Between summer weddings, graduations, and the usual birthdays and whatnot, there are a lot of gifts going around. And while I’m adamant that every gift should be acknowledged with a friendly hand-written note, a client recently wanted to know if it’s necessary to send a thank you note for a thank you gift or card.
It almost makes your head spin, doesn’t it? My friend has a birthday, I send a gift, he or she sends a thank you card, I send a thank you card for that thank you card, and so on and so on …
Rather than getting caught in an overly polite cycle of gratuitous thank yous, I recommend responding to a thank you card or note with a quick phone call. Simply pick up the phone and tell the person, “I’ve just received your note in the mail. Thank you for the lovely card!” That way the gesture is acknowledged but there is no further obligation.
If the friend gives you the thank you card in person, a verbal thank you is sufficient. There’s no need to call them up later.
Note that these “lax” rules apply only to thank you cards. Gifts and good deeds should always be followed by a heartfelt thank you note!