It’s not unusual these days to get invited to a party through the Internet with an e-vite. The RSVP will likely also be a link on which you click. After the party, you could continue the pattern with a “thank you” email, but why not break the cycle and go old-school with a handmade thank-you?
If time is an issue (it almost always is), then I have a solution that is quick and easy and a lot more personal than an email. When I am going to attend a party or get-together at someone’s home, I make a thank-you magnet and bring it with me to the event.
Start with a box of self-adhesive, business-card-sized magnets from the office-supply store. They are available in a box of 50 and cost about 30 cents apiece. Remove the protective backing and attach a scrap of paper to the magnet, embellish it to match the theme of the event, write out a quick thanks and sign it.
The trick is to do this before the party and take it to the event. Enjoy the evening. And when you are getting ready to leave, just slap the magnet onto the fridge (or other metal surface in the kitchen). Your hosts are not likely to discover it till the next day when they are cleaning up, and the sheer surprise of finding an unexpected thank-you note on the fridge is downright charming.
Making a thank-you magnet takes less time than driving to the store to pick out a card (forget about remembering to buy stamps), and the surprise value alone is worth the effort.