Etiquette for Writing a Thank-You Note

I was raised to write thank-you notes.  In fact, I imagine my mother wrote thank-you notes on my behalf before I could read or write them myself…which is probably why I do it for my children too.  Written gratitude is a dying art which makes me sad because to me it is the foundation of manners, AND there is nothing better then receiving personalized mail (not a bill).  

Since giving birth to Lottie (and even beforehand) I was overwhelmed by how many people wanted to shower her with gifts.  I’m always so thankful for people’s generosity and as I finally had time to sit down and write my thank-you notes last night it got me thinking about the etiquette of writing a thank-you.  Therefore, below I have for you the 5 steps for writing a perfect thank-you note.  

[ONE]

Find good quality greetings/personalized cards to write on. You can get some adorable and affordable ones at a place like Target or beautiful personalized ones at stationary stores/online.  Mine are from Tiny Prints. Make a list of everyone you need to write a thank-you to. 

[TWO]

Address the recipient as “Dear [name]” (Don’t forget to make sure you’re using the correct form and spelling of the person’s name, as well as anyone else’s mentioned in the note), then start your letter with the two most important words; Thank you. 

  • Thank you so much for [item/favor/whatever]… It made my day when I opened it…I’m so grateful you were there…etc…

[THREE]

Your second sentence or paragraph should give some indication of your enjoyment or use of the gift.  Tell them how you plan to use or display their gift. It shows them that you really appreciate the thought that went into it. Even if it’s cold hard cash, describe how you’ll spend the stuff. 

  • I can’t wait to use the birthday money you sent to…
  • The party meant so much to me. Having all my friends and family in one place was so special…

[FOUR] 

A good closing sentence or paragraph is one which looks forward to seeing or speaking to the recipient – especially if a reunion or holiday is coming up – or just lets them know you are thinking of them. 

  • We look forward to seeing you next month at..
  • Hopefully we will get the chance to visit soon.

Also be sure to restate your thanks to emphasize the point of the letter.

[FIVE]

End the letter with your regards.  For example, sincerely” is a safe standby (and less formal), but for closer relationships (family & friends), you might choose a warmer option.

  • With love,
  • Many thanks,
  • Yours truly,
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