Strap in, I'm going to write something extremely controversial here: Yes, you can thank someone with an email or a phone call. We all know traditional thank-you etiquette calls for a handwritten, snail-mail note, but I've seen it happen all too often: You keep meaning to find a nice thank-you card or choose some pretty stationery. But something comes up: a crisis, some project at work, football season. And time passes, as it does. Before long, it's too late. And then a chance encounter with the would-be, should-have-been recipient of the phantom note sends you slinking into the shadows, quivering in breathless social shame.
Yes, write thank-you notes! It's a little social confection everyone loves to receive. But if more than a few days go by and you haven't mailed it, then for goodness' sake, send an email or make a heartfelt call. It's a million and 12 times better than doing nothing at all. The rule of thumb is if you thank someone digitally, the email should include more personal thoughts to help make up for the absence of the personal touch your handwriting evokes.
Recount a funny moment from the event, ask for the dessert recipe if you loved it and comment on how amazing your host looked. Attaching a photo is always good for bonus points, but what you want the recipient to feel is the love. You know how exhausted you feel after hosting an event—cleaning up the house, busting your buns in the hot kitchen, serving dinner or tea or whatever, making sure everyone has a raucous good time and then cleaning up again afterward and dragging the trash to the curb. So break out the gracious words, and thank 'em any way you can!
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