It’s easy to think of thank you note writing after the holidays as a chore, but it is truly training for a life-long skill. Sure you may start with thank yous to Grandma for lego sets and socks, but later, the same skills will be tapped after staying at someone’s home, following a college or job interview, or anytime someone goes out of their way to be kind.
Both my husband and I were taught to write thank-you notes. “Don’t even think of using GI Joe without thanking your Aunt first.” As a part of the letter-writing generation, we also taught our children this skill. We stressed to them that there is no technological way to replace the art of writing a thank you note. No text, no emoji, not even an email will suffice.
So, after a little research and a lot of experience, I’ve broken down the thank-you note writing process into 5 easy steps.
1. Send your thank-you note as soon as possible.
2. Tailor your greeting:
- Dear Mrs. Maisel,
- Hi Grandma and Grandpa!
- Hello Sophie,
3. Express your gratitude for the gift/service (think about the time they took to shop or help):
- Thank you so much for the ___________.
- Thank you for your generosity.
- I am grateful for your kindness.
4. Tell why you love the gift, how you’re going to use it or why you enjoyed the experience:
- The earrings you sent are perfect. I wear them all the time and receive lots of compliments.
- I’m going to save the money you sent for a bike I’m planning to buy.
- Thank you for your hospitality. Staying in your cozy home, made our holidays special.
5. Say thank you again and choose your valediction (sign-off words)
- Kindest Regards,
- Best Regards,
- Many Thanks,
It’s never too late to thank someone for thinking of you when you’re sick, sending you a hand-made scarf when it’s cold, or for giving you a shot at a job. The hardest part is starting. So run to the Dollar Store for a pack of thank you cards, find some stationery, or grab a 3×5 notecard and simply say thanks.