Thank-You Note Etiquette Question

I’ve been a bad, bad monkey. I’m finally getting around to writing my Christmas thank-you notes. What the hell do I say after such a long wait?

I’ve been having some health problems for the past 8 months or so. I was sleeping 14-16 hours a day, so all I could really do was sleep, eat and get to work. My doctors weren’t sure what was wrong, but whatever it was seems to be going away. I’m sleeping a normal amount and am finally able to be useful during the time I am awake again.

Now that I’m ready to rejoin the human race, I want to get my Christmas gifts sent out and thank-you notes written for the gifts I got. I also got a check from my grandma for Easter that I decided I wasn’t going to cash until I got the thank-you note in the mail (I still have the check). What do I say? I don’t really feel like going into a lot of detail regarding my problems because I’m afraid that it’ll sound like I’m wanting pity instead of the genuine thanks that I’m trying to say.

Also, when my husband got gifts from my family, I wrote down who they came from and promptly lost the list. I just found it last week. Do I write to them and say that I’m the bum? Make my husband write the note and blame me? Neither one of those options sound very good.

I know that the proper thing to do is to write thank-you notes 5 minutes after you receive the gift and this really is what I want to do from now on. But how do fix this etiquette blunder? I’d really like to just forget the whole thing and promise to do better next Christmas, but I know that’s not the right thing to do. Help!

I think it’s fine to write a note and say “Sorry this is so late, but…”. There’s no need to really explain yourself, although if you wish you could say something vauge like “Circumstances have prevented me from sending this earlier…” or something. Myself, whenever I get real late on the notes I just sort of let them slide, so I think actually writing them is pretty admirable. I don’t think anybody would be so rude as to sniff at them. Especially if you haven’t sent out your own gifts yet!

Tell you escaped, and not to pay the ransom.

That’s a good one. :smiley:

You could always make a vague reference to “health problems.” Chances are that anyone who would send you a Christmas gift would also be aware, either directly or indirectly, that you were having health issues. You could approach the note not so much as a late thank you note, but as a “hello, I’m feeling better, and by the way, I’m sorry I never properly thanked you for your wonderful Christmas gift” kind of thing.

You could also go with a Christmas in July theme in your notes. :smiley:

I’d say something matter of fact like “Just wanted to let you know I did appreciate <gift> which you sent me for Christmas. <Give details about how you enjoy it> Love, <your name>” I wouldn’t go into details in the note itself, but I might send a seperate letter to those whom you felt should know about what has been going on with your health, and that you are better now.

“I apologise for the lateness of my reply, but you should know that this in no way indicates a lack of appreciation for your wonderful gift.”

People who don’t send thank you cards are one of my pet peeves – so good for you for doing it, even if late. Don’t wait much longer though or it will look like you’re doing it just to make sure they send you something this Christmas.

I don’t think it matters much what you say. If you’re comfortable with “I apologize for the delay, but I’ve had some health problems . . .”, that’s very acceptable.

The key though is to not say “Sorry I haven’t written, my anal fistula has been acting up.” Delicate vaugeness is the idea. :slight_smile:

irishgirl has it on the nose. This note acknowledges the lateness of your response without unnecessary details. Like silk off a spool!

Thanks for all your help guys. I’m writing them notes now. :slight_smile:

Or in more casual English…I’m sorry its taken me so long to write this. I really want to thank you for the white elephant you gave me for Christmas, I’ve named him Harry and keep him in the basement. We’ve grown quite attached in the past six months.