Life Advice



Ask Amy: Millennial wonders if 'thank you' is too old-fashioned

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My grandmother is a traditional Southern lady who drilled her grandchildren on the importance of a heartfelt, promptly sent thank you note after receiving a gift or kind gesture.

I’m recovering from surgery and many people have been kind enough to bring me a meal as I recuperate.

I like letting people know how their kindness has blessed me, and I usually have a note in the mail within the week, but often the response I get to my note is an uncomfortable, “You didn’t have to do that!”

It appears that this courtesy may be viewed as being overly formal and may even cause embarrassment to the recipient.

I’m a millennial and many of my peers don’t send these kinds of notes.

Have the rules changed?


Are thank you notes still the way to go when expressing gratitude, and if not, what is the best way to express thanks in these increasingly informal times?

— Grateful Millennial

Dear Grateful: When you write to someone, a timeless experience unfolds.

There is the act of writing itself, but also the “float” of a couple of days when the stamped message is traveling (literally, not virtually), being delivered (thank you, mail carriers!), opened, and enjoyed.


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