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How to write good and memorable Thank-You notes

Updated on February 22, 2009

In a modern world thank you notes are often forgotten.  They should not be.  When most mailboxes are filled with nothing but bills (if not delivered online) and junk, a handwritten note asking nothing of you is appreciated and treasured.  After someone took the time to go to the store or four, pick out a gift, wrap it and deliver it, spending two minutes to say thank you is hardly an imposition, even if you said thank you on the spot.  Follow these easy steps and you’ll be on your way in no time.

 1)      Pick out the write stationary.  This can be cute cards that match the theme of the event or simple notebook paper with matching envelopes.

2)      Address the note to the gift giver by name.  Do not just start with a thank you.

3)      Thank the guest for coming to your event or express sorrow that they were unable to make it.  Tell them why you were happy to have them there or say that you hope they enjoyed themselves.

4)      Thank the gift giver for you gift by mentioning it by name.  Do not be generic, but don’t be overly detailed.  For example, thank them for the gift card to x store, but don’t mention the amount or thank them for the Waterford champagne flutes, but leave off the pattern.  Make sure you have the right gift.  This lets them know you do know what you received and are thankful for in the furry of gift opening.

5)      Say something nice about every gift.  Tell the giver how you will use it or what you liked about it.  If you can’t find something nice about the gift, say something nice about the thought they put into it: Aunt Jane, it must have taken you months to knit the sweater; how thoughtful!

6)      Sign your name.

Thank you notes should also be written for special acts of kindness.

Special for children:

No matter what the age, thank you notes need to be sent. At age three and under, the child need not participate. At age four and five, the child should sit with you while you write out the notes allowed; it’s OK to do only 2-3 notes at a time 2-3 times a day until completed. The child should be telling you what they like about the gift and, if able, signing his or her name. At age six, the child should be dictating most of the note (with guidance) and writing “Thank you” and signing his or her name. At age seven +, the child should be able to do thank notes on his or her own.

· Never use fill in the blank notes. It teaches the child nothing. Writing thank you notes as a child is good training for writing thank you notes for graduation and wedding gifts, for follow-ups with job interviews, or acts of kindness.

· For children especially reluctant to write a thank you note, withhold gifts until after the thank you note is written.

Do you write thank you notes?

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    • bgpappa profile image


      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Good Hub. Thank you notes was something my mother beat into me. She said the least you can do when someone goes out of their way is take 30 seconds to say thank you. I know make my kids to it too.

      Its amazing the reaction I get to the thank you note. Good piece of advise.


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