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The Classic Thank You Note: A tried and true formula, plus tips & tricks!

Posted on January 13 2016

Thank you notes are a pillar in the world of written correspondence.  They are used to show appreciation for warm hospitality, generous acts, gifts, friendship... and so much more!  A classic thank you is simple to compose, putting it's best foot forward when the note is heartfelt and sincere.

A classic formula for a thank you note:

  1. Write the date.
  2. Write the salutation.
  3. Write the content.  Be as generous and gracious as possible.
  4. Write the closing.
  5. Sign your note.

Six do's for elegant notes:

  1. Do handwrite your note neatly and without mistakes, on good quality stationery, preferably something from our THANK YOU COLLECTION,  using blue or black ink.
  2. Do use glowing superlatives and energetic adjectives (as seen below).  Be creative.  Really think about the moment, person or object you are thankful for and how you felt about it.  Be expansive and passionate.  Convey your emotion.
  3. If you are sending thanks for a gift, do mention how you plan to use it.  This shows that the gift was well chosen, and that is one of the best ways to say thank you.
  4. Do add a compliment such as 'you have wonderful taste' or 'you are one of the kindest people I know'.  Everybody likes to know that they are appreciated.
  5. Do keep your note to a paragraph or two in length.  Remember, it is a note, not a letter.  You can make it longer if you want to, but it is not expected.
  6. Do make each note sound special and unique to the person, situation and/or gift.  Thank you notes should never feel generic.

My mother's rule:

Thank you notes were an expected part of my childhood.  After every holiday, every party, every gift... etc.!... my mother would instruct us to write our thank you notes.  Often, we had to finish these prior to participating in other (more fun!) activities.  We would sit at our desks or the kitchen table, where we would  write well-formulated and sincere sentences.  It was always best to go slowly, as errors were not allowed.  A scribble, a scratch, or a misspelled word were all cause to start over.  Though tedious, this was such a wonderful lesson to be taught from a young age,  as a carefully composed and neatly written note convey such a great sense of appreciation!

Browne, Kelly. 101 Ways to Say Thank You: Notes of Gratitude for All Occasions. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2015.

 

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