How To Write A Thank You Note

Gestures of gratitude are slowly fading from our world. When a girl receives a compliment, she will make excuses as to why she doesn’t deserve it. When a man holds a door open for a lady, she eyes him suspiciously. If someone gives us a gift, we might go so far as to give them a hug. The point stands: we don’t say thank you like we used to.

What happened to the days of “thank you kindly, good sir” and “I appreciate the gesture?” In our world of tweets, texting, and lol’s, we don’t take the time to really give thanks to the people in our lives. Thank-you notes are a simple way of showing gratitude. Here are a few tips on how to write a thank you note.

When to Write The first problem I run into is knowing when is an appropriate time to send a thank-you note. Do you have to write a ton of notes after your birthday? What about when someone pays you a visit? After your wedding, I guess? What about job interviews? Don’t worry about it. Thank-you notes should be as generous and spontaneous as the thing you’re giving thanks for. If someone obviously put thought, money, or time into something for you, be willing to do the same for them. Giving a card for every gift you receive may seem overwhelming, but just remember the effort those people put into giving you that gift. Thank-you notes after a job interview are meant to show the potential employer that you appreciate their time and attention. And the fact that you don’t take anything for granted shows your strength of character, no matter whom you’re giving the note to.

Picking a Card I keep a few types of thank-you notes in my letter drawer at all times. Some of them are fun with polka dots, some of them are fancy and engraved, some are full cards, others are just small notes. This way, depending on the situation, I have an array of options. If you just want one type of note for any occasion, I suggest a plain white notecard with a simple, elegant, but fun design around the borders or at the top, complete with an elegant envelope. You can find these at any bookstore, Office Max, or greeting card aisle.

What Do You Write? I always get hung up after the words “Thank You for _____.” But, after some research and a lot of help from this site, I’ve discovered just what to say after those three words. What do you like about the gift? What are you thinking of using it for? What does it remind you of? Don’t forget to compliment their thoughtfulness. Finish with something along the lines of “sincerely yours,” “thank you again,” or “best wishes.”

How Do You Write? Use of formal language is always appreciated in a thank-you note. Be overly generous in your thanks, so as not to leave the reader with any doubt that you really appreciated their gift to you. Plus, when else are you going to get the chance to use phrases like “To My Dearest Bathilda…?”

Packaging The Envelope is the first thing the receiver will see, so make sure it’s nice and pretty. Using their full or formal title, such as “Ms. Gladys Opinger” is generally accepted. If you’re not mailing the envelope, you can either leave it unsealed or close it with a cute sticker.

Giving the Note If at all possible, try giving the note in person. This way, you can thank the receiver in person and leave them with a reminder of your gratitude. Don’t wait awkwardly for them to open the note, though. Just tell them what it is, thank them, and let them open it in their own time. If you don’t have a way of getting it to them in person, go ahead and mail it. But don’t tell them it’s coming ahead of time, they’ll be more pleased if they weren’t expecting it. Have you ever received a thank-you note unexpectedly? Have you crafted any cool greeting cards lately? What’s the most awkward “thank you” you’ve given or received? Share your story in the comments below!