Jewish Stuff Parenting

Is it Wrong to Type Thank You Notes?


I didn’t think it was a big deal.

In fact, in my view, it was a no brainer.

My kid’s handwriting is illegible.

Now that schools basically move kids from block print to the keyboard, very few students ever really master cursive. In fact, cursive penmanship is considered a “font option” in our district rather than an important life skill that children should be required to master.

No matter how you slice it, Tech’s handwriting sucks.

But he is a whiz on the computer, so he found a program which allowed him to create his own handwriting font, and he used it to type his bar mitzvah thank you notes.

That’s right.

I said he typed his thank you notes.

I figured he would be able to write more personal notes on the computer as opposed to the standard:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. So and So:

Thank you so much for the thoughtful gift and for sharing the day with me.

Insert illegible signature here.

I have to be honest, I was actually thrilled by the level of personalization Tech employed into his thank you notes. In many cases, he thanked people for little things like smiling at him while he was on the bimah, or dancing with him Saturday night at the party. He thanked people for the baked goods they provided for his Kiddush lunch at the temple, and he thanked other people for coming to our home on Sunday for brunch. He thanked out-of-towners for making the trip to be with him on his special day and he thanked people for funny cards.

But he would never have done all that personalization if I had him write every note out by hand.

I had to get Tech to write those notes while he was still feeling the magical vibe of post-bar mitzvah bliss as he was leaving for overnight camp on July 1st, just 8 days after his bar mitzvah. He was so wound up after eating so much sugar all weekend all the compliments he received, he didn’t even complain when I told him on Monday morning he’d need to write twenty notes notes each day in order to complete all his thank you’s before he went to camp.

The boy composed all his notes without any complaints.

He also addressed the envelopes (by hand) and affixed the stamps.

Still, I got the criticism and the hairy eyebrow.

“I can’t believe you let him type his thank you notes.”

I feel slightly guilty as I tap out this sentence, but it’s true: nearly every thank you note we receive ends up in the recycling bin 2.3 seconds after we read it. I save very few these days and only the ones that feel personalized in some way. Given that most thank you notes written after large events are extremely impersonal, what does it matter if the note is typed or hand-written? Aren’t the words the most important thing? Aren’t thank you notes all about expressing gratitude? Would you rather receive a dull, illegible note by hand or a personalized, typed one? Does it even matter?

I’m genuinely interested in your thoughts on this? In 2012, is it acceptable to type thank you notes? Or would you prefer a handwritten one? And if you want a handwritten one, can you explain why?

79 thoughts on “Is it Wrong to Type Thank You Notes?

  1. I would like a thank you note in any form. It’s sure beats no thank you note at all. Some people just have to complain about everything. Hats off to Tech for promptness, neatness, thoughtfulness , and being himself. (A whiz on the computer.)

  2. You’re right. It’s the act of thanking that’s important. Etiquette books say ‘don’t thank via email’, but that’s daft too, as the recipient is likely to be thanked much sooner than by any other method. But I should say, that in my heart, any letter written in the fair hand of the author is always more valuable to me than one in computer-script. Luckily I now recognise that this position is untenable in the twenty first century, and if I sat round waiting for the epistle on best vellum carefully written with an expensive fountain pen I wouldn’t hear from anyone very much.

    1. I want to tell people in the United States that they are daft. How do you think that would go over? 😉 While I LOVE to write handwritten notes, I know they are difficult for my son to write by hand. This is not an excuse, it is just a sad reality. Like you said, if we all sat around waiting for people to write us handwritten letters, we’d all be waiting a long time.

  3. I agree with Joan. It’s definitely more rude to not send a thank-you note at all. Or to complain about the note you received. I was impressed that Tech got his notes out so fast. And happy that the note was legible, because it was sweet and well-written. I was also impressed that he was able to print everything out on the card so neatly. Sadly, I don’t think I could accomplish that.

    People should also remember that Tech is 13 years old, and probably didn’t even know (or remember) half the people at his bar mitzvah. The fact that he was able to write a personal message is wonderful.

