How many times have we heard, read, seen the word “gratitude” in the last few weeks? A lot…and rightfully so…Thanksgiving is, after all, about gratitude. Reflecting on it, thinking about it, saying it…but what about one of the small ways of showing gratitude…not just in November, but any time…all the time? Any month, any day, and for any reason.
The thank you note.
My mom has always stressed the importance of writing a hand-written thank you note. My sister and I always sent thank you notes not only to friends, neighbors, etc, but also to each other, and we still do. And thanks to my mom, we know how to compose a really good one. The most uncomplicated way to write a really good thank you note is to simply be genuinely thankful for the gift, whatever it may be. Someone’s time, kindness, gift, advice, sweetness, comfort…”gifts” come in many forms.
A really good thank you note always references the gift. Not generally, but specifically.
“Thank you for the super soft, snuggly blanket! The blue-grey color matches our home perfectly.”
Once I got a thank you note that said, “Thank you for the gift.” What gift? Did you even get the gift? Did you actually unwrap the gift? Quick – in 20 seconds, describe the gift!
If you get a gift card or cash, it means a lot to the giver if you mention how you might use it. Don’t just say thank you for the card or cash itself.
“I am so excited about my gift card to Boden – it is my new favorite! I am already deciding between two sweaters. Next time you see me, I will look even more stylish than I usually do, thanks to you!”
It is nice to mention how the gift made you feel or what it did for you. This is a really touching element for the recipient.
“Thank you a ton for coming over for a visit. It was so nice to see your smiling face and hear such great stories. My cheeks are still sore from laughing!”
If your note is late, you can certainly acknowledge it and apologize…or, you can weave in a little humor.
“I am so sorry that my note is late, but it would have so predictable to have sent the note straight-away, and I thought predictability would be so boring! This way, it’s a fun surprise!”
You could send an email, of course, or text. But it seems like most days when I get the mail, it’s bills or junk. A little thank you card in the midst of all that is like a beacon of light in a dark sky! (I know that is a little dramatic, but you get the point…) I save special notes that I’ve received. I like to re-read them and think about the person that sent it to me. I know that is a little corny, but it gets me thinking about my friends, family, colleagues and it makes me feel lucky that I have people in my life who understand that I care about them and are grateful and appreciative for that. And I, in turn, am grateful right back. A thank you for a thank you, I suppose.
PS – Let’s not forget that writing thank you notes is just plain old good manners. If you don’t feel grateful for the gift, write the note anyway. Manners never go out of style and look good on everyone.
A few great places to get unique cards: