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You know those holiday gifts you received? Well, quick…dig through your stationery drawer and grab some thank you notes. It’s not too late. Here are 6 musts for a perfect thank-you note. It will make your recipients’ day and put a smile on their face to find your handwritten note in their mailbox.

To begin with…

6 musts for a thank-you note

  1. Hand write the note. Whether your writing style is cursive or a cursive/printing combo, write the note by hand. It just makes it more personable than a typewritten or emailed note.
  2. Use boxed ‘thank-you note’ cards or pick up an individual thank-you card at the store. Better yet, treat yourself to a box of personalized note cards. (I ordered some for my husband for Christmas from Office Depot at a very reasonable price with their in-store discount.)
  3. Start with a greeting.  For example, ‘Dear Aunt Jane’, or ‘Hello Wes…’ Don’t go straight to the body of the note without a greeting.
  4. Keep the note brief. After the greeting, you will only write perhaps 2-5 sentences. Mention the gift specifically and what you especially like about it. For a gift of money, mention how you plan to use it. For example, to put toward a new sofa or a much-needed massage. Lastly, close by thanking the sender again and expressing good wishes for the new year.
  5. Send asap after receiving a gift. My mother often reminded us kids growing up that “swift thanks is sweet thanks.” But, a belated note is better than no note at all.

And finally, one of the 6 musts for a thank-you note is…

Use a real stamp (not a postage meter). Keep a variety of Forever stamps on hand and use what fits each recipient. The Forever flag stamp is universal and works for anyone. However, using a flower stamp for the recipient who likes flowers makes the envelope a bit more personal and fun to receive.

There you have it! Six musts for a thank-you note. Furthermore, these tips are transferrable. Use these guidelines for writing any thank-you note, including wedding or birthday gifts and gestures of kindness. That’s part of good social etiquette. It takes only a few minutes to handwrite a note of thanks, but the impact will be long lasting. And, you will be remembered as a gracious and appreciative gift recipient.

You may also like to read: Business Etiquette Rules to Use in the Office Post-pandemic.

Rachel Wagner is a licensed business etiquette consultant, trainer, and speaker. She is the owner of the Oklahoma-based business etiquette firm Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol. 
Rachel provides onsite and LIVE virtual training on business and dining etiquette topics. She has corporate clients from many industries around the country. As an etiquette expert, she is interviewed and quoted in a variety of local and national media outlets. These include The Washington Post, MONEY, Forbes, and many more. She is also credentialed as a Virtual Event Professional and Zoom Producer.

Photo credit: Rachel Wagner