No matter what the occasion, it's always great to receive a gift. But do you always show the proper appreciation? Writing a thank-you note is a quick and easy way to show how much a gift means to you.
- Have notes and postage available. If your birthday or a similar gift-giving occasion is coming up, purchase a package of thank-you notes, and make sure you have stamps on hand. You'll be much more likely to send a thank-you note in the first place if you don't have to hunt for supplies.
- Write thank-you notes promptly. It's only polite to show your appreciation as soon as possible. You're also much more likely to forget to send a thank-you note if you don't send one soon after receiving a gift. However, the idea of "better late than never" does apply to thank-you notes. The gift giver would rather hear from you a month after the event than never hear from you at all.
- Include a hand-written message. Even if you buy thank-you notes with a pre-printed message, you should always write a short personal note.
- Start with general thanks. It's a good idea to start off any thank-you note with a general expression of thanks like, "I wanted to thank you for the Christmas gift you sent me."
- Be specific. Mention the gift you received by name. This adds a personal touch to the note, and it lets the recipient know you've actually remembered his or her gift.
- Mention how you will make use of the gift. If it's possible, include a sentence or two describing how you will be enjoying the gift. In the case of money and gift certificates, this may take a little thought. Will you be putting the money in your college savings account, or will you splurge on a new pair of shoes? If you've already spent your gift certificate, mention a few of the things you were able to purchase with it. If you haven't decided, you may want to say you're looking forward to a future shopping trip.
- Keep it nice. Sometimes you get gifts that you just don't like or you know you'll never use. In these situations, a little white lie will keep you in the gift-giver's good graces. It's also possible to avoid hurt feelings without lying by using vague statements like, "I really appreciate the thought." If you remember the good intentions of the gift-giver, your thank-you note will be heartfelt and believable.