    OK, the note did hit the recycle bin. But I did read it. And I did appreciate it.

    1. Actually, we were careful to make sure that Tech DID know most of the people at his bar mitzvah. With the exception of the few out-of-towners in attendance, he really did know everyone — and the few people he didn’t know, he met over the course of the weekend!

      Thank you for admitting to tossing out the thank you note. Because, seriously, doesn’t everyone do that? 😉

      1. Hmm – I didn’t know hearts could write … or type. Seems to me it all has to come through the fingertips. The thoughts expressed are what counts whether they are written or typed. Good for Tech!

  4. I think the key is that the content is personal. Honestly, I’m pretty surprised that everyone isn’t sending e-cards for their thank you notes at this point, so just getting something in the mail is quite the gesture.

    1. I had to draw the line somewhere! I didn’t want Tech to send email messages, so typing seemed like a good compromise. Thank you for being generous and thinking that a typed note from the heart is an acceptable option.

  5. I have a sympathy card sitting at the side of my desk and about twenty thank yous to send out for my birthday presents. I decided that just this once, I’m going to send the thanks via email. It was how I invited them, by the way. 🙂 I agree that I can personalize my notes very quickly when I type them, and still get them out in a timely manner. For children, the response to someone’s thoughtfulness is more important than the manner in which it was written. Good for Tech for doing a good job and good for you for making him do it.

    1. I have always made Tech write thank you notes, despite the fact we have never received thank you notes from other relatives.

      I think expressing one’s gratitude is really important. Honestly, I DO think it is nicer to send a handwritten note, but it just seemed like torture to make him have to spend his entire summer writing handwritten thank you notes which people wouldn’t be able to read and that they would throw out in 2.3 seconds… like this cousin up there ^. LOL! 😉

  6. I would fall over dead (perhaps) if I got thank you notes from anyone in any form these days! We know the recipient appreciates the gift with or without follow-up words. Yes, I am a pushover –but I honestly think what Tech did is nothing short of wonderful! He may have tried even harder to make each thank you really personal, since it was all made a little easier and maybe even fun for people his age. I absolutely do not see anything wrong in typing a thank you note! Congrats to him on his bar mitzvah

    1. Hi CarolOfTheBells:

      I know what you mean! These days so few people send any kind of notes! I recently got a thank you text from someone. Wow! That was pretty lame, in my opinion — but also becoming more commonplace. I should add, he was also able to get them out while he was still basking in the afterglow of his bar mitzvah — before he went to summer camp for four weeks. It would be hard to get him going now. 😉

  7. I think typing is just fine, as long as it is personal. A typed ” Dear, Thank you for the very generous gift” wouldn’t cut it. I would put that in the same class as the personalized notes I get from my congressperson at election time.

    1. Dear Madam, Sir or Current Occupant:

      I sincerely hope you enjoyed yourself at my bar mitzvah and thank you profusely for your generous contribution to my future. It is greatly appreciated.

      The Bar Mitzvah Boy

      Yeah, that would have been lame.

  8. I’d treasure a typed or emailed or texted or tweeted thank you note over no note at all. My brothers and I were taught as kids to handwrite our thank you notes or we shouldn’t expect any more whatever it was from the sender. Good for you for teaching your child how to express gratitude in a sincere and creative way. It means a lot.

    1. Hi Liz! How nice to see you here! Thank you for such a kind response. He did his best. He really did. This bar mitzvah made all of us feel so grateful, it wasn’t hard for him to write his notes. It was just hard for him to do it in his own hand! 😉

  9. a thank you note is a thank you note – I have always written my thank you notes by hand, in cursive, but lately my students tell me they can’t read them…. it is the cursive and they don’t know how to read it or write it…. I say go with what works. The thought is more important than the medium.

