As you attain the right to be counted at a minyan and an official member of the Jewish community at a bar mitzvah, you should show your guests that you truly are a responsible person by sending thank you notes in a timely manner. Those who attended the celebration took the time to select an appropriate gift and deserve a timely, personal, handwritten thank you note in return.
When to Send
Send your thank you notes soon after the bar mitzvah. Start writing them the day after the party, and write some every day until you have finished. Mail the thank you notes as soon as you write them; you don't have to wait until you've written every note. If someone sent you a gift before the party, it's appropriate to write the thank you note then rather than waiting until the party is over.
What to Write
Everyone wants a personal message in his thank you note and at 13, you're able to do this easily. Mention the specific gift that the person gave you. If you received money, do not mention the amount in the thank you note. You might also write about being happy to see or meet them at the party, how you hope to spend more time with them soon, or give more specific details about what you plan to do with their gift, such as "I'll be putting this money toward a new computer to help with my school work."
Tackling the Mountain
Bar Mmitzvahs can be large celebrations with hundreds of people in attendance. That's quite a lot of thank you notes you'll have to write. J Weekly suggests addressing the envelopes before the party, as you receive the RSVPs. That's less work you'll have to do when you sit down to write the letters. You should also set a goal to write some every day rather than putting them off. Writing thank you notes is just as important as your other activities.
Pre-Printed Thank Yous
Though many opt for the standard thank you notes available for purchase at any store, it's becoming popular to purchase photo thank you cards that have your picture on them. These cards have a standard message that you choose to print on all cards, but this doesn't mean that you can just shove them in an envelope and ship them off. You still need to include a short personal message with each one, written on the back of the printed card or on a separate piece of paper.
Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.