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Send a Note of Gratitude
The Social Grace of Writing a Thank-You Note
My grandmother always said she loved to get my thank-you notes.
Over the years I would sometimes receive compliments from others, as well; but my "notes" were not perfect. They were more like thank-you letters, and grew quite long with the news of my life and family members. The trouble with this is that such long letters took much time and pages of stationary to write.
They also became more and more scarce as I became busy with life.
Maybe this is your story, too.
However, I started to pay attention to the thank you notes that I appreciated getting from others. As I considered why I appreciated them so much, it changed my perspective on what makes a good thank you note.
To Aid You In Writing Punctual Appreciation
- Samples of writing
- Tips for overcoming procrastination
- Etiquette and F. A. Q.
- Useful guide and card suggestions
This is written to share some of those thoughts and observations with you. Perhaps we can revive the art of writing a real thank you note, and writing it well.
Revive the Art of Expressing Thanks
Nothing says appreciation like a handwritten note that includes personal thoughts. Feel free to personalize the expressions inspired by this article to craft your own unique "thank-you"s.
Victorians Excelled at Letter Writing
Good Reasons to Write your Thanks
Why it is a great social benefit to learn how to write a note of thanks.
- People like to be appreciated
- It lets the giver know you received the gift
- It is good manners to thank the giver
Cute Note Cards
Send Thanks with Pretty Stationary
"Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it."
You are more likely to write a proper thank you note if you have pretty notecards on hand. They make sending the notes you need to write a cinch. Not just because they are so cute, but because the note size is just the space you need to write the perfect thank you message: not too long, not too short, and never impersonal!
Choose Stationary to Speak Your Appreciation
Gain Writing Skills
"Practice makes perfect" is the old adage, and repeated for a reason. The more often you put pen to paper, the more easily the words flow.
Become known for your thoughtful notes of appreciation.
Tips on Writing a Welcome Thank-You Note
Many people tend to draw blanks when looking at a plain white page. You are not alone.
While it may take a little more time to write a thoughtful, well expressed note, it will really show your appreciation. When you take a few minutes to write from your heart it conveys your gratitude for the kindness of a gift .
Do You Draw a Blank when Writing?
You don't have to be completely original, but do try to personalize your notes to people. Specify something about the service or gift you are thankful for, the way it benefits you, and maybe a little something complimentary about the giver.
If you have a close relationship to the person, include something of your feeling for them: appreciation for their love and support, the way they knew just what to give you, or the fact that the time, gift, or service was all the more welcome because it was from them.
The key word in following all this advice is to "be personal".
People appreciate that you value them, their efforts, and their gift, and that means expressing your thoughts in your own words, from the heart.
Thank You Note Advice Summary
- Start with greeting the person, most people begin with "Dear" and the name and then say something personal to them, such as enjoying seeing them recently, etc.
- Say "thanks" for the gift you received, describe and name it in specific terms
- Tell them what the gift means to you or how you use it
- Express a cordial thought towards the giver, which is expressing your warm feelings for their generosity, in some personal way
- Repeat your thanks
- End with your favorite closing such as "Love" "Sincerely" or "Best Regards"
...and that's it!
If you keep thank-you messages in a short "note" form you are more likely to write them. That is all people really want anyway: just a short expression of appreciation.
Keep your notes brief and you will write more punctually, and procrastinate less.
Giving Words to your Gratitude is an Art
As in all writing, tips and prompts can make a difference.
Sometimes it is hard to begin, and words can escape you. But writing well, including a finely crafted "Thank You", does not have to be difficult.
A guide to writing thank-you notes may be a fount of inspiration for you, and is an excellent etiquette resource. You don't need to be at a loss for the right words when you wish to express your gratitude in writing.
I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.
— William Shakespeare
Old Fashioned Graciousness
Thank You Note F.A.Q.
Q: I procrastinated, is it too late to send my note?
A: No, go ahead and write; late thanks is better than none at all.
Q: Do I have to hand write the thank you?
A: No, you don't have to, but taking the time to write something by hand expresses your sincerity and feeling in the best possible way.
Q: Is a long letter better?
A: Actually not. Not only might you put it off always looking for "enough time", but you risk rambling on, instead of focusing on the message of gratitude.
