Author: Daniel Payne

Against Thank You Cards

I think it is appropriate, at this late hour in human civilization, to make the case for abolishing the cult of thank you cards. I have not yet heard a good and convincing defense of thank you cards that does not rely on cheap sentimentalism and hidebound traditionalism, two virtues poorly suited to defending anything. Thank you cards are a mainstay in our culture. After every special event and occasion, after every instance in which a gift is exchanged under some celebratory circumstances, the recipient is expected to handwrite thank you notes within a year, sometimes hundreds of them, each one of those notes generally following an absolutely banal and tedious formula: “Dear [gift giver], thank you so much for [gift]. We’re really looking forward to [using gift in the way it’s supposed to be used]. Thank you so much for coming to [event]. See you soon! Love, [gift recipient].” Lick, stamp, post, repeat for every last platter and wok. The straightforward truth is that nobody likes writing thank you cards. In fact, I suspect …