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Tips On Writing Etiquette: Letters, Notes & Cards

April 30, 2009

There is something very personable about an untyped letter. Writing a letter or sending a card, written and signed by hand, is a way to share your innermost thoughts and shows that you took the time to convey your feelings from your mind to through your own hand.

Sending a card is a very personal touch to making a connection with others when you could just as easily send an email. While sending an email or sending an e-card have their place, it is a practice of great courtesy to send your thoughts via “snail” mail.

To me, handwritten cards show an appreciation of action that is not shown through printed, mass produced cards or e-cards. The people you hold in high esteem will appreciate th extra effort of a thought, placed on paper, from your heart.

Save e-cards for a person you would regard more as an aquaintance, than a personal family member or friend. E-cards are great for long distance communication, but there is no excuse for not sending a card via snail mail and having the card reach it’s destination in time, for example, if you are going to send a birthday card to someone who’s birthday is at the beginning of the month of June, send the card during the last two weeks in May. That way, no matter what, that birthday card will be there on time, even if their birthday is June 1st. If you you are sending a birthday card to someone who’s birthday falls later in the month, then send it out two weeks in advance.

Let your personality shine through.

Formal And Playful Stationary

Formal And Playful Stationary

Choose appropriate stationary: If the occasion is a more formal one, for example, sending a thank you card in response to a gift from your boss, then choose a stationary or card that expresses your appreciation. A simple white or light color card or stationary will do. In this case, I would stay away from hearts, glitter and flashy cards. “Fun” cards have their place, but not in a formal setting.

Sending a “Fun” card or a note on fun stationary: I usually write my mom or family on funky stationary or send a playful card. On my mom’s birthday, I send two cards. One card is fun and silly and the other card is more expressive of my sentimental feelings about her with poetry that I write myself. If you are silly and playful by nature, like me, then you’ll have to balance that part of you with the sentimental side of you no matter who you send a card or note to.

Don’t confuse occasions: If someone is ill or you are sending a card of sentiment after soneomes passing or death, I suggest that you forgo the silly. If a kid or adult has broken a leg or arm and is expected to heal just fine, then sending a silly card or writing a silly get-well note for fun is appropriate. If someone is terminally ill, yet you still want to send well wishes, send a card or note that expresses your feelings for them. Try to write something uplifting, even in a bleak situation.


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