Nearly half of adults sent handwritten 'thank you' letters at Christmas

The 'thank you' letter is alive and well
The 'thank you' letter is alive and well

The thank you letter is alive and well despite the rise of texting and it’s not just children who will be writing notes after Christmas, new research from the UK’s leading over-55s specialist adviser Key shows.


Indeed, nearly half (49%) of over-35s will be sending ‘thank you’ letters or cards this week – potentially inspired by their childhood as 95% of parents ensure that their under-18s say some form of ‘thank you’ to those they receive gifts from.

With 78% of people spending time with older relatives over Christmas, 54% of grandparents say they prefer a ‘thank you’ in person. If that is not possible others opt for a phone call (29%) or a thank you note (17%). Good manners starts young with 33% of those with under-fives insisting they send a hand drawn thank you to close family members.

However, parents do admit they are more likely to send a text saying ‘thank you’ – 54% of over-35s say they rely on their phones while nearly two out of five (39%) say ‘thank you’ via social media to some people who give them presents.

Lack of Gratitude Could Impact Next Year's Present Haul

However, failing to say thank you at all will cost those who don’t bother – around one in eight over-35s say they will spend less next year if they don’t receive any thank you. Grandparents are a bit more relaxed – just 8% say they will cut back if they do not receive a thank you note while more than half (52%) say they don’t expect thank you letters.

Will Hale, CEO at Key, said: “With 78% of people spending time with older relatives over the Christmas period, saying ‘thank you’ for gifts shouldn’t be a difficult thing to do.

"The majority of grandparents prefer a ‘thank you’ in person which doesn’t surprise us given we know that, despite engaging actively with technology, the personal touch is still valued by this generation.

"However, a face-to-face ‘thank you’ is not always possible and it is interesting to note that 95% of parents look to ensure their under-18’s say thank you for any gifts they receive over the festive season by whatever means.

"We always pride ourselves on good manners in this country and it is encouraging to see thank you letters, and cards are alive and well - despite the rise of messaging via text or social media.”

Around the country

People in London are the most likely to send to thank you letters to all or some of those that give them presents while people in the North West and Northern Ireland are the most likely to send cards.