy and consideration.
Thank you so much for raising an important issue.
Yours faithfully,
Mrs HD-I
PS Do you recommend any places to order lovely paper? french or English?


I shall look around… I do love the cards from Kate Spade…
In England I don’t think you can better Smythson… they make beautiful stationary…

Pauline from Phillip Island

Thank you Vicki for yet another inspiring post. As so many people have said, yours is my favourite blog and I look forward to it every day. There is something about the way you write that makes me feel warm and special. You truly do have a talent. Thank you for sharing it with us so generously.


I learned a little trick from an article about Princess Diana: BEFORE you attend a party, even a small dinner gathering, select a thank-you card, address and stamp the envelope, and leave it in plain sight on your desk. The next morning the task of writing will seem half done.

I treasure well-written thank-you notes. My favorite is over 30 years old, a note from my nephew when he was 7, thanking me for a book autographed by his favorite football player:
“Dear Aunt Casey: Wow! Ronnie Lott actually touched this book. I’m going to sleep with it under my pillow. Thank-you very, very, very much, Love, Greg P.S. My mom did not make me write this note.


Thank you for having such a beautiful website and for blessing us with lovely photos and information about French country life. Merci beaucoup!


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