How To Write A Thank You Card

Guidelines for how to write a thank you card. Expressing gratitude in writing can be a daunting task.

Having trouble finding the words to express your gratitude for the perfect gift or gesture? It is always important to acknowledge the kindness of others, and often this can be accomplished by writing a Thank You note. For more elaborate gifts, a note may be accompanied by a small gift, such as flowers, but I shall leave that to your discretion.

First, one must consider what occasions merit the sending of a Thank You card. It is my contention that birthdays are such occasions, while Christmas or Hanukkah are not. Random or unexpected acts of kindness or caring from others can always be responded to by a sincere card. My advice is to play it safe- it is better to send a card when in doubt.

While a wide variety of cards are available at your local card and gift shop, it is hardly sufficient to merely sign them. Some thought and effort must go into such a card in order to truly express your gratitude. Here is an example:

"Thank you so much for the beautiful vase for my birthday. I have placed it in the foyer and have received many compliments on it. I truly appreciate your thoughtful gift, and am so glad you were able to come celebrate with me."

Notice, in this example, that the gift(s) is mentioned specifically. The exception is for the gift of money, in which case "the gift" should be sufficient. It is important to acknowledge the gift by name, as well as make some mention of its utility or beauty. Try to show WHY and HOW you like it. (A touch of cynicism from the author- if you DON'T like the gift, FAKE IT. Make something up unless you plan on exchanging it, in which case you must let the person know.) Try to add characteristics of the gift, such as "delicious chocolates," "colorful tie," "soft blouse," etc.

The same holds true for gestures. If someone has done something nice for you, you may thank them for the "heartfelt," "thoughtful," "touching," or "kind" act.

After that, a sentence or two on a more personal level is appropriate. Thank them for coming to your party, for being a support for you, for showing you a wonderful time, for whatever it is that they mean to you. It may take some brainstorming on your part to come up with the right words to express this, but they will come to you.

Closing sentences can simply repeat your general thanks, such as, "Again, thank you for your generosity. I am sincerely grateful." In signing your name, closings may include: "Sincerely," "Very truly yours," "With thanks," "In appreciation," "With gratitude," or simply "Thank you."

Ultimately, your choice of wording in a thank you note should genuinely reflect your own personal appreciation for the gift or gesture. If you get stuck, try to think of what YOU would want said to you if you were receiving the note. Then start writing your thanks!

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