As I mentioned earlier this week in my post about paperless invitations, I've been hand writing thank-you notes since I was old enough to hold a crayon. But whether your thank-you's are hand written or e-mailed, when faced with a long list of people to thank, it can be somewhat daunting to think of something original to say about each and every gift you've received. Over the years I have developed a systematic approach to writing truly thoughtful thank-you notes that do not take forever to write, but are genuinely appreciative.
Here are my tips:
1. Don't Bury the Lead. When you're writing to ask someone for a favor, it's appropriate to add a little chitchat at the forefront of your message, but when thanking someone, come right on out and say it (and be sure to mention the gift/favor/act of kindess specifically!). They'll appreciate that your sole reason for writing is to thank them for their kindness.
2. Tell the Giver How/Where You Will Use Their Gift. For example: "Thank you so much for the beautiful vase. I've already filled it with flowers and placed it on my mantle and it looks fabulous." If you've received a gift-card, and you haven't used it yet, tell the giver how much you are looking forward to that massage or afternoon of shopping at your favorite store.
3. Let the Giver Know That You Like Them As Much As You Like Their Gift. If you received the gift in person, let the giver know how much you enjoyed seeing them at that particular event or holiday. If you received the gift in the mail, tell them that you are looking forward to seeing them at the next event you'll both be attending.
4. Wrap It Up. This is where you write that you hope the giver is doing well, thank them again for thinking of you, and send them your best.
Almost everyone appreciates a thoughtful thank-you note, and if you follow these tips it shouldn't be a chore to write one—you might even enjoy it!
Image: Kate's Paperie