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How to Write a Thank You Note

Updated on March 17, 2011

I wrote one of my first thank you notes on bright blue construction paper – blue was, and still is, my very favorite color. It went a little something like this: “Dear Grandma, Thank you for the doll. I love it and I love you.” I don’t actually remember writing it, but my Grandma brought it out recently to show me. I was surprised she had kept it all these years, but it just illustrates how important a genuine thank you note can be for a gift giver. It’s never too late (or too early!) to learn how to write a proper thank you note.

Email vs. Note

These days, an email seems like an appropriate method of communication for almost everything. But, when you are expressing gratitude for a gift, it is always better to send a handwritten thank you note. By acknowledging a gift with a handwritten card, the recipient will see your genuine thanks for their efforts. Even if it wasn’t exactly what you wanted, it is, as they say, the thought that counts and reciprocating that with a special thank you note will make a big impression.

What You Will Need

Before you even sit down to write your thank you note, be sure to pick out note cards that reflect your personality. There is a wide variety from sparkly flowers to plaid to monogrammed. Blank cards that are generic instead of holiday specific will ensure that you can use them for any type of thank you – a gift or a visit from Aunt Janet or a place to stay when you are traveling.

A nice, ink pen will also add a special touch to your note. Blue or black is always appropriate. Something like pencil or another colored pen might be difficult to read for the recipient.

Make sure you have all your addresses and plenty of stamps on hand so you can get your notes out in a timely manner.

Components of a Thank You Note

First, beginning with a simple greeting to begin you note. Even something simple like “Dear Grandma and Grandpa” is an appropriate way to begin. Then, write a simple statement of thanks and name the gift specifically: “Thank you so much for the beautiful sweater you gave me.” Once you name the gift, express how you will use it: “I will definitely wear it with my favorite jeans when I go out with my friends.”

This is also an opportunity to write about seeing the gift giver in the future or reference seeing them recently. Something like: “Seeing you at Christmas dinner was great, and the pumpkin pie you brought was delicious” or “I can’t wait to see you again at the family reunion this summer!”

Close by re-expressing your gratitude for the gift and closely it with a simple “Love” “With thanks” or another heartfelt closing.

The most important thing to remember when writing a thank you note is to be genuine so the note recipient will feel special for their efforts. Whether you are saying Thank you, Gracias, Danke or Merci, a handwritten thank you note will go a long way in express your gratitude toward someone special in your life who has given you a thoughtful gift.


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