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How to Write a Thank You Note

In today’s fast-paced world, it can be easy to forget to say “thank you.” And, it often seems as though writing a thank-you note is something that is even more overlooked. My son recently had a birthday. He received plenty of gifts. And, because he’s used to it, he remembered to sit down and write notes thanking all of the givers for his presents.

Writing a thank-you note can be a good way to show gratitude, but also a way to help combat materialism [3]. When you are grateful for something, you turn your focus to the giver, and their thoughtfulness. It’s a good idea to carefully consider the gift, and express your gratitude with a note.

What to Write On

Your first task is to figure out what to write on. Pick out stationery that you like, and that is appropriate. You can choose blank cards with a nice image on front, or even the word “thank you” on the outside. It is also acceptable to use postcards as thank-you notes. Try to keep it to notecard size, since your thank-you should be brief (but genuine).

A hand-written note is a nice touch, and make sure that you use your neatest handwriting.

How to Write a Thank You Note

The steps to writing a thank-you note are fairly straightforward. As you compose your note, follow this basic outline:

  1. Greet the giver by name: Make sure you greet the person who gave you the gift by name. “Dear Aunt Janet,” “Dear Grandma,” “Dear Mom and Dad,” and “Dear Annie” are appropriate ways to address your giver.
  2. Say thank-you for the gift: Next, express your gratitude for the specific gift. If it’s money, though, you don’t need to go into details. You can say “thank you for your generosity” or “thank you for the kind money gift.” The same is true of gift cards; no need to go into the details of how much it was.
  3. Discuss how you will use the gift: You can then mention how you plan to use the gift, or how you will enjoy having it in your home. If it’s money, you can mention that you hope to use it in some way, such as, “It will help as we furnish our home,” or “I plan to use it to help me purchase a new iPad.”
  4. Briefly mention how you hope to see the giver again: You can mention that you enjoyed seeing the person (if you did), or you can mention that you hope to see him or her again soon (“I look forward to seeing you at Christmas”). Don’t go into details about your life, though, or make long-winded remarks. You can even say “thanks again for your thoughtful gift” at the end.
  5. Close: Finally, close your note. Depending on your relationship with the giver, you might use “love,” or “sincerely.” Then, sign your name. Usually, your first name will suffice.

It’s true that you can just fire off a thank-you email, and that is often perfectly acceptable. However, it might be worth it to show a little extra effort and graciousness, taking the time to slow down, and really think about the gift.

(Photo: Daniel Slaughter [4])