Q: I already told the person "Thank you", do I still need to write a note?
A: In a word: Yes.
Q: I was sent some money in an envelope, how do I handle this?
A: Just simply state your gratefulness, maybe mention something it will go towards, but it is bad form to write down the exact amount you received.
The Manly Art Of Writing Thanks!
Use Quotations of Gratitude
Appreciate good people. They are hard to come by.
One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others. -Lewis Carroll
My world is brighter and more beautiful because of you. Thank you.
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.
Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy, thank you for loving me and receiving my love in return. Thank you for the memories I will cherish forever.- Nicholas Sparks
By the way, I’m wearing the smile that you gave me.
Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart. ~A.A. Milne
It only takes a moment to say thank you – but your thoughtfulness will be remembered a long time.
If you only knew how much those little moments with you mattered to me. Thank you.
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust
What if You Didn't Like the Gift?
A common challenge for those who wish to be honest, and not hide their true feelings is the unwanted gift. There are many reasons to not appreciate a certain gift, but the goal is to appreciate the gesture.
How to Appreciate a White Elephant Gift
Did you ever receive a "white elephant"? That phrase denotes a present that is in some way unwanted. Wrong size, style, or just wrong for you in some way? We all receive a present like that at one time or other.
How to respond, and be honest at the same time?
- Say thanks with love and kindness - Even if you are a bit ambivalent about the gift
- Try to be sincere, yet give the gift-giver your thankfulness for their efforts. "Thank you for your thoughtfulness." may be the best you can muster, but that is a kind expression.
- Take note of their time and efforts, or of the fact that they showed generosity. It is always good to note a person's thoughtfulness and generosity.
If you are an enthusiastic person, just be you, but try not to go over the top since it might sound insincere. "Words cannot convey my gratitude."? Well, you are trying to do just that!
It isn't a terrible thing to say, but choose words that match the gift. I don't think I would say "You shouldn't have" when receiving a tie, for instance.
Make It Easy on Yourself
If you struggle with procrastination, as I have, then this list is to help you overcome one barrier to writing the important notes of appreciation and gratitude to those thoughtful and kind enough to give you something. A gathering of supplies in one place is sometimes all that is needed to accomplish this task.
I cannot stress this enough, if you are a person who procrastinates.
Gather All the Supplies Together
Organize these writing supplies all in one place:
- Stationary and thank you notes
- An Address book
- Special stickers
It can all fit in a document box or a drawer.
It Bears Repeating:
Simple, heartfelt thanks are the best ones.
Give a Heartfelt Message with a Pretty Thank You Card
One of the joys of writing a nice than you is the choice of a pretty card.
Keeping a box of artistic cards on hand makes it easy to take up your pen and give a thoughtful note of thanks.
Metropolitan Museum of Art stationary cards have always been some of my favorites for cards and notes. Beautiful fine art cards!
Make Instruments And Supplies Special
- A good quality pen that feels comfortable. There is nothing worse than a pen that runs out of ink, or is uncomfortable to use.
Consider this one:
- Pretty notecards with envelopes.
- Be sure to have all the addresses you need.
Make a list in a notebook or on a sheet or two of paper; keep the list with your cards.
- A roll of special stamps.
Find your own perfect stamp.
Do You Write Notes Of Appreciation?
Selection of Artful Notecards
Keep a selection of beautifully crafted notecards on hand to encourage writing, as well as delighting the recipients of your efforts. I like to keep a supply of the notecards which can be used on different occasions, but are perfect for jotting a note of thankfulness.
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Great art from some of the most famous art museums in the world. They always produce products of fine quality with the most beautiful art in the world printed in gorgeous color.
One of the premiere art museums of the world has has a curation of some of the most beautiful of its collections on paper product done with excellent printing that brings a sense of luxury to cards, stationary, calendars and other such things.
Great Art Appreciation
A Short Writing Guide
Special Cards and Postage Convey Your Thoughts
Zazzle Specialized Stamps and Cards
Here are a number of cute Zazzle stamps. If you don't find something you like in the selection go on to Zazzle and make your own custom stamp, or choose from literally tens of thousands of stamps designed by artists on the site.
