DEAR ABBY: My children, from a young age, have been schooled in writing prompt and courteous thank-you letters for gifts or other kindnesses they have received. They understand the importance of this common courtesy.
During lunch today, a friend told me about a thank-you note he had received for a gift he had given. The note was received via his computer's e-mail system.
I chuckled and wondered whether this electronic note "counted" as a thank-you note.
Abby, is a well-thought-out, polite thank-you note sent via e-mail an appropriate and acceptable way of acknowledging a gift? If the giver's e-mail is on the giver's letterhead, does this make a difference?
Please hurry your answer. My son's bar mitzvah is approaching and I think it would be a cute and novel way of responding. -- BEVERLY HILLS M.D.
DEAR M.D.: If someone goes to the trouble and expense of giving your son a bar mitzvah gift, I suggest you resist the "cute and novel" manner of acknowledging it. For a rite of passage such as this, more formality is required. E-mail is terrific, but save it for less formal occasions.