The Art of the Thank-you Note

A sincere and eloquent note of thanks will be remembered forever.  Thank-you notes allow us to acknowledge deeds large and small, in a thoughtful and considered way.  Here are a few of Dempsey & Carroll’s tips to perfecting this skill.

1)  Set aside adequate time to think about what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.  If your note is rushed, it may come off as perfunctory or insincere.

2)  Make sure your handwriting is as good as it can be.  Warm up by drawing loops on scratch paper or by writing a draft of your note.  If your handwriting is difficult to read, it’s fine to print.

3)  Make a list of the things you want to mention or include.  If you received a gift, what do you like about it?  If you were treated to dinner, what was especially delicious?  Was there an anecdote or funny story you want to reference?

4)  Express your gratitude in heartfelt words.  Good thank-you notes make the recipient feel special when you clearly mean all those nice things you write.

5)  If possible, avoid leading with “Thank you for…” – your note will sound fresher and less formulaic if you start off with anything else.  Try “Dinner was delicious!” or “Did you know red is my favorite color?”

5)  Finish with a strong line, such as “I really appreciate your thoughtfulness” or “We hope to see you and Ted again very soon.”

Last Minute Holiday Preparations

With only a few short weeks between Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years, it’s easy to forget some of the holiday necessities, both big and small!  Heck, one year we almost forgot to send out our holiday cards – and we’re a stationery company!  Since the last few weeks of December are so chaotic, we decided to put together a list of “Holiday Essentials” to keep ourselves (and our friends!) from forgetting any of the season’s must-haves.   It’s certainly helping us this year, and we hope it’s useful to you too!

1)      Stocking Stuffers: colorful earbuds, hand cream, pocket-sized tablets, or a nice fountain pen.

2)      Place cards: a holiday meal calls for a finishing touch – place cards will make your feast complete!

3)      Apple cider: served hot or cold this delectable drink is always a treat – you can also add a hint of rum if there are no children around.

4)      Holiday cards: handwrite your greeting and send your loved ones a note to wish them well in 2012.

5)      Turkey (or your main dish of choice): don’t forget to go to the market and order this ahead of time – you don’t want to scramble at the last minute!

Helpful Hints from Dempsey & Carroll: Commonly Confused Words

We find ourselves unsure of how to properly spell confusing words all of the time!  Here are a few tips we’ve come up with to make sure we haven’t used the wrong word…

PRINCIPAL vs. PRINCIPLE

One of the oldest tricks in the book…Use the word PRINCIPAL when mentioning a school administrator because your school PRINCIPAL is your PAL.  Use the other, PRINCIPLE, when mentioning a fundamental belief…

GREY vs. GRAY

This is a tricky one!  We see both spellings of this color used, and that’s really just because they’re both right – just depends on where you live!  Technically in the US you should be using the grAy spelling, while the Brits should use the grEy spelling…A great way to remember this is: The USA is grAy and England is grEy.

STATIONERY vs. STATIONARY

This one comes up often…to spell stationery, as in writing paper (and what Dempsey & Carroll makes!) use “E” as in “letter,” not “A” like in “anchored.”  

COMPLIMENT vs. COMPLEMENT

The easiest way to remember the difference between these two is to think to yourself “I love getting compliments!”  The “I” should be used when admiring someone, while the “E” should be used when something completes another thing

ACCEPT vs. EXCEPT

We remember the difference between these two words by reminding ourselves that “exclude” is similar to “except,” so when deciding which word to write just keep this in mind!  It will never fail you!