How to Write Thank You Notes You’ll Feel Really Good About Sending

“Get into the habit of saying ‘thank you’ to people. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without expecting anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you will soon find many more around you. Truly appreciate life , and you will find that you have more.

-Ralph Marston

It might seem like writing thank you cards is an old-fashioned tradition with hoops and petticoats, or it might seem like a social grace that only Miss Manners would dare to attempt. However, this is actually a very simple and thoughtful way to express your gratitude to others.

The importance of a real “thank you”

Most of us say “thank you” on a daily basis, even for things as simple as the open door, but when something exceptionally kind and thoughtful is done for us, that phrase becomes all the more important.

After receiving a gift or throwing a party, everyone knows that you are supposed to verbally thank the giver or the attendees. But sending a card afterwards is an act of gratitude that not only shows you care, but appreciates their efforts.

The basics of a thank you card

1. The map

The card is the canvas on which you paint an expression of gratitude that will make the recipient smile. This is definitely a big deal, so luckily there are several types you can choose from, depending on your needs.

  • General Thank You Cards — For most things, a simple store-bought card will work fine. Keep a box around the house to use whenever the need arises. They’re not the most personal, but they make life a bit easier.
  • Illustrated Thank You Cards — One way to make your card special to those who attended a party or event is to include photos. This can be done on your own computer or at an instant or one hour shooting location.
  • Handmade thank you cards — If you’re feeling particularly creative, why not make your own? It will probably be a lot of fun, but it could also take time, especially if you have several to do. Check out Pinterest for some ideas!

2. The pen

Believe it or not, the pen you use can actually make or break your card. When writing one, you should always use high quality ink, never lead. Writing your “thank you” in a fun color is perfectly fine, but make sure it’s legible!

3. Words

Writing a good thank you card can sometimes seem as daunting as climbing Mount Everest or swimming the English Channel, but it’s not too difficult once you learn the basics.

First, think about the person you are writing to. If you know them well enough, try giving them a specific “thank you”; tell them not only what their gift meant to you, but how special and important they or they are too much. If you don’t know them very well, a more generic message will do, but still try to give it a personal touch.

Here is a great example of a simple and straightforward thank you card:

Dear Emily,

Thank you so much for attending my graduation party! I enjoyed celebrating with you.

The journal you gave me is absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to start writing all my hopes and thoughts for the future here.

Your friend Cassie

Keep everything organized

When you have multiple cards to send, keeping track of addresses and who did what can get a little tricky. Organization is therefore clearly essential. You definitely don’t want to thank someone for the wrong thing!

1. Make a list

Keep a list of everyone who attended your event, whether they brought a gift, and if so, what it was. The easiest way to do this is to get a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns, labeled name, gift, and Type. Even if a guest didn’t show up with a gift, don’t forget to include them on the list so you can still thank them for coming!

2. Addresses

Always make sure you have everyone’s correct address, even if you think you already know it.

When addressing the card, write the words and numbers carefully and clearly. Always check each of them to prevent your card from being sent to the wrong place!

3. Stamps

Tampons are essential! Check them regularly so that you always have enough for your cards. To make it even more fun, you can try matching the design to the envelope.

Final Thoughts

The power that a simple “thank you” can have is truly powerful – it’s one of the marks of a good host or hostess! Knowing when and how to express gratitude shows you have good manners, so don’t be afraid to say it! And remember, you should always tell everyone you give.