My parents taught me from a young age that after receiving a gift, it is proper to write the giver a note of thanks. While that custom seems to be largely obsolete, it is still a sign of etiquette and respect to put your thoughts of gratitude into writing after receiving a gift. There is no better time to institute or reinstate the policy of sending out proper Thank You Notes than during the holidays. Here are some tips on how to write a well crafted but warm and gracious note of thanks during the holiday season.
Don’t Let Too Much Time Lapse Before Sending Your Thank You Note. While it certainly a case of better late than never when it comes to Thank You Notes, it is far better to send them out sooner rather than later. If you intend to wait until the holidays are over before sending out your notes, make sure it is received by the second week of January. The holidays should still be fresh in mind when your friends and family receive your notes of gratitude.
Write Your Note on Paper That is Clean and Neat. This may seem quite obvious, but amazingly enough it is not. Do not rip a sheet of notebook paper out and leave bits of paper hanging off the edge. If you inadvertently stain or rip the paper or note card you are using, a fresh piece should be used. If you have several mistakes in the first line of your note and need to cross them out and write above them, start over again. Your Thank You Note should reflect the amount of love and appreciation you have for the gift and the person who gave it to you. A sloppy and dirty note sends the message that you sent it out of obligation and hurried to get it done as quickly as possible.
Use the Person’s Name in Your Holiday Thank You Note. Begin the note by using the gift giver’s name. This adds a bit of personal feeling to the correspondence and does not give the impression that you simply wrote one generic note and then copied it over and over.
Mention the Holiday Gift. You should certainly name the gift when writing out your note of thanks. Mention how much you appreciate it and what you plan on using the for. If it was an indoor grill or a sandwich maker, talk about all the meals you plan on using it for in the future. If the present was cash or a gift card, let the giver have an idea of how you used the money. You don’t need to divulge any information that you feel is too personal. Just a brief mention of new clothes or jewelery or that you will be saving the money for a future purchase is sufficient.
Thank the Giver in the Beginning and the End of the Note. It is generally considered good form to open a Thank You Note with a line of thanks and to end the note the same way. The first line should include the name of the gift. The closing line can be more general, just thanking the giver for their thoughtfulness and generosity.
Make this holiday season the year you bring back the Thank You Note. Your friends and family members will appreciate the gesture and may just follow suit.