    1. Clay! There you have it! As he enters 8th grade, Tech really struggles to read cursive and he can’t write it. Block writing is incredibly slow. It is a real struggle for him, but he is incredibly proficient on the computer. I know it isn’t as warm and fuzzy to see someone’s handwriting font, but — honestly — I don’t know anyone who saves these kinds of thank you notes. Ever. These aren’t like the kind of notes a person would get on Mother’s Day. 😉

  10. Thank you notes are about manners and appreciation. TS has both. People can get over themselves.

  11. My father is a printer, and very often, when printing Informals for a Bar Mitzvah Bochur, the parents will add on a prewritten thank you – in the boy’s handwriting, that is printed on every card, the boy doesn’t even have to sign. The problem with typed cards, is not that they’re typed, but usually typed means mass printing/ no personalization. Where in your case it was the opposite, but people are just hung up by social implications whether they apply or not. And even if there’s a one size fits all thank you response, people prefer they be handwritten, so they know the person thought of them slightly, or put some effort in by having to write it, instead relying on mail-merge.

    I just did thank you cards for baby presents and I’ll be honest I had 4 different thank you cards for different types of gifts, and only people who I am really close to, or particularly appreciative of got a truly personalized card.

    No one reads them anyway, they barely even remember if they got one, it’s more for the person sending them, like if they thank the person (again) then they don’t feel so indebted to them (people don’t like feeling like they owe someone anything).

    1. Omigosh! I have never heard of pre-printed thank you notes from the printer! I cannot imagine having no personalization at all.

      According to etiquette books, the point of writing thank you notes is to show the sender that one has, in fact, received the gift — and also to express one’s appreciation for the aforementioned gift. I think my son managed to achieve both goals.

      As you said, most people just toss these types of thank you notes into the trash 1.7 seconds after opening them.

      I don’t think I’m losing sleep over this anymore. 😉

  12. As long as he personalized them, what’s the harm? It’s better than no note at all, right? I think it’s awesome that someone his age put so much work into them! I email thank you notes all the time. Maybe not great etiquette, but if I had to hunt down paper, envelopes, and especially stamps, I’d probably never actually send them.

  13. In all honesty, I’m very old school about this. If it’s a casual event with no presents involved, an email is okay. But real gratitude it shown with time and care.

    I know kids don’t get the penmanship training any more. That’s why I made my kids write countless sentences for me as a method of discipline when they were younger. Cursive will soon be a lost art, and I made the conscious choice to be a hard ass about it. But a thank you note only requires three things so it’s not hard. 1) Acknowledgement that you know what gift they gave you. 2) Indication of how you will use it or how it makes your life better. 3) An expression of gratitude for that gift. Three sentences that make a world of difference.

    To this day, I save every hand written thank you note I receive. I think they are a vestige of the best part of the civilization I grew up with.

    That being said, I’m sure I’m a radical on this score, and I doubt very many people would be offended. 🙂

  14. I see nothing wrong with typing them. I like the fact that he made each one personal so that it was evident that it wasn’t a form-type of thank you note. I rarely write anything by hand anymore, myself! 🙂

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  16. I think getting a thank you is what shows appreciation. It doesn’t matter if it’s typed or written. Tech’s was super personal – nothing generic about it.

    1. Hey PK:

      Well, you know what I mean because you received one! He was really able to personalize because he was sitting at the computer, able to add, delete, move things around. If he had written by hand, he would have been writing and rewriting. Disaster. I’m glad you liked the level of personalization he put into your typed thank you note. He LOVED celebrating with your family! 😉 (As did his mother and father!) 😉

  17. Frankly, hand-writing is a lot more work and, I know it sounds petty, but the child going to all that trouble seems an acknowledgement of all the trouble the giver went to in selecting the gift.

    But it’s not the typing that bothers me about some thank yous, it’s the lack of personalization. You get the feeling the sender just hit print 100 times. It sounds like that was NOT the case with your son, so it’s all good.

    1. Pegoleg:

      98% of the gifts were checks. People wrote checks, which is a 100% appropriate gift for the event. The bar mitzvah is a threshold between childhood and adulthood, so we often give monetary gifts so children can save for future education or study in Israel.

