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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How To: Write a Thank You Note

So I guess you know by now that I rarely do a tutorial and usually its only if its something that I feel fairly strongly about (like watching a gorgeous wedding cake being buthered)...

And here is where Im about to show my Southern roots... :)

It seems like no one knows how to write a thank you card anymore... its just crazy! And had I attempted what Ive seen some do, both my mother and grandmother would have never ever let me get on with my life... thats how important a good thank you is.

So... there are 3 things that I see alot that should not be happening...
1. No thank you card is ever sent.
2. A generic card is given but it only contains the sender's name.
3. A generic card is given but it only contains the dreaded "thanks for the gift" and the sender's name.

(Im not even going to comment on sending a text or email instead of a handwritten note)


If youve done one (or maybe all) of these three, its ok... thats what we are here for... so we dont repeat the same mistake... :)

For just a minute, lets look at what each of these mistakes says to the receiver.
1. No thank you card is ever sent.
- you are an ungrateful person who doesnt appreciate anything (not saying thats true, just the message it sends)

2. A generic card is sent but it only contains the senders name.
- you didnt really like the gift but know its proper etiquette to send something

3. A generic card is sent but it only contains the dreaded "thanks for the gift" and the sender's name.
- probably the worst because it says I acknowledge that you spent your own time and money getting me something that you thought I would enjoy, but I dont even have five minutes to spend actually telling you thank you for it.

As stated before.... just because the message is sent doesnt make it true... maybe you really did appreciate the gift, you just have never been taught how to write a proper thank you note... not your fault really.... but in all essence, you are still sending the same messsage.... so lets change that, shall we?

Ok, so the first question is: WHEN DO I SEND A THANK YOU NOTE?

The easy answer is.... when you didnt open the gift in front of the sender.

The slightly longer answer is... when you didnt open the gift in front of the sender and the intrisic worth of the gift is not more than the cost of sending a thank you note.

For example, if you had a birthday party and opened the presents in front of your guests and therefore thanked each one in person, there is no need to send a thank you note or if your friend sent you a card, then there is no need to send them a reciprocal thank you card (this is the time for the text or email).

Otherwise... you need to send them a handwritten thank you card... NOT A TEXT OR AN EMAIL.

Ok, so if youve made it this far and arent steaming mad at me (I promise Im only trying to help), then you are ready to get down to the nitty gritty of actually writing a thank you note... :)

For all purposes and intent, I like using blank note cards that have something pretty or even "thank you" on the front.... They are cheaper, just as good and force you to actually be personal with the person you are thanking.... actual "thank you" cards make you want to cheat and go to #2 or #3 - DONT.

Also, thank you notes should be sent usually within 1-2 weeks of receiving the gift... with a few exceptions, weddings and babies can take up to a month b/c they are obviously busy (this doesnt include showers given before), deaths/funerals can take up to 6 months.

Alright... so here we go... :)

1. A Greeting
- I know it was common in another era to write "Dear" in front of someone's name, but this has become outdated - unless the person you are writing to comes from that era.... otherwise, just start out with that person's name or family name

Ex: Susan, or Talley family,

2. The First Thanks.
- The first line should be thanking them for exactly what they gave you.... you should never write "thank you for the gift" - this assumes that you dont even remember what they gave you. Always be specific.

Ex: Thank you so much for the red, plush blanket. or Thank you so much for babysitting my kids for a couple of hours.

3. Why You Love It.
- You need to give at least 2, if not 3 reasons why you love the gift - what makes it perfect for you or what you intend to use it for.

Ex: The blanket is so, so soft and I love the color. It matches our pillows perfectly! It will be great for date nights with my husband cuddling on the couch.

4. Bonus: Something Nice about the Sender.
- You get extra points if you add in something nice about the sender right after you tell why you love the gift. (doesnt have to be long or extravagant, just that you appreciate the giver as well as the gift.)

Ex: You always know just what to get me. or You are the best!

5. Thanks again.
- End your note with another thank you for the gift - after all, they spent their own time and money getting something just for you.

Ex: Thank you again for everything. or Thank you again for the blanket - it means so much.

6. Your name.
- End the note with your name, adding a personalized greeting if you want.

Ex: -Addie (I usually add a heart in front of my -Addie)

Example of a good thank you note:
Thank you so much for the red, plush blanket. Its so, so soft and I love the color. It goes perfectly with my pillows. And it will be so great for date nights with my husband cuddling up on the couch. You were so thoughtful to think of me. Thank so much for being my friend and for always knowing what to get.
<3 (thats a heart), -Addie

Bonus tip:
- The most important part of this is to be sincere. You need to write like you would speak (grammar and spelling correct though)... dont try to come across as all uppity and hoity-toity like you might think is proper... the whole purpose of the note is to really thank the sender for their generosity.

So there you go.... easy peasy pie.... you did it... and what, it took all of maybe 5 minutes and I guarantee you will have made a huge impression on the reciever of the note.... so now - no excuses to not send a note or go to the standard "thank you for the gift"....

You can do this!!!!

Bonus tip: On your next shopping trip to Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Walmart, etc... stop by the card aisle and pick up a pack of 8 blank notecards (some even have "thank you" on the front) - you can get them for $1-2, and then you will have some on hand.... and when they are on hand, you will use them!

Ok.... really, really hope that was helpful.... Id love to know what you thought or if I didnt explain anything clearly. Feel free to leave a comment or email me at talleyimages@yahoo.com and let me know. (and feel free to pass this along anonomously to those few people you are thinking about - you know you were)... :)

1 comment:

Rachael said...

I am terrible at writing thank you cards. Next time I will follow your steps.