National Thank You Note Day

By Sharon Schweitzer

Starting in ancient times with Egyptian and Chinese societies, these two groups would use papyrus papers to write friendly letters or letters of good luck to those they cared about. Now let’s do the Time Warp to the early 1800’s, where Europeans would write social notes and deliver them to friends and family, now this is what started the beginning of another card, the greeting card! But let’s remain focused on what we’re here for, the history of these notes.

Quite a while after the Europeans began using greeting cards, a man born in Prussian Silesia by the name of Louis Prang emigrated to America from Switzerland in 1850 after escaping the Prussian Government. He was involved in revolutionary activities in 1848. He then settled down in Boston, Massachusetts and on Christmas of 1873, Prang began to produce and sell greeting cards to the popular market of Europe and began selling the Christmas card in America around 1874, and since that day both Christmas cards and thank you cards have increased in popularity around the world.

An interesting fact is that Mary Shelly wrote a thank you note to her friend Lord Byron, thanking him for allowing her to spend the summer at his home in Geneva, where the story of Frankenstein was thought into reality.

Did you know that the term thank is thought to come from the Old English word, þoncian meaning to reward?

Amit Kumar, the study co-author and assistant professor of marketing at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, said of the research, “Saying thanks can improve somebody’s own happiness, and it can improve the well-being of another person as well — even more than we anticipate, in fact.”

Taking the time to thank family and friends with a personalized message has special meaning. The receiver of the “thank-you” will enjoy getting the card in the mail and the message you have written. Personal messages also convey to friends and family a deeper, more intimate sentiment. These handwritten notes, however brief, carry a tactile expression of thanks that verbal communication often lacks.

Never underestimate the power of saying Thank You!


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Sharon Schweitzer JD, is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Sharon served as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.

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