      I’m not saying that a check is any less meaningful than a gift. He appreciated his new headphones as much as he did the checks that he received. But it isn’t difficult to write a check. There is no real trouble or fuss.

      Etiquette says that the purpose of writing a thank you note is to indicate the recipient got the git, to show gratitude and tell what he/she intends to do with the gift. He did all of these things.

      I would never allow him to do this for a birthday or as a letter to his grandparents. But the sheer volume of notes that needed to be written was daunting. And he is a perfectionist who gets upset when he forgets commas. He would have written something short and banal.

      I guess some might say I caved by allowing him to do this, but if you could see some of the thank you notes I have received — especially the ones where we did not attend and the sender has written “Thank you for your generous gift. It was great to have you at my party!” has me convinced that we did the right thing. Maybe. 😉

  18. I find it impossible to handwrite anything these days as I spend so much time on the keyboard and in front of the computer. Nobody can read my handwriting – I can’t read my own handwriting – but that said, if I can force myself to write something by hand, I do. I wouldn’t send a typed thank you note to, say, an elderly relative. Nor would I send one to someone who keeps these things. For instance, many people are into genealogy and handwritten letters and notes say far more about the person (even if illegible) than typed. It’s still more personal. But if the writing is so illegible that it can’t be read at all – there’s really no point, so type it!

    The people who were upset by this will get over it. And if they don’t then they probably haven’t got much else in their life that’s more important. 😉

  19. Hooray for Tech! I think ANY thank you is fine. We even appreciate it when nephews call on the phone to thank us for gifts. In addition to letting people know the gift was appreciated, a thank you lets the giver know that the gift got there.

    1. Hi David!

      With the exception of his grandparents, I don’t think anyone would have appreciated Tech’s calling to thank you, but I see what you are saying. Gratitude is gratitude and we need to be open to receiving it in whatever form it is given.

      I believe this.

      And still… I kind of wish that he had handwritten them.

      He just can’t.

      He’d still be writing them now.

      And struggling.

      And they’d be awful.

      And he’d be unhappy.

      I couldn’t do it to him. This seemed like the best compromise. Thanks for weighing in.

  20. I agree that typewritten is fine, as long as it is not a mass-produced, generic message. So much of what we do these days is computerized, so I don’t really see the big deal. For me, it’s the message that matters, not how it got to me.

    Tech seems to be an awfully great kid. I love not only that he included very specific and personal messages, but that he took notice of those things in the first place.

    1. I have to admit, I didn’t love this idea when he presented it to me. We argued a bit.


      I know how slow he is. And messy. He labors over his writing.


      I caved. I mean his letters were fabulous, but it was a cave, wasn’t it?

  21. oh my gosh, he typed his thank you notes and that makes him a badass hero in my book. It’s the words that mean something, not the card or paper or whether it was printed or in cursive. Can he type thank you notes for me?!

    1. I thought it was kind of cool and in keeping with the science theme of his bar mitzvah. Kind of forward-thinking. That said, I think you have to be a big girl and download your own font and write your own big-girl thank you notes! 😉

    1. I’m a teacher. I guess somehow I feel guilty that I failed him.

      Of course school is going to ail him.

      But maybe I should have him in the kitchen right now, working on his cursive?

      I don’t know.

      All I know is that I think the jump to the keyboard happens too quickly and little things like this are the result. We lose some of the civilities. I couldn’t make him write those notes. His block writing is sooooooooo sloooooooow. I just couldn’t do it. It would have been a war. But he enjoyed typing his notes. He had fun with it. It was in keeping with the theme (science), and they were personalized and error free. I think. I hope. He did do them independently. But I am saddened that our children aren’t really writing by hand anymore. I guess that’s another post.

  22. Great post. I’m of two minds here. My son also has nearly indecipherable handwriting and when elementary teachers allowed him to type his written work, we all noticed how much more expressive and creative he was. So I say if your son wrote thoughtful notes, it doesn’t matter how he crafted them. On the other hand, hand-written notes are more personal and special (I just recently posted an ode to real letters, aka snail mail). But for 13 year olds, any thank you note is a good thing and those who got them should just appreciate the thought and time that went into it!

