Thank You for Being Wonderful

The Art of a Thank You Note, or How to Write a Thank You Note

While some might argue that paper and writing and pens are becoming archaic (and what of the fountain pen!), I think everyone can agree that good manners in the form of a thank-you note will always be classy.

Nowadays, a handwritten note stands out all the more because it is so rare, and a handwritten thank you note is one small thing that keeps good will and gratitude flowing around our world.

There are all sorts of articles about the proper etiquette of what you can and can’t say, and the order of your sayings and all of that, but I think a thoughtful appreciation does the trick.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Be personal and specific – simply saying “thank you for the gift” is wonderful, but all the more so when you can add a personal detail in it. Was there something about this gift that stood out or how you plan on using it that might interest the giver? For example, a student’s parent brought a hot lunch to the school for me:

Thank you so much for the biryani! It’s a rare and tasty thing to get such a delicious (and hot!) lunch in the middle of a busy day. Your daughter must be sure to learn your recipes!

2. Consider moments where a thank you note might be surprising and meaningful. Did a co-worker or friend give you some tough advice that made a difference in your thinking? Does your mailman or service person go out of his or her way for you? You might just make someone else’s day.

3. It’s never too late. While you might be embarrassed to give a thank-you note weeks or months after, people appreciate a hand-written note at any time. It might also potentially rekindle a relationship that has gotten distracted by our busy lives.

4. Use good paper and an inky pen. I’m not talking about high quality notepad paper, I’m talking about correspondence stationery and an envelope. I know I’m a retailer, so please take this with a grain of salt, but there is nothing more pleasing than a handwritten note on beautiful, textured paper. It speaks to the care and respect that the writer has taken.

5. Mail it! Unless it’s unreasonable (for example, you work with the person everyday and they have an office mailbox), a hand-addressed envelope is always a lovely surprise to find among the bills and flyers.

Other places to look:
C.S. Lewis & The Art of the Thank You Note
The Art of Manliness and the Art of Thank You Note Writing

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