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July 10, 2014
The Real Issue
A Tardy Thank You
by Cyndie Swindlehurst

Editor's note: Cyndie Swindlehurst is on a much-needed vacation this week. She has asked that we rerun the following column today. Look for a new column from her on Thursday, July 17.


What do you do when you've totally missed the appropriate time frame in which to send a thank you note to someone who helped you out?


You sit down and write the thank you note. No rational person will turn up a nose at a sincere thank you note, no matter how tardy.

When you write your note, do not start with “Thank you for . . .” and do not gush about being embarrassed at your tardy note. Gushing will put the focus on you instead of on the person you wish to thank.

Instead, give a reason that you are thinking about whatever it was the person did for you. Then, focus on what you remember and appreciate now about the service that was rendered then. The note does not need to be long.

For example:

“Dear Sister Carlson,

“This morning, when I was thinking about what to make for dinner tonight, I remembered the chicken casserole you brought me when Allison was born. It was so long ago! But it was delicious, and I was so grateful for your help. I appreciate your friendship.”

Or try this:

“Dear Bonnie,

“As I was sorting through some photos this afternoon, I found pictures of the PTA fundraiser we organized last fall. You were such a supportive team member, and the publicity campaign you put together was terrific. I want you to know how much I appreciate all of your efforts on the committee.”

Or perhaps:

“Dear Aunt Samantha,

“As I was putting out fresh towels yesterday, I remembered that they were a wedding gift from you. We celebrated our third anniversary last month, and I want you to know that we have used those towels every day! They have been wonderful, and I am so happy to have an aunt like you.


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