Thank You Note Etiquette

What to Write in a Thank You Card

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It can be hard to know what to write in a thank you card, so find out how to write short and sweet thank you notes with proper thank you card etiquette.

Everyone loves to receive a gift, but writing a thank-you letter isn’t always as fun. Here are some tips for writing a simple and sweet thank you note.

Thank You Letters for Gifts

  • Keep each note short—three or four sentences is fine. You can express your thanks just as sincerely as you can in several paragraphs.
  • Start your note by thanking the giver for joining you in your celebration (a wedding, shower, or holiday gathering). Then thank the person for the gift, specifically naming the item (“Thank you so much for the beautiful set of wineglasses!”).
  • State how you plan to use the gift (“We really enjoy entertaining, so the glasses will get plenty of use.”).
  • Close with a cordial remark (“Hope to see you again soon!”)

Remember: Kids should say thank you, too! It’s a great idea to get children in the habit of writing their own thank-you notes by preschool age. If your child can’t write yet, transcribe the note for him, and have him write (or scribble!) his name at the end. Recipients, whether grandparents, other family members, or friends, are guaranteed to be delighted!

Speaking of gifts, check out our list of best wedding gifts, gifts you can make in the kitchen, and holiday gifts so you can get a sweet thank you note too!

Do you have any tips for writing the best thank you cards? Let us know below!

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Thank you notes

When did it become common practice NOT to send a thank you note for a shower or wedding gift? Brides no longer open gifts at the reception so guests do not get to see any of them. I have been to several weddings lately and did not receive a thank you from anyone. Many of these were close relatives. Does that mean we don't merit a thank you for the gifts? The same goes for birthdays. I don't need a thank you note, but a word or two would be nice. At times I wonder if the gift even arrived. Where have manners gone to die? Should I stop giving gifts to ungrateful people?

Little things mean so very much

My grandmother had some very specific instructions when it came to writing notes and letters, especially thank-you notes. They went something like this: Do not begin any letter or note with "I". The less that particular word is used, the better -- if it must include a personal pronoun, try to phrase it using "me," "my," "we," or "our". Remember that a thank-you note is not about you. It is, first and foremost, about the person who gave the gift: their thoughtfulness, generosity, their good taste and discernment. Secondly, it is about the gift itself. Third, it's about what makes it the perfect choice. Be specific, as the writer of the article suggests. Even a gag gift is about the giver's great sense of humor, how funny it is, and how apt. People like to be acknowledged, especially young people. Saying or doing something that makes it about the giver personally, and lets them know that you put a little extra effort into thanking them, will make their day a little bit brighter. Two or three sentences is often plenty to get all that across.

If a person takes the time to

If a person takes the time to purchase a gift, if possible, the receiver, of that gift, as a courtesy, should send a thank-you note.

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