A well chosen, bright stamp is just an extra special touch. I really like the stamps that say "Thank You" on them and have the colors of the cards and envelope. With Zazzle, it is so easy to do.
How to Find Well Chosen Cards
Maybe you love a certain design style, or want a well-done design that has a certain look. You can peruse the "best seller" lists or take a chance on one of the featured shops.
There are no lack of designs and many ways to find them.
What about you? Do you take the time to send a handwritten thank you note?
Take a couple seconds to answer the poll. Make a note to yourself to buy a few supplies to be prepared.
Use online calendars to set alerts, too. Often, I found that if I let too much time go by, it was much harder to remember to write and send off thanks. If we appreciate the gift and the fact that someone thought of us... we should also care enough to thank them.
From me to you:
Dear Hubber Friends and Wayfaring Websurfers,
Thank for your comments, here. I appreciate the fact that you took time from a busy day and read through this article, and that now you are leaving me a comment.
So often your time to comment goes unnoticed, or seems to, but I would like you to know how much your notes mean to me. They are bright spots in the day, and allow me to understand the impact my words have had on your life.
And now, you know the impact your words are having on me!
Thank you so much for your time, which is one of our greatest resources to share with each other.
Ilonagarden on Hubpages
Thank You Notes For Wedding Gifts Are Vital
Especially for Wedding Gifts
A Very Important Time To Send Thank You Notes
If ever there were a time that thank you notes are important it is after the wedding. It is also one of the most challenging, since the number of notes to write are far more than for most occasions!
Learn how to write gracious thank you notes, and set aside a block of time to write them all at once, if you can. Like anything else, you get into a "flow" that makes the writing go more smoothly.
You can match your wedding stationary or use harmonizing colors and motifs. Or perhaps order some cards with the new "Mr. and Mrs." custom names.
More Writing Help
- How To Write a Charming Thank-You Note - Southern Living
How To Write a Charming Thank-You Note
Thank You for Your Comments - ... a little note from me
erinshelby from United States on September 06, 2019:
The more you write these types of notes, the easier it becomes. This type of gesture is truly appreciated.
RTalloni on November 12, 2016:
Thank you for encouraging gratitude to others. It is important to count our blessings and especially so when they come in the form of a kindness from someone else.
Ilona E (author) from Ohio on December 04, 2014:
thank *you*, and you are very right about how a grateful attitude is a reflection of our relationship to God.
muhammad abdullah javed on December 03, 2014:
Thank you....though very short sentence but exert huge impacts, as you have rightly observed its varied colors. Thanks for the share. Thanking attitude reflects one's relationship with His God. If he is thankful to God certainly people too get benefitted from those beneficial words. Voted Up Ilonagarden.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 26, 2014:
Thank You Notes make the day, and as you observed, the pretty notes get more attention. Thanks for all your help to write something acceptable.
Natalie W Schorr on May 19, 2014:
I have recently been sending a lot of thank you notes; I have so much for which to be thankful.
Ilona E (author) from Ohio on March 24, 2014:
@QuizSquid: I hope it helps people to be inspired to use good old mail and send their thoughts of appreciation. It does mean much to the giver.
Ilona E (author) from Ohio on March 24, 2014:
@TerriCarr: We do, and thank you so much for taking the time to leave your comments. Glad to see your recommendation of Kralik's book.
TerriCarr on March 24, 2014:
I am just now reading "A Simple Act of Gratitude" by John Kralik. Fabulous book! In 2008, he wrote a thank you note for each day of the year and over the course of the year every aspect of his life got better and better. We have a lot to learn about the power of gratitude to transform the world.
QuizSquid on February 23, 2014:
Thank you, Ilona1. What a lovely, thoughtful lens! I'm confident that you've served not only your readers, but also those who give them gifts.
Ilona E (author) from Ohio on February 19, 2014:
@chompasaurus: The thing that helped me was to realize it only needs to be a short message.
anonymous on February 26, 2012:
Wow, what an incredible article. Lot's of great stuff. I am with thankster.com and we help people send thank you notes in the mail. Please take a look at our site. We'd really appreciate it.
chompasaurus on February 12, 2012:
Thank you notes are definitely underappreciated. Everyone loves to get them, but people rarely spend all that much time thinking about writing them.