Monday, September 13, 2010

Step-By-Step: How To Write a Thank-you Note

Receiving a thank-you note for a thoughtful gift or an act of kindness is one of life’s great joys. Writing a thank-you note should not be a chore, but rather the celebration of an emotional connection between you and the recipient.

Before you begin writing there are a few basics to consider:

Write your thank-you note as soon as possible. You don’t want to begin your note with an apology.

Of course, use good stationery. A thank-you note is actually a gift. Wrap your gift in good paper.

Devote enough time and space so you can concentrate without interruptions.

Focus on why you’re writing.

Make your note an emotional experience; look for the emotional connection that is leading you to put pen to paper.

A thank-you note doesn't have to be long. Keep it simple, but keep it sincere.

Starting a thank-you note is easy. Begin with these two words: “Thank you.”

Now just state why you’re saying thank you:

“for the beautiful pair of candlesticks.”

“for the wonderful weekend at the beach house.”

“for your kind note after Dad passed away.”

Your second sentence should establish the personal, emotional connection to the recipient.

“Peter and I just finished a quiet dinner together, illuminated by your thoughtful gift.”

“Although we won’t be able to have a clambake on the shore, we look forward to your visit to the city so we can return your gracious hospitality.”

“I know you never had the chance to meet Dad; you two would have enjoyed each other’s company.”

Now for the closing.

“We promise to use them for only the most special occasions."

“I hope the rest of your summer is filled with sunshine and warm breezes.”

“It’s a great comfort in this difficult time to have such a good friend.”

And that’s it. You and the recipient of your note will be emotionally closer, all because of a little thoughtfulness expressed with pen and paper.


Letterpress Vines Pearl White Notes

Flowering Branches Pearl White Notes

Engraved Pineapple Ecruwhite Notes

Engraved Peacock Feather Ecruwhite Notes

Find a Crane Stationer


Jen said...

Great, timeless advice -- thank you!

Arden Clise said...

Very lovely advice. I shared the blog post with my Clise Etiquette Facebook Likes.

Lydia said...

Interestingly, Judith Martin offers a counterpoint as to the use of the word "thank you" in a thank-you note.

She says "There is no absolute etiquette prohibition on the letter that begins "Thank you for the . . . " but it so obviously smacks of being a duty letter, rather than one inspired by enthusiasm, that it lacks ... graciousness "

Anonymous said...

@Lydia of course there's something to be said for the inherent graciousness of an ungracious note than the inherent ungraciousness of no note at all.

xJane said...

Great post! My favorite part of the holidays (and my birthday) is sitting down with my fountain pens, stationery, and sealing wax to write thank you notes.