How to write a thank-you note

Though written forms of thankfulness are becoming rare, due to technology, sincere expressions of gratitude will never be out of style.

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  • Many of us associate thank-you notes with unpleasant memories of our mothers forcing us to write tedious letters of gratitude to generous relatives after Christmas and birthdays. Though written forms of thankfulness are becoming rare, due to technology, sincere expressions of gratitude will never be out of style.

  • The trick to writing a genuinely fabulous thank-you note is to focus on the giver. Your aim should be to write in such a way that the giver will truly feel appreciated for his kindness and generosity. Here are 3 simple tips to accomplish that goal:

  • 1. Address the person

  • you are writing by name in a warm manner. Failing to write her name is a stark indication of your indifference.

  • 2. Genuinely thank

  • the individual for the gift, mentioning what it was to confirm that you received it, and find something positive to say about the gift — whether you liked it or not. Even if the gift was totally not your color or style, you can acknowledge the effort and thoughtfulness. It's important that we recognize the time it took to make or buy the gift, wrap it and deliver it to you, or the time it took to do something out of the ordinary especially for you.

  • 3. Sign the card with sincerity

  • appropriate to the relationship you have with the giver.

  • It has been said "a very wise public-relations counsel recommends letter writers to delete the pronoun 'I' as much as possible. A weekend thank-you note that opens 'I had a wonderful time,' is not half so captivating as one beginning, 'You are a wonderful hostess.' Both say thank you, but, ah, my friends, the second is the one that will get you asked back!"

  • Notice the difference between the two following thank-you notes:

  • Dear family,

  • Thank you so much for the Christmas package. We loved the toys and books for the children. We hope you had a lovely holiday.

  • Love, John, Joan, Jim and Jennie

  • OR:

  • Dear Aunt Bette and Uncle Sam,

  • You are the most wonderful aunt and uncle in the world. We have had so much fun with the Parcheesi board game that you sent us for our anniversary. It is a perfect addition to our collection, and we will think of you every time we play. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness.

  • Love, Tony and Tina

  • A sincere, thoughtfully written thank-you note is truly a gift in itself. It is a picture of our heart, and it just might become a treasure to be read over and over again. If we succeed in making the giver feel loved, appreciated and feel good for doing good, then we have, perhaps, given the best gift of all.

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Nancy L.B. Lundgreen is a Tangent, Oregon resident and stay-at-home mom of three.

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