Thank-you notes are due right after presents are received. Ten minutes after would be a good time, but the absolute maximum, barring severe illness, divorce or absence from the planet, is two weeks.
So stated etiquette guru Miss Manners in an old article from the Chicago Tribune.
I have several thank you notes to write for gifts received, and I’m once again pondering what is an acceptable window of time in which to get them done. Of course I always try to get them written and mailed as soon as possible, so that the recipient knows that their parcel arrived and how much the contents were appreciated. However, sometimes they linger a while longer as “life gets in the way” (a phrase I have heard banded about a lot). Miss Manners scolds that saying you’re busy is not an excuse for sending tardy notes of gratitude (or not doing them at all), and I really have to agree. If someone takes the time to select a gift for you, wraps it with care, and goes to the trouble of mailing it or bringing it to you, then you should certainly find the time to write a little note of recognition.
As always, I’m curious about modern day etiquette and I’d be interested to hear other people’s thoughts on this topic…