Newspaper article The Canadian Press

E-Card Not Enough? Etiquette Experts Debate Moving Past Handwritten Notes

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

E-Card Not Enough? Etiquette Experts Debate Moving Past Handwritten Notes

Article excerpt

Etiquette experts debate e-cards vs. handwritten notes


TORONTO - Cara Paiuk and her husband Alex sent thank-you cards following their engagement and wedding, but she candidly confesses she's not a fan of the handwritten missives.

"Generally, I hate them. I don't do them," says the writer and photographer, who hails from Vancouver and now lives in West Hartford, Conn. "After my bat mitzvah 30-odd years ago, I wouldn't do them, and my mother had to write them.

"It's a generational thing, and people over a certain age -- maybe over 40, over 50 -- it's expected. And I just think an email is easier," she adds. "I think when you personally thank someone that should be enough. What's better than to thank someone face-to-face and tell them you appreciate (their gift)?"

While digital natives might feel there's nothing wrong with sending an electronic note of thanks, etiquette experts say the age-old practice of mailing out handwritten notes is still expected by many.

"Somebody gets an email, they're opening it up, they're deleting it instantly. It's nothing, it's not special, it's not personal," says Tracey Manailescu, co-founder of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada.

"When you get something personal and handwritten, that means they've taken the extra time, they've written it from their heart, and it's sent out to you. That's something you're going to keep."

Despite her aversion to thank-you cards, Paiuk hasn't completely nixed sending them.

In a 2013 blog post on Jewish parenting site Kveller, the mother of three recalled the outpouring of generosity from her community following the birth of twin girls.

Paiuk was so moved by acts of kindness -- which included gifts of hand-me-down clothes and meals -- that she felt compelled to write notes of appreciation to those "who deserve special recognition for going above and beyond."

"One day, I hope that I too will be granted the opportunity to do onto others as they have done unto me, and I just want to say in advance: don't worry, no thank-you card is necessary," she wrote. …

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