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How to Write Charming Thank You Notes

By Edited Apr 11, 2016 3 11

Thoughtful Thank You Cards

Your Friends Will Cherish

Thank you notes are one of the most thoughtful ways you can show other people how much you enjoyed a gift or something kind someone has done for you. However, when was the last time you sent a handwritten thank you note? If you can't remember, or it was more than a year ago, you need to get back in practice right away. For many Americans, sending hand-written thank you cards has become a lost art. People are often hesitant to send notes because they feel as though they don't know what to say, or they believe that the cards they send sound awkward. With a little effort, you can become much more comfortable about letting others know how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness.

Thank You Notes

Sending a thoughtful and charming thank you note does not have to be a complicated or painful chore. Remembering to send thank you cards after holidays and birthdays is a wonderful way to show how much you appreciate your friends and family for their gifts and acts of kindness. In fact, people love to receive notes even when they haven't sent someone a gift. I recently received a lovely card from a friend after a trip we took together. She wrote a note telling me what a fun time she had, and how much she valued my friendship. This woman will probably remain a lifelong friend, partly because of her consistent kindness and thoughtfulness. You can learn to become this type of person, too. How do you write a thoughtful thank you note?

First you may want to keep a stock of cards on hand so that you always have one handy.  If you need a few, you can always order some by using this direct link to beautiful collections of thank you cards from Amazon.com.

Use a Pre-printed Card

Do you feel awkward about writing personal notes? Do not despair. Not only Amazon, but also the card shops and card racks at your local drug store or grocery store are full of preprinted cards with lovely messages. One of these preprinted cards is almost certain to cover the situation. Personally, I like to keep on hand some cards with an inside message that simply says, "Thank you for your thoughtfulness." They are perfect for nearly any occasion. You can use them to thank someone for sending you a gift, visiting you in the hospital, doing you a favor, and virtually any other purpose. Try to get in the habit of sending just one thank you card like this every month. You'll be surprised how much your friends will love them!

Write a Personal Note on a Blank Card

Do not feel that you need to limit yourself to using cards that already have a message printed inside. You can also purchase ones that are blank on the inside. Either choose note cards that have the words "Thank You" written on the front, or simply select cards with nothing more than a charming picture on the front. Either choice is acceptable. The most important thing to remember is to simply write the note. Do not hesitate or postpone your action just because you don't have any official thank you cards on hand. The lovely note my friend sent me didn't have the words "Thank You" printed anywhere. She used a blank note card with a print of a pretty painting on the front.

Although every attempt should be made to mail your note as soon as possible after receiving the gift or favor, there are times when it is acceptable to take your time. For example, if you are a new bride, it is not unusual for it to take several months to complete all your notes, especially if you had a large wedding. The same is true is you are thanking people for sending flowers or helping you out while you were in the hospital. For most other occasions, however, notes should be sent out within a month or sooner, if possible.

How to Write a Personal Thank You Message

Whether you use a commercial thank you note or your own stationery, it is important to make your note feel personal. Be specific about the gift that you are acknowledging. For example, don't just say, "thank you for the gift." Instead your note should say, "thank you for the beautiful sweater." In addition, you need to try to add one more personal sentence. You might say, "It is exactly what I needed" or "I will think of you whenever I wear it." If the gift was given to you personally by the giver, you might add how much you enjoyed seeing the person when they gave you the gift. If the item was mailed, you might mention that it was received in perfect condition ... especially if it is a fragile item. End your note in a charming way by letting the gift giver know how much you value their friendship, their supportiveness, or their thoughtfulness.

Flowers Are a Lovely Way to Say Thank You

Occasionally, sending flowers or a small gift is appropriate, if someone has done an exceptional favor for you. If you have a friend, for example, who watched your children for a week while you had emergency surgery, or mowed your lawn for you after you broke your leg, sending them a gift of flowers or a box of candy is a thoughtful way to let them know how much you enjoyed whatever they did. Although it isn't necessary, especially if you are very tight on money, going beyond a simple thank you note is an action you might want to take every once in a while. In fact, if the person you are thanking lives nearby, you may simply want to bake them a cake or a batch of cookies, and deliver them personally. No other thank you is likely to be more appreciated.

Be Appreciative

Thank you notes are not the place to write anything negative. Nor is it appropriate to ask for the receipt so you can exchange the gift! Keep your thank you note simple, and use it as an opportunity to gratefully show how much you appreciate your friend's consideration. After all, it really is the thought that counts! And your thoughtfulness in writing thank you notes will show what a gracious and thoughtful person you are!

You may also be interested in reading one of these articles:

Thoughtful Thank You Notes from Kids

Showing Gratitude at Thanksgiving

Thoughtful Gifts for Fathers Day

Thoughtful Photo Gifts for Mothers Day

Cheap and Thoughtful Gifts for Men

One Example of the Many Collections from Amazon.com

Thank You Potpourri - 36 Thank You Cards for $12.99 - 6 Designs - Blank Cards - Gray Envelopes Included
Amazon Price: $18.99 $12.99 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 11, 2016)
You may wish to get a collection of notes like the ones shown here. For other choices, you can use the Amazon link in the article or click on the blue product link to go directly to the Amazon site.

The Classic Thank You Note - For All Occasions

Classic Thank You - 36 Thank You Cards for $12.99 - 6 Designs - Blank Cards - White Envelopes Included
Amazon Price: $18.99 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 11, 2016)
If you prefer simple, classic thank you notes, this is the design for you!


Dec 20, 2011 12:11pm
For myself, I use the blank cards that allow me to write a more personalized note of thanks, get well, sympathy or encouragement, depending on the situation. Such small efforts are much appreciated by recipients maybe because our culture has gotten away from such niceties in recent times.
Dec 21, 2011 1:19pm
Good tips on writing thank you notes.
Dec 27, 2011 7:07pm
You have inspired me to write a charming thank-you note. Thanks!
Dec 28, 2011 9:29am
Thank you all for your charming comments! I really appreciate your feedback! :)
Dec 28, 2011 3:05pm
Valuable information on writing Thank You notes. Too many people forget to do this. Thanks for the great reminder!
Dec 30, 2011 9:17am
Thank you for you comment. Yes, I do believe that far too many people forget to write thank you notes. Sadly, other social skills seem to be disappearing, as well!
Dec 31, 2011 11:30am
I'm so glad you wrote this great article. The practice of writing thank you notes has almost vanished. It's really a shame because a one line email is nice but not the same as a handwritten message when it comes to making the recipient feel special.
Dec 31, 2011 12:31pm
I agree with you completely ... and I myself frequently rush out an email rather than a thank you note far too often. Thank you for your comment!
Jan 1, 2012 8:20pm
Great article! I usually keep a stack of thank you notes in my drawer and try to send one to a friend as soon as I can. Unfortunately, I don't send them out as often as I should.
Jan 2, 2012 7:08am
DD, thanks for reminding us to 'write charming thank you notes.' This is becoming another of our lost arts. Computers seem to make it easier to just send out a thank you, but as you said it does not mean quite the same. Good article!
Feb 14, 2015 2:41pm
So few people write thank you notes these days. However, they are always appreciated!
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