How To Write a Thank-You Note

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. 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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." 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.   
  7. 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.


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