It was drilled into me on a regular basis. When we received ANY type of gift, my mother insisted we sit down within a day or two to write a thank-you not. As a child, I hate it. I said thank-you when the gift was given, why should I have to do it a second time? If I couldn’t figure it out as a kid, my teenage years were worse. I’m sure that I insulted an Aunt or two by never sending out a little card after getting another pair of mittens.
As an adult, I understand. I love getting thoughtful notes from my nieces and nephews on lovely paper. I also enjoy writing them….it only took over 30 years.
So, how do you go about writing a thank you?
1. Start with great paper. It can be as simple as a notecard or postcard, I love buying beautiful paper and cards when I see them and keep them tucked into a cabinet for future use. You’d be surprised at the places you’ll find great paper – Target, Barnes & Noble, and gift shops.
2. Don’t wait. My mother used to have us write our notes within a day or two. The sooner the better!
3. Work out the details BEFORE you take the pen to paper. You want it to look well thought out. This is where the computer comes in handy. I’ll draft my note online FIRST, then write it by hand.
4. Address the person you’re sending it to. Most notes begin with “Dear (name)”, but if Suzie is your bestie, you don’t have to be that formal. You can even say Hi Aunt Suzie, it’s fine as long as you make it personal.
5. JUST SAY THANK YOU. Don’t beat around the bush. Thank you for the lovely mittens or Thank you for having us over for dinner last Wednesday night is all you need for the first sentence.
6. It’s gauche to mention the amount if money was the gift. A simple thank you for your generosity, would be nicer.
7. Let them know that you’re using the gift, or HOW you’ll use it in a sentence or two. I can’t wait to wear them this winter when the temperature reaches 50 down here in Miami.
8. You have the option at this point to share something. It could be as simple as: I can’t wait to see you again at XXX, or I hope your family had a great holiday, etc.
9. This is where you’ll say THANK YOU again. Thank you again for the thoughtful gift or something similar to close the note.
10. Your close should be personal. If it’s family I ALWAYS write “Love, Zippy.” If it’s a business gift something like “Best Wishes” would probably be more appropriate.
Thank you for gorgeous Eileen Fisher blouse you sent me. I’m planning on wearing it to that dinner party that I was telling you about (it will go perfectly with my black linen skirt). It makes me smile that you always pick the perfect gifts. I can’t wait until March when you get back down to Florida, I miss going out with you.
Thank you again, and I’ll see you in a few months.