    1. Hi Karen! Yes yes and yes! When Tech types, he is loose. He isn’t worried about making a billion mistakes (which he does when he writes by hand). His notes would have be stilted and messy! By typng, he was able to personalize and be more creative because he knew he could move things around, etc.


      I still don’t think typed is as nice.

      But I allowed it for this type of event.

      He is NOT doing this for friends or grandparents or anyone else who gives him future gifts. It was simply due to the grand scale of the task before him (180 notes) and the time constraints of summer camp one week away that made me allow him this kindness.

      Now it’s back to his miserable handwriting. 😉

  23. It’s funny, because I even though I totally side with you that it’s the act of thanking that counts, that there was a higher level of personalization due to the typing, and that they were actually legible, I still had a knee-jerk negative reaction when I thought about receiving a typed thank you note.

    Weird, right?

    But knee-jerk reaction aside, I think it’s fine to type them, and probably in a decade from now, no one will be hand-writing thank you notes anyways. If people gave you flack after receiving a thoughtful note (and so soon after the simcha, for real! That’s speedy!), then they need to rethink their attitude.

    1. Hi Rivki:

      I’m with you. I WISH that he had written them himself. My knee-jerk reaction is the same.


      These aren’t like Mother’s Day cards.

      I would freak out if he typed me something for Mother’s Day or for his father’s birthday. For those kinds of things, I STILL think it is much nicer to receive something in one’s own hand. I once read that if you read something in a person’s handwriting, no matter how messy, it is more like a dialogue between the sender and the recipient.

      That said, thank you notes like these? How much can a person write? So I let it go. I had to pick my battles here. I didn’t want to kill him all summer when I knew people were just going to throw them into the garbage.

      But still…

      There is nothing nicer than a handwritten note.

      I wish my child had beautiful handwriting and it wasn’t so time consuming for him to just write what I would consider a simple note. But it is. And it interferes with his ability to be creative. Each letter would have been filled with errors, misspellings. They would have looked awful and taken forever. So I opted for neat and personalized — and maybe a little sterile. I think the most important thing is that he was genuinely grateful for each gift he received and I believe he conveyed this with his words, typed or not.

      1. Eloquently put, and I think you’re totally right on what the most important lesson was to learn. And if he doesn’t yet, I’m sure Tech will someday appreciate that you saved him from some massive hand cramps. 😉

  24. Typing or handwritten, not a big deal to me. I think the important things about thank you notes is that they are genuine and personal. For a formal occasion like bar mitzvah, wedding, graduation, they should be sent in the mail. If it’s a birthday gift, I think emailing is fine. You did good, tapping in to his good feelings and putting him in front of a format he was comfortable with.

    1. Thanks JM! I’m not sure if I should have pushed him to work harder — but I know is that he was using up all the good stationery with his scratch-outs and redos. I just did what seemed like the right thing to do. I know plenty of people out there are being quiet and silently giving me the hairy eyeball.

  25. I sound a lot like Tech. My parents allowed me to type my thank-you notes back in 1983! I figured out how to feed the notes through the dot matrix printer of our Apple PC clone computer. To add a little humor for the recipients, I came up with a form that allowed me to fill in the blanks and check some boxes (your gift was “_ Generous”, “_ Boring”, “_ I already have one”, etc) and I just checked the ones that applied… but I always made sure to add a couple sentences of personalized hand-written scribble as a P.S. at the end of the note.

    1. Rob! You figured that out in 1983? Impressive! And with a dot-matrix printer? I’m guessing your parents got some flack for that, no? A form? I’d love to hear what people thought of that.

      Although if you really did figure that out in 1983, people probably thought you were a techno-whiz! Which you probably are! And it’s nice that you still scribbled out a few personalized lines!

