Because You Are Polite

by Ginger Philbrick

In December, at Junior Cotillion of sixth, seventh and eighth graders, I gave each one who attended a copy of my book on dining manners. I asked that, following the guidelines for writing thank-you notes that I tucked into their books, they write a note to me and bring it to the next Cotillion.

The response was heartwarming; many “proper” notes came in. I want to share a few, so that you might enjoy them as I did.

Dear Mrs. Ginger Philbrick,

Thank you so much for the book. I love the book because it taught me a lesson and was funny. I plan on reading the book to my family and younger cousins.

Have you had a Happy New Year so far? I hope your new year is full of blessing.

Thanks again for the wonderful gift.



Dear Mrs. Ginger,

Thank you for the book on manners. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to sharing it with my family. I hope you enjoyed the Christmas season with your family.

Again, thank you for the thoughtful gift.

Most sincerely,


Dear Mrs. Philbrick,

Thank you for the book, “Because You Are Polite.” It is a perfect gift for me to refer back to as I try to improve my manners.

How was your holiday, did you get to see any family members?

Thanks again for thinking of me, and what a lovely gift idea. I hope I can pass it on to my children one day.



Dear Mrs. Philbrick,

Thank [you] for the lovely book you gave me. I appreciated the way it rhymed and your advice to watch the hostess. I think that is good advice.

I have been enjoying Cotillion, and look forward to the next class.



Dear Mrs. Ginger,

Thank you for the book you have gifted to me. I can use this book for tips and tricks for Cotillion. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Again, thank you for such a thoughtful gift.



Dear Mrs. Ginger Johnston Philbrick,

Thank you so much for the wonderful book. The animations are so cute and the characters are so funny. You did an absolutely wonderful job writing it.

I am going to miss this Cotillion this Sunday because we are going to Wintergreen. I am going to miss seeing everyone in Cotillion. When I return, I was wondering if I could get your autograph in my book!

Thanks again.



P.S. I hope you had a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

And then there was a most humble, honest offering:

Dear Ms. Philbrick,

Thank you for the gift. I will read it and maybe something else.

I know my hand writing is bad, so I hope you can read this.



We can’t always expect people to follow our guidelines perfectly, but in this instance, I believe the most important thing is that my young students expressed their thanks in writing, with an efficient writing implement, on a piece of paper. I dare to hope that they will never stop.

Ginger Philbrick is the owner of Because You Are Polite LLC. You are invited to email your manners questions to her and she will respond as time and space allow. You may contact her at