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International Thank-You Day – January 11, 2023

International Thank-You Day is celebrated yearly on January 11. It is a day that serves as a reminder that we ought t express our gratitude to those who have made our lives better in some way. What better month to reflect on this than the beginning of the year? We often forget to say, “Thank you,” because we take it for granted or we assume that others know how we feel. This day was founded to recognize the importance of always saying thank you.

History of International Thank-You Day

During ancient times, societies were already busy communicating with each other. Egyptians would write on papyrus sheets and the Chinese would write on paper. They would send messages to friends such as greetings or wishing them luck for the new year. Must have been some thank you scrolls thrown in there as well. The word ‘thank’ is believed to have originated between c.450 and c.1100. The Old English noun meant “thought.” Its meaning progression was documented by the “Oxford English Dictionary,” and it became “favorable thought or feeling, goodwill.” It evolved further into “kindly thought or feeling entertained towards anyone for favor or services” by the Middle Ages.

The practice of sending messages to friends started to become popular in the 1400s when Europeans exchanged greeting cards with family members and friends. They embraced this new form of social expression which included delivering notes by hand. There were probably some hand-written thank you notes delivered here and there as well. Long after the Europeans began using greeting cards, German Louis Prang immigrated to the U.S. In the Christmas of 1873, he produced and sold greeting cards to the European market from his base in Boston, Massachusetts. Come 1874, he was making and selling Christmas cards in the U.S. as well. Since then, both the Christmas and thank you cards have been in demand as years went by.

Expressions of gratitude not only come from the written word. The habit of always saying “thank you” started during the commercial revolution of the 16th and 17th Centuries. It was popular among the middle classes who used it often as it was the type of language heard as well as used in offices and shops. For the last 500 years, its usage has spread across the world.

International Thank-You Day timeline

105 A.D.
Paper is Invented

During the Han Dynasty, Chinese Imperial Court officer Ts’aiLun begins producing paper from old rags, fishing nets, and tree bark.

May 6, 1840
The First Postage Stamp

The first adhesive postage stamp is issued in the U.K., making it easier to keep in touch with people both near and far.

1850s
Thank-you Cards For All

What was once an expensive means of personal communication becomes affordable due to advances in production and a reduction in postal rates.

1994
E-cards are Invented

Social Media Group founder Judith Donath invents electronic greeting cards that are sent online.

International Thank-You Day FAQs

Is ‘thank you’ capitalized?

The phrase ‘thank you’ is not meant to be capitalized when used on its own in a sentence. Examples you may see otherwise are possibly the writer’s style choice or an honest mistake.

Is ‘many thanks’ correct English?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary notes that ‘thanks’ is plural, coming from the singular word ‘thank.’ It’s right to use ‘many thanks’ because the word ‘many’ goes with plural count nouns.

Is there a thank you emoji?

The two hands with palms pressed together and fingers pointing up can be used to ask for a request, show gratitude, reverence, or a gesture of prayer.

International Thank-You Day Activities

  1. Send thank you e-cards

    Send a surprise to your friends’ inboxes! Imagine their delight to find a thank you card amidst work-related emails.

  2. Say, “I’m grateful”

    These are magical words. Saying I am grateful helps to strengthen relationships, and savoring positive experiences.

  3. Fill a jar with thank you notes

    Write little notes of gratitude for a special person and place them in a jar. They can pick a note to read to get an instant boost of positive energy for the day.

5 Ways To Say Thank You

  1. I owe you one

    This is a way to express that you owe someone a favor in return for something that they’ve done for you.

  2. Ta

    In the 18th Century, it was believed to be a shortened form of the Dutch word ‘tak,’ meaning ‘thanks.’

  3. Cheers

    An informal way of saying ‘thank you,’ for example when a stranger opens the door for you.

  4. Shout-out

    A public declaration of gratitude is frequently used online and in the music scene.

  5. Hat tip

    A way of saying thank you, especially on the internet after someone gives you information.

Why We Love International Thank-You Day

  1. It’s good manners

    It reminds us of basic decency. Treating and talking to others well is a sign of respect.

  2. It warms the heart

    Sincere words of thanks bring comfort to whoever hears them This is a practice that is not only great for today but every day.

  3. It keeps us mindful

    It’s easy to take people and acts of kindness for granted. This day helps us be more aware of those who help make life a little better for us every day.

International Thank-You Day dates

YearDateDay
2023January 11Wednesday
2024January 11Thursday
2025January 11Saturday
2026January 11Sunday
2027January 11Monday

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