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Making Holiday Thank-Yous Less Work or More Fun—or Both

Saying thank you for gifts doesn’t have to be a dreaded holiday hangover.

Do you dread a holiday hangover — not from sugar or alcohol, but from the good fortune of receiving gifts? If you struggle with whether and how to say thank you for gifts, you are not alone.

I grew up in a culture that valued thank-you notes. Not just saying the words “thank you,” but formal written things called “thank-you notes.” When I was a kid and forgot to send a note, my grandmother wrote me a letter to express her concern. Her words said: “I just want to know if you got the gift.” And she probably did want to know. But the subtext was clear: Notes should be written.