  26. I don’t see anything wrong with typing thank you notes in this day and age. People are going to have to start getting used to that as we write less and less everyday. My son has horrid handwriting too. We made him write a thank you note to his grandma for some money she sent. There were more words scribbled out than there were words that were readable and didn’t need to be scribbled out. I’ll admit it was cute, but I think he’d have done better if he could have typed it.

    1. This whole “horrid writing thing” seems to be a huge theme. I hear it all the time. Our kids barely master printing before they are popped onto keyboards. They are writing less and less and typing more and more younger and younger. I hate to sound like a dinosaur, but I hate the idea of our children losing their individuality and just using different color fonts to express themselves, but that does seem to be the way things are going.

      As you said, there is an age for “cute,” but by 13, I don’t think the scribbles are so cute anymore. It just didn’t seem appropriate – and we needed him to be able to complete the thank you notes this year! I think kids are taught to think on the computer. They can delete and move things around, and they have gotten used to that method. So what are we to do when it comes down to this kind of old-fashioned convention? It’s almost as if they aren’t equip to do it any more. Weird.

  27. Another great question, Renee! I’m with JM – if they’re personal (as Tech’s were – what a kid!), I don’t think it matters. I mean, in general I’d lean towards handwritten notes, but again, if they’re thoughtful, that’s all people really want in a thank you.

    I’ve blogged before about proper greeting cards, because it’s a major pet peeve of mine when someone wastes a card to just say ‘Thanks for the so and so’ or ‘Happy Holidays!’ and that’s it.

    And I can’t bring myself to throw away good thank-yous or birthday cards, etc. I am NOT a hoarder, but my sentimental side really comes out with cards and letters.

    1. I have no problem tossing birthday cards where someone has just signed a name. There is nothing worse than a store-bought card with just a signature. Blech. It’s nice to be remembered, but if you are going to spend 44 cents on a stamp, how about writing a little more, no?

      But, like you, I LOVE getting hand-written letters. I still have yours – and probably always will. But we are writers. Of course we love words. We don’t mind a scribble or two. No worries. But kids today are kind of taught to think on the computer. They delete and move things around, and they have gotten used to that method. So what are we to do when it comes down to this kind of old-fashioned convention?

      It’s almost as if they aren’t able to do it any more. Weird.

      And sad.

  28. Like so many things, there is no clear-cut answer.

    As a general rule, I really cherish the hand-written note. I enjoy writing them and I love reading them.

    That being said, I know that it can be a struggle for some of our kiddos, and my son is one of them, to sit and do a repetitive fine-motor skill that requires executive function. I would much rather receive a personalized email like the ones that Tech is writing than an illegible stock response.

    I recall. with vivid memory, the daunting task of writing thank you notes in the wake of my Bat Mitzvah service. I had until Purim (which was one month) to complete them. There were several hundred of them and I had to complete at least ten a day. It was good training for the many notes I would later write as a rabbi.

    1. Hi Frume Sarah!

      Like you, writing has always come easily for me, so popping out a few hundred thank you notes was no big whoop. And I STILL believe there is nothing better than an old-fashioned card.

      I’m super concerned with this whole “my kid can’t write thing.” If you look back at the comments, they are dominated by people saying the same thing. I often wonder about kids who have a DX with a “fine motor skill” problem. Maybe it’s just that those kids haven’t had enough practice. I know they don’t get the same kind of practice we did when I was in school in the 1970s-1980s.

      Our kids barely master printing before they are popped onto keyboards. They are writing less and less and typing more and more younger and younger. I hate to sound like a dinosaur, but I really don’t like the idea of our children losing their individual penmanship and just using different color fonts to express themselves, but that does seem to be the way things are going.

  29. In England children learn cursive very early (my daughter started learning before she was 5, in her first year at school), but I allow my girls (now 7 and 3) to draw pictures as thank yous. This also feels like a cave, but I have horrid memories of writing ‘Dear x. Thank you for x. I also got x. I had a good party. Love Lisa’. My girls draw pictures of them playing with the gift, or things that they feel are apt for the giver, and then I simply get them to add their name and some kisses. So far, no complaints and just comments on how lovely it is to receive nice drawings!

