As the holidays wrap up and the New Year sinks in, we’re more compelled to look forward than look back. But in terms of proper party etiquette, there’s one more quick look back we all need to make, and that’s to give thanks to those who wined, dined and entertained us over the holiday season.

Hosting a party is no easy task. There are so many things to arrange, food to make, guest lists to organize – and most hosts feel they’ve run a marathon by the time the party arrives. With all the effort they put in to creating a great time for their guests, imagine how appreciated a short note of thanks post-party would be!

A thank-you note is a quick and memorable way to tell your host you had a great time and you appreciated the evening of entertainment.

Thank-you notes always need to be hand-written and sent in the mail. In these times of email, Facebook and instant messaging, there’s truly something magical about receiving something in the mail that isn’t a credit card bill or junk mail. So, plainly put, writing a note of thanks on the person’s Facebook wall or Tweeting them does NOT COUNT (although if you would like to do that in addition to sending your thank-you note, by all means go for it). A good thank-you note should include:

  • Expression of thanks for throwing the event
  • Something about the party you found particularly memorable
  • You are happy to have been included and hope you’ll make their guest list again in the future

Your sentiments should reflect the effort the host went to in order to throw the party. For example, a thank-you note for a murder mystery party might be longer than one you would send for a simple cocktail party. If you spent the night and stayed for breakfast the following morning, your thank-you note should be longer and include details from the stay.

Here’s an example of a simple thank-you note from a cocktail party:

Dear Hostess with the Mostess,

Thank you for a wonderful evening at your cocktail party. I had a truly memorable time, and enjoyed meeting your friends from the polo club. The hors d’oeuvres were simply divine, especially the crab cakes. Thanks again for thinking to invite me, and I look forward to your next gathering!



Here’s an example of a thank-you note one can send post-mystery party:

Dear Mystery Host,

I had to take a moment to thank you for an incredible evening! I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun at a party. I must admit that I’ve always wanted to try a murder mystery party, but I have never had the opportunity. Even though I personally didn’t guess the killer, I enjoyed being a suspect – not to mention the main red herring! I’ll never forget Gertrude’s fierce line of questioning – I’ve never seen her act that way before! It was truly an evening I’ll never forget. Thank you for thinking of me as you compiled your guest list, and I look forward to many more nights of mystery and intrigue to come.



(AKA Sandy “Two-Tongue” Parsons)

Whenever possible, use a professionally-made notecard that is blank on the inside. If you’re crafty and enjoy making cards, a hand-made card is also sure to wow your host.

Make sure that you send it no more than a few days after the party, but in the case of thank-you notes, it’s always better late than never.

Remember, saying thank you to your host is not just something you should do after the holidays – any time you’ve been treated to a mingler, dinner party or any other soiree is an opportunity to thank your host or hostess, and make them feel truly appreciated for bringing a bit of fun and entertainment into your life.