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When to write a letter

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Know when to write a letter for good manners and proper etiquette

Know when to write a letter for good manners and proper etiquette

In the age of email, it’s rare to receive a handwritten letter. While it’s no longer the norm, the art of writing a personal letter never goes out of style. Whip out some stationery and a pen, and use these suggestions for when to write a letter.

Thank You Note

Nothing shows gratefulness like a personal thank you note. When you receive gifts for anything — whether a holiday, birthday, anniversary, graduation, wedding, or other milestone — send a hand-written thank you card to the gift giver.

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It can be brief; all you need to do is thank them for the specific gift and let them know how much you appreciate it and will enjoy it. Feel free to add more, like telling them how you plan to use the gift or how you hope to see them soon. People always enjoy receiving long, personal letters, and a little gratitude goes a long way.

After a Job Interview

Some experts say that an email follow-up after a job interview is enough, but many others say you will make a powerful impression if you send a personal letter in the mail. Use custom stationery  to thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you and for considering you for this position.

Be sure to briefly remind them why you think you are ideal for the role and say that you look forward to hearing from them soon. This letter will help you stand out from other applicants who choose to only email or not follow up at all.


A birthday always feels more special when you receive a personal, handwritten note from someone important. Whether it’s a friend or family member, write a personal letter and send it in the mail letting them know how much you appreciate them. If you aren’t sure what to write, just let them know what they mean to you and why you enjoy having them in your life. Wish them a happy birthday and say that you hope to see them soon.


You can tell your partner in person that you love them every day, but use your anniversary as a time to write a thoughtful letter. Writing gives us the time to collect our thoughts and say exactly how we feel without the nerves we can get from talking aloud. Hand it to them on the morning of your anniversary or deliver it on a tray with breakfast in bed. They will treasure it.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

Your parents will love receiving a thoughtful letter for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Whether you buy a greeting card at the store or use your own letterhead, these occasions are the ideal times to write a meaningful letter. Put the pen to paper and thank them for everything they have done for you; don’t be afraid to go into detail. Showing this graciousness and love will surely make their day.
Just to Say Hi

Most of us send a quick email or text when we want to see how someone is doing, but think about going the extra mile from time to time. There is no strict rule about when to write a letter. Write one to simply say that you are thinking about them, and be sure to include updates on how you are doing.

This type of letter is ideal for older relatives, such as your grandparents, who probably miss receiving handwritten correspondence. If it’s for a relative, you could also include some family photos, especially if you haven’t seen them in a while.


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