What do you do when you are thanking someone for several things and realize you didn’t include one thing after your envelope is sealed?
This happens to me occasionally. I will share a story first.
The Reason for the Thank-You Note
My parents let my husband and I borrow their truck. We only needed it for several hours, but I followed my advice and thanked them with a thank-you note.
While my parents were away for the night, I brought in their mail and newspaper. My mom gave me $5 (known as treat money) and some new cat stickers to thank me for stopping by. And she let me borrow a book.
My mom made another fabulous Sunday lunch, so I wanted to thank her for that, too, since I was already writing her a thank-you note anyway. She also passed out watermelon lemonade-scented hand soap and candles. I had passed on the candles as I don’t like to have candles around my cats.
The thank-you note
After reading “A Simple Act of Gratitude” (read my review here), I decided to record my thank-you notes for a while. So here is the actual note I wrote:
Dear Mom and Dad,
Thank you for letting us borrow the truck. Ted was able to use it to transport stuff to the game store.
Also, thanks for the treat money and for letting me borrow the “Healing Quilt” book.
We appreciate the hand soap. I have it on the kitchen counter to be used next.
Lunch was great today!
Heidi and Ted
What’s Missing From the Thank-You Note?
I like to include every item in the thank you note. After the envelope was sealed, I realized I didn’t mention the cat stickers! I didn’t want to reopen the card. Since the card was going to my parents and didn’t need to look professional, I included a PS on the back of the envelope.
This may seem tacky to some, but it was the easiest solution for me and one I’m sure my parents will be okay with.
Should You Add a P.S. To the Back of the Envelope?
If you left something out of the thank-you note and realize it after the envelope was sealed, answer these questions to determine if a P.S. on the back of the envelope is okay for your situation.
Keep in mind that if you open the card, that means you will be making edits to the card, which may be difficult to do (depending on spacing), or you will be adding a P.S. to the card itself.
- Does your card and envelope need to look professional? If the thank-you note is for business, a job interview, or someone you do not know well, you should start with another card and envelope. If you reopen the card and, add another sentence, and then tape your envelope closed, it will look sloppy (the opposite or professional). You don’t want the envelope to look as though it was already opened when it arrives.
- Do you want a perfect presentation? Will it bother you if the note and envelope look less than perfect? Do you usually start over a note instead of crossing out a word regardless of who the note is to? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I recommend a new card and envelope (you may also be a perfectionist).
- Do you have another card and envelope that you can use? If this was your last note card and you answered “No” to the first two questions, add the P.S.
- If your thank you note is amazing and the person will keep it, will it bother you if the envelope is thrown away and they no longer have the written record of whatever you put in the P.S. thank-you on it? If yes, do not add the P.S. to the envelope. Open the card and add it, or start over.
If you realize that you forgot an item after the card was mailed, you can either send another card, follow up with an email, or mention it in person. Or say nothing at all if you think that would be too awkward.
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