How to Write the Perfect Thank You Note for Any Occasion

Thank You Notes

Whether you just celebrated a birthday, wedding, or baby shower, it’s very likely your friends and family have given you gifts to commemorate the occasion. While you probably thanked them in person and even over the phone or with a text, it’s important to write a handwritten note to them as well. They’ve gone out of their way to think about you and buy you a gift, so why not take a little time to show them how much you appreciate it.

As I inch closer to becoming a mom, my friends, family, and even my coworkers have all made an effort to show how excited they are for our new bundle of joy by giving us gifts for the baby. Between our wedding festivities and the baby, I’ve had to write a ton of thank you notes over the past four years. I finally feel like I have a system that works.

Below, my five rules for writing a stellar thank you note for any occasion:

Don’t skimp on the stationery. I’m not saying that you need to buy the most expensive personalized letterpress cards you can find, but you should at least put some effort into choosing notecards that both fit your personality and the occasion. I’m obsessed with stationery and own so many sets of different kinds, from no name sets I bought on sale at TJ Maxx, to ones made by Sugar Paper and Crane & Co. Whatever style you choose, just make sure to express yourself.

Try to write thank you notes soon after receiving your gifts. OK, OK, this one is tough. But I know you can do it if you try!  While it’s never to late to say thank you, if you wait six months to do so then you risk your friends and family doubting your appreciation of their gift. As a soon to be new mom with a lot on my mind and a to do list as long as my arm, finding time to write thank you notes is a challenge. My trick is to sit down and write one or two a day. I usually like to write them right after breakfast. It takes me about 15 minutes max, and not only is it time well spent but it also helps me start off my day feeling a small sense of accomplishment.

First, thank the giver for celebrating with you. My husband actually taught me this rule while we were writing thank you notes for our engagement and wedding. It’s so obvious and yet easy to forget that someone’s attendance at your special event was part of their gift to you. If someone has made time to come to your party, event, or home, then it’s always nice to thank them first for helping make the occasion special. A party isn’t a party without guests, so make sure to show the gift giver knows how much fun you had celebrating with them.

Be specific about why you appreciate the gift. Rather than just saying, “Thanks, I love it!” also explain why. For weddings and baby showers, chances are your gifts have been purchased off your registry. Here’s the time for you to explain why you chose to register for the item and how it has been or will be useful to you. If you receive cash, then tell the giver what you used it for or what you plan to use it for. It’s always fun to hear what people are doing with their time, so feel free to use a few sentences explaining why you love and appreciate your gift! The giver will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Proofread. We’re not all grammar or spelling buffs, but it is important to never come across as sloppy. My trick to avoiding errors is to type out my notes on the computer first, spellcheck, and reread them before actually putting pen to paper. Also, always make sure you’re spelling the person’s name correctly. This seems like a no brainer, but it’s easy to get tripped up on names like Catherine vs. Katherine, or Lindsey vs. Lindsay. Always double check before you start writing.

Following these simple steps to writing the perfect thank you note will always help your family and friends know how much you appreciate their gifts.

Have any other suggestions for writing an amazing thank you note? Please write them in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.

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