During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, writing thank-you notes may be the last thing on your to-do list. Between finding the perfect gifts, decorating the house, visiting family, attending holiday parties, and baking delicious treats, there are a lot of other activities fighting for our attention. I, for one, used to dread sitting down and churning out thank you notes. It can seem tedious and a bit daunting to construct a heartful message. Yet, expressing gratitude is always worth the effort and is sure to bring a smile to the recipient’s face. And while an email suffices, nothing screams heartfelt like a handwritten note.

“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” – G. B. Stern

Writing a thank you note doesn’t have to be a dreaded task, even if you aren’t a self-described “good” writer. Here are a few pointers to help you write short, yet meaningful thank-you notes. Because, after all, it isn’t the length that matters, it’s the sentiment that’s expressed.

Details are key

Personalize your card with as many specific details as possible. Make sure to mention the specific item or service you are thanking the individual for. But don’t stop there! Instead of just saying you are thankful, take at least one sentence to explain why. How does that gift fit into your life? How and when will you use it? Why was the act of service so important? This one simple sentence can transform a generic thank you card into a more sincere expression of gratitude.

What to do if you don’t like the gift: Focus on the giver’s considerate action of gifting you something rather than the gift itself. Express your gratitude for their thoughtfulness in thinking of you.

Look ahead

Don’t focus solely on the thank you. Include a sentence that lets the recipient know you’re thinking of them before you end the note. This could look like mentioning the next time you might see them or inquiring about something going on in their life.

Have fun with your sign-off (when appropriate)

When you aren’t writing a formal thank you note, boost your message by selecting a warmer closing. Don’t feel confined to the standard “Sincerely” or “Thank you.”

Sign, seal & deliver in style

The message is the most important element of a thank you note, but small presentation details can elevate it. I love sending a card with a distinctive envelope that features a debossed or embossed imprint. As soon as the recipient opens the mailbox, the card is sure to draw their eye. Another option is to create custom stationery that fits your personal (or professional) brand. These extras can give your thank you note a polished look.


Just remember, don’t focus on making it perfect, focus on making it sincere!


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