    I admit that I do feel slightly alone in insisting they create thank yous. No-one else in my family does, but it is something that happens at school after birthdays … maybe it isn’t dying out as much as we all think. I type most of my thank yous, but that’s partly due to rheumatoid arthritis making handwriting painful; one off cards for dinner or a visit I can write, but not more than that.

    Stop worrying – he sounds like an amazing kid and the spirituality he has brought me to tears!

    1. In the United States, sad,y, many schools have stopped reinforcing cursive, so skills really drop-off. I know many parents who join in the chorus of “my child can’t write” or “my child can’t read cursive” — which, I would argue is a terrible skill to lose.

      I love receiving thank you notes with drawing on them! I think the most important thing is to teach our children to express gratitude and to do it ourselves! We are short on that these days, no?

  30. Not all people who hand-write “THANK YOU” are genuine enough. No matter what medium you use, so long as you’re sincere with your purpose or intention – it really doesn’t matter!

  31. I thank you for this wonderful conversation! I was searching for “typed or handwritten bereavement thank you” and your wonderful site was displayed. I have found so little on this subject. I wanted you to know how helpful this has been for me.

    I know that this is about your wonderful son, but it has helped me with what I need to do with the Thank Yous that I am need to send for my mother’s funeral and to the wonderful people to helped my sister, myself and our families before my mother passed away – only six weeks from when she became ill.

    I am an adult, age 57. My mom passed away Sept 9, 2012 and I still haven’t written the Thank You notes. I just can’t seem to sit down and think and hand-write what I want to say. I type my thoughts and feelings faster than I can hand-write them. When I try to copy from my typed thoughts to pen and paper, I make so many writing mistakes. This has been so stressful and such a struggle.

    I have created my own card to send, with a photo of a place that was dear to my mom on the front and a small photo of her on the inside left, with the thank you “saying” that was on the TY cards the funeral director gave us. I can remove the “thank you” on the front or the “thank you” saying I printed on the inside based upon what type of thank you I need send. I plan to “hand-write” a few sentences inside the card and then enclosing my own type-written personal thanks to the person, with hand-writing their name and hand-writing my closing and signature.

    All the comments here have given me the strength and courage to actually do my overdue thank you notes to my mother’s wonderful friends and family.

    Thank you and all those who have commented. It has been very helpful for me.

    1. Ellen! I’m so glad this has been helpful to you. I am so sorry for your recent loss. I would imagine that anyone would understand during a time of grief, a brief thank you is more than enough. Try not to put so much pressure on yourself. The people who made you food or sent flowers or did little things did so because they cared about your mother or they care about you and your family. I have every confidence that people would understand a typed card with just your handwritten signature.

      I have seen this done many times, and it is vey typical in the Jewish community. I can tell that you are a very thoughtful person who likes to personalize things, but be gentle with yourself here. Things are still fresh. The card you have designed sounds perfect. Just type a few sentences inside or even have some place like Kinkos copy a few words. I just this:

      Thank you for thinking of our family as we grieve the passing of (insert name name here). Your kindness means everything to us.

      The people who sent it are very good friends and they simply signed it. We all understood what they were going through.

      Bless your heart. And I hope that 2013 is a year of health and joy for you and yours.


  32. Renee: Thank you for your kind words. Yes, tears are running down my face! I have read that only a few lines are needed for this kind of thank you but for some people, they just did so much! Of all wordings I have read, the ones you wrote above says it all. However, without putting any pressure on myself, I will either sent my complete thoughts later or add them separately in the first card. It’s just something I feel needs to be done for some people. Without a few friends, I don’t know how I would have gone through all of this on my own.

    Happy Holidays (can’t spell very well lately!) and and a wonderful Happy New Year! Thank you again for being so kind to a stranger.

    Ellen L
    Bucks County PA

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