Geek Etiquette: Holiday Thank-Yous

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Each Monday, we’ll focus on a topic of etiquette. We’ll take a look at the classic rules (using Emily Post as a guide), and then evaluate the rules for our daily lives, creating a guide to “Geek Etiquette.” Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email!

The holidays are over. Gifts have been given, parties have been attended, eggnog has been drunk. Your responsibilities are over, right? Not so much. Don’t forget to send thank-yous! Emily Post suggests the following for Holiday Thank Yous:

Write thank-you notes as soon as possible, preferably within two or three days. Try to acknowledge holiday gifts before New Year’s Day.


– The sooner you write it, the easier it is

– Write the note as if you were speaking with the person

– Keep it short and sweet

– Personalize the note with the gift and giver

– Focus on the positive and don’t mention any dissatisfaction with the gift

If you’re reading this then you’ve already passed her deadline. I would personally extend the “Thank-You” deadline out to the first week of January. The holidays are a busy time, and a slightly later thank-you is better than none at all!

I believe holiday thank-you cards don’t need to be as formal as one from your birthday, wedding, etc. You usually exchange gifts with those who gave them to you, and may have already said thanks in person. If you don’t have time for paper thank-you cards to be mailed, a simple email will do. The email will also give you a chance to make some plans to see the gift giver sometime soon, if you’d like!

*One important geek tip: Try to keep the “thank-you”s off of Facebook, Twitter, or any other public platform. It may cause drama between the giver and those who didn’t receive a gift or party invite, and it prevents you from being more personal about the gift/giver. A private message is much more meaningful.

What are your thoughts? Do you send thank-yous for holiday gifts? Let me know in the comments!


  1. i LOVE this new column idea — i think an etiquette refresher is much needed! i’m a huge supporter of thank you notes, though i believe sending a hand-written card is the best way to do it. then again, i’m obsessed with stationery 🙂

  2. I love to send thank you notes! I thought I was one of the only people in this generation to still send a hand written thank you card after receiving a gift because I rarely receive thank you cards myself. I still love writing them, it makes me feel like the person who gave me a gift feels appreciated!

  3. Love these tips! It’s easy to forget how something as simple as sending a handwritten thank you note can have a big impact. I founded a site call Jack Cards – – that makes it easy to order paper greeting cards and send them on time for every occasion with a handwritten note inside. We’ve been getting excellent national press coverage (Oprah magazine, the Today Show, InStyle mag, WSJ and more) — we think because we solve a universal pain point — how to get a thoughtfully selected card in the mail on time for every important occasion, in amongst our busy lives. We feature some of the best card collections from independent designers across North America – funny, witty, classic, not your usual drugstore cards. Come on over and check us out!

  4. This year I’ve fallen so behind on cards that I’ve convinced myself that if everything gets done by the end of January it’s an accomplishment. I think I’ll start with the thank you cards though, because, you’re right, those are probably the most important because it’s a comment on something someone else has already done for me. Thanks for the tips!

    PS. Love this idea of etiquette tips, can’t wait to see what you come up with! Happy 2012!

  5. Recently I’ve been reading that for job interviews (not exactly the same vein of etiquette), employers are becoming more accepting of receiving a thank you email rather than a thank you card — especially because it’s expected to send out the note within 24 hours of the interview. While it’s far less noteworthy, do you think it’s okay to send thank you emails? A thank you email is better than no written thanks at all, I suppose.

  6. I think so! Any thank you is better than no thank you, and email is a lot of people’s preferred and most comfortable way to communicate.

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