Friday, December 3, 2010

The Anatomy of a Thank You Note

(New Thank You notes up on my Etsy shop. Red for the holidays!)

'Tis the season, my friends, for parties, gifts & holiday cheer. Guess what follows? Well, yes, the occasional "cheer" hangover, but also, the time to send thank yous to your hosts & gift givers.

These days the best excuse you have to put pen to paper might be a thank you note. Keeping up with friends has become almost entirely electronic, but that just doesn't cut it when it's time to express your gratitude. So, pull out a pen, grab a card & write (yes, actually write!) your thank yous.

But wait...you are pausing...do you feel awkward writing a thank you note? Fear not! Lots of people do, strangely enough. The more you do it, the better you will get at it, the easier it will feel. Plus, there is a simple formula you can follow to guide you. I put this together based on posts from The Morning News & eHow.com

1. Greeting the recipient:
Dear Chris,

If "dear" is too familiar, no worries. Just say Hi!

2. Express your gratitude:
Thank you so much for _____!

Fill in the blank with the gift or reason you are writing - a vase, watching my kids, having us over, etc. Mention the gift specifically unless it's money. That is a no-no. In that case you could recognize some one's "generosity."

3. Mention something about the gift -
how you like it, where it will go, how it will be used.

The vase matches our living room perfectly.

The point is to let the person know how you like & appreciate the gift beyond just saying the words "thank you." It brings sincerity to your thanks.

4. Add a personal thought:
Really enjoyed getting together for dinner last week. Let's do it again when we get back from vacation.

Nothing major about things going on in your life in this section. Leslie Harpold of the Morning News.Org says it best in her article: Let the giver know how they fit into the fabric of your life.

5. Re-thank them:
Again, I love the vase! Thank you!

6. Sign off:
All the best, Kerry

Many options here: Love, Best, Cheers...whatever you like. Keep it simple.

And BOOM! You have written a quick & meaningful thank you note. It could only be easier if it was a Mad Lib. Write a few drafts on scrap if you like to get warmed up & organize your thoughts. Then move to your note or social stationery & bang it out.

A common question: Does your thank you note need to say thank you on the front? No! You are saying it on the inside in your note. But, it should be appropriate & reflect the meaning you are sending. (Maybe don't send Grandma a thank you note with skulls on it, even if they are super cute.) Don't know why writing notes is important in the first place? You can start with my earlier blog post here.

Sending you all Holiday cheer! Happy Note Writing!

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