With computers today - emails, texts and general messaging it doesn't take much time or thought to shoot off a message thanking someone for a meeting, a gift or even a fun night out, but I believe a hand written thank you note is one of the simplest and yet most appreciated thing you can do. This may be because I was required by my mom (I think since birth) to write a thank you note for any gift that was given to me, whether it was a horrible pair of socks that I was never going to wear or a beautiful personalized gift there was no question a thank you note was required. I remember as a little girl thinking how much I hated to write them especially after a birthday... so many notes and then you had to label each one which I thought was the most painful. You had to make sure all the spelling was correct and you had to hunt down the address and then lick the gross stamp! Twenty something years later, I don't think I could thank my mom enough for making me write so many (I probably owe her a few thank you notes.) So I thought I would share a few tips on how to write a personalized thank you that will get to the giver in a fashionable amount of time (which is sometimes half the battle).
- Try as hard as possible to send a thank you within the week of a gift given to you. Of course, this isn't always possible, but the sooner you write the easier it is. You don't want to wait so long that the recipient doesn't remember what they gave you!
- It doesn't have to be a novel, but just a sweet short note that thanks them for the gift whether that is a physical item or a lovely weekend get away.
- A thank you note does NOT have to be for a physical gift... it can be for anything really. An overnight visit, when you have been the guest of honor or even just a batch of cookies someone dropped off when you moved in.
- Don't try to make it super fancy or a "text book" thank you, make it sound like you. If that means you use contractions and a few exclamation marks that is perfect... although don't get too exclamation point happy unless of course you like to talk in exclamations on a regular basis!
- Make sure the note is personalized. I think this is one of those tips that seems common sense, but often thank you notes can be a bit dry and very straight forward. For example, if you received a beautiful serving bowl maybe mention how you will be using it for the next big family gathering with the family's favorite recipe. Nothing too complicated, but just sharing your excitement and appreciation for the time and money spent on the gift.
- I know sometimes gifts just don't work out, especially those terribly ugly itchy socks that get all bunchy in your boots, but don't write about returning them or how they don't fit in your note. Just simply say thank you and worry about the logistics later. It is really the thought that counts.
- It doesn't always have to be an actual thank you note. I find this is often true for a small get together or a house party. Often, when you ask the host/hostess if you can bring anything they say they have it covered, just come ready to have fun. However, no one actually likes to go empty handed, so many bring bottles of wine or a preferred beverage. I have started to bring a loaf of bread for the next morning. I stamp "Thank You" on a gift tag and leave hot bread with the hostess. So far, I haven't had any complaints!
- Most importantly, keep a few beautiful thank you notes on hand. If you already have a stash, it isn't as big of a job to write one. I always love to make cards, maybe because I was trying to make writing thank you notes fun when I was younger, but don't feel pressured to make your own, just have a few waiting for you! Below I have listed a few links to buy some pretty cards.
So if you think that it might be a good idea to write a thank you note, I say go for it, there is no way that it will hurt you! And honestly, the more you write them the easier it will get. Just remember - just like the gift, it is the thought that counts, so don't get too stressed about the wording, your recipient will be quite happy that they received an actual piece of mail amongst the everyday junk mail and bills!
When was the last time you wrote a thank you note?