Thank you cards are supposed to be sent within 24 hours of when you were hosted or given a gift.
Well, obviously when I read this I went into panic mode. After all, Christmas was almost two weeks ago, and I haven't sent thank you cards yet! Ahhhhh! I decided that probably writing them late was better than never, though, so I sat down today to write them.
Side note - You get a month after your wedding to write thank you notes, so why do I only get 24 hours for other gifts? This seems dumb. You should get a grace period after Christmas, too, due to the high number of letters that you need to write. I'm going to write a letter back in time addressing this issue with the editors of my home ec books as soon as someone invents a way to do that.
To make up for my lack of punctuality, I decided to get fancy and seal the envelopes with melted wax. My mother-in-law got me a metal "W" wax stamp for Christmas, so I was eager to use it. I don't know if they actually did that in the fifties, but who cares? It's awesome! I'm sure some people did, as it was invented hundreds of years ago and I'm still using it today.
Anyway, I wrote my thank you cards first, then I closed the envelopes and turned them onto their backs so that I could melt the wax seals onto them assembly line style. In order to make a wax seal, you burn a candle-looking thing (they call it a "wax seal stick." I'm sorry - call it what you want, but it's just a skinny candle), and then hold it at an angle so that the wax drips onto the envelope seal. Once you have a good sized puddle of wax, you are supposed to stamp your metal stamp into it. After that's finished - voila! You have a professional looking wax seal.
Nowhere on the box of sealing supplies does it read "Warning: The wick may break off and drop like a tiny flaming comet onto your envelope." It doesn't say that anywhere - I checked. It should say that, though, because that's exactly what happened. While creating my wax puddle on my third envelope, the wick fell off of the candle and onto the envelope. It fell into the wax puddle and just burned for a few seconds. It looked like a really tiny campfire on my coffee table. I was stunned for a moment and then realized - oh crap - having an open flame on my PAPER envelope which is sitting on my WOODEN coffee table is a really bad idea. I started blowing on the flame to put it out, and luckily it went out without too much trouble. That seal ended up looking super weird, though (Sorry Grandma Koopsen).
Thank you cards should be punctual, but they shouldn't be perilous. I wonder if anyone has ever burned down their house or apartment because of a wax seal that went awry. I bet you that it's happened. How embarrassing is that? What a dumb way to lose your house. From now on, I'll be sealing my thank-you cards in the sink. Your card may suffer some water damage, but I won't be homeless. I think it's an acceptable trade.