It’s peak thank-you season, did you know?

Card company Clinton’s reckons it sells around 150,000 thank-you cards – 40 per cent of the year’s volume – in the first two weeks of January.

I still make my children sit down and write thank you letters to kind relatives who have sent them birthday and Christmas presents. There are some groans, but they are used to it.

According to Clinton’s own survey, my boys are in the minority - less than 10 per cent of parents ask their children to write anything by hand.

But this could be about to change. Just like vinyl, letter-writing is making a comeback. The survey claims 42 per cent of us would rather get no thanks at all than a digital version.

A social media ‘thumbs-up’ or a smiley face emoticon and a quick ‘OMG thx’ by text just doesn’t cut it any more.

I love letters. I even have a proper pen-pal.

(For younger readers, this is an ancient concept from the 70s and 80s, where children wrote to their peers in other countries, ostensibly to develop language skills and, hopefully, to get the odd holiday in interesting places).

Kerstin and I have been writing to each other for more than 30 years and after a brief period of trying out emails and social media, we have returned to letters and postcards. It just wasn’t the same.

Letter writing is an ancient art, of course. Messages of fortune and goodwill on slips of papyrus were the first known greetings exchanged in Chinese and Egyptian culture.

In the 1400s, Europeans exchanged notes as a new way of social expression and in 1856, Pouis Prang, a German immigrant, brought greeting cards and notes to America.

According to Dr Philip Seargeant, a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at The Open University, a thank you was a thought in Old English, which developed into ‘kindly thought or feeling entertained towards any one for favour or services received’ - in other words, ‘for what you have done for me, I think on you favourably.

Old fashioned, maybe – more time consuming than a quick digi-fix, certainly, but I like the idea people might ‘think on me favourably’ if I send them a letter.

(But then, I’m the kind of person who makes sure all her texts are grammatically correct and properly punctuated, so maybe it’s just me…)