The Art of the Thank You Note
The handwritten letter is a dying art form, but very little can compare to the joy of holding an envelope in your hand, opening it and reading a note that someone took the time to craft by hand. When thinking of ways to show gratitude to those who matter most in your life, take out a blank sheet of paper or empty note card and resolve to write a heartfelt message. Here are some tips to help you along the way, from start and to finish.
You can write a thank-you note for any occasion, but thank-you notes are especially appropriate when you have received a gift, after a dinner or party or when someone does anything especially thoughtful for you, such as lending you a book or showing you around town. It is best to send the thank you note as close to the date of the kindness as possible. Although it is better late than never, try to send your note within a two-week time frame.
Use stationery or a nice, blank note card. Find your favorite pen (be sure to use something that doesn’t smear) and pick out a fun stamp. If your child is writing the note, he or she can moderately decorate the note and envelope. Addressing an envelope is a great way to familiarize your child with addresses and encourage his or her memory of your home address.
Start with the salutation, the formality of which depends on who will be receiving the note. “Dear” is a classic opener, but there are many options. Be creative, warm and familiar if you are sending the note to a close friend or loved one. Stick with the traditional “dear” if you are writing to someone less close, such as a co-worker, potential employer or your child’s teacher.
The body of your thank-you note should immediately express your gratitude for the gift or service. Follow up with specifics about your enjoyment and use of the gift or service. Add a personal note if you are familiar with the recipient, such as recent life news. Then wrap up your note with an expression of gratitude and a reference to the future, such as the next time you will see the recipient or good wishes for an upcoming event in the recipient’s life.
However you chose to show gratitude to those that matter in your life, the important thing is to stop and remember to be thankful. By engaging in this simple and rewarding practice, you will set a great example for your children while brightening someone’s day!