How to Write a Thank You Note

Do you remember when people used to write a thank you note to show their appreciation? When did that become a lost art?

Once upon a time it seems that people actually sat down at a writing desk, opened up a thank you card or note, picked up their quill feather pen, and wrote a beautiful, heartfelt, note of gratitude to show their appreciation. Now it feels as though we are fortunate if we receive a thank you e-mail or quick text.

What happened?!

Did we become monsters with bad manners or have we forgotten how to write a thank you note?

It truly isn’t that hard.

How to write a thank you note that really shows gratitude.

(I’m also going to take a quick moment here to shout a giant THANK YOU to Rebekah from The Straight Arrow Blog for taking the time to mail me a thank you note for my sponsorship of her blog. Rebekah, you’re fantastic!)

The next time you want to tell someone you’re appreciative (for a gift, for their kindness, for their support) take the time to write a thank you note. If you need help, here are a few basic rules:

Use a Personalized Greeting

It’s sad that this even has to be said but it does so I said it. For the love of all things holy, personalize your greeting and verify the spelling of the recipient’s name. My name is Ashley, which of these greetings sounds best to you?

  • Dear Friend,
  • Dear Ashlie,
  • Dear Ashley,

Right. It’s the last one. If someone took the time to do something for you, you can take the time to personalize your gratitude to them.

Express Your Gratitude

The two most important words in your thank you note are the words “Thank you” so use them and use them early. Your very first sentence should begin with, “Thank you for…” followed by the gift or the occasion. For example:

  • Thank you for the china set you gifted us on our wedding day.
  • Thank you for the beautiful dinner party you hosted on the 2nd of August.
  • Thank you for the luggage set you gave me as a gift for my college graduation.

Add Specific Details and Connect

After writing your introductory thank you sentence it’s important to provide details about why you appreciate the gift or service. Why do you appreciate it? How will it help you? Offering specific details in your thank you note shows that you took care in preparing the note rather than writing a generic, “It means so much to me!” You should also use this time to connect your gratitude to a memory or upcoming plan. For example:

  • The china set brings back cherished memories of holidays with my family when I was a little girl. I am excited about using it as we build holiday memories together as a new family. I hope we can spend the holidays together this year.
  • Your hospitality in welcoming us to the church family is greatly appreciated. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and David. I am planning a Labor Day barbecue in September, I’d love it if you could come.
  • I am already planning my first vacation and I am hopeful that the luggage will receive a lot of use in the coming years. I know how fondly you have spoken about your trip to Italy; I hope to visit Rome myself soon. If you have any travel tips I’d love to hear them.

Send Your Regards

The end of the thank you note is just as important as the personalized greeting. Don’t rush the conclusion or sign-off with a simple flourish of your name. Consider your relationships with the addressee. Is it family? A childhood friend? A new acquaintance? A friend of your parents? Your conclusion and signature should be appropriate to the relationship. For example:

  • Your thoughtfulness is appreciated. I feel very fortunate to have married into such a kind and loving family. With love,
  • Thank you once again for your kindness and friendship. With much appreciation,
  • I appreciate your continued support of my travel dreams. Who knew the travel bug was hereditary? Love you bunches!

See? It’s not so hard after all so get out your quill pen and get writing! Need a set of thank you notes? You can check out these great sets from Minted or these from Shutterfly (affiliate links). I expect your notes in the mail by this weekend (and if you want to send me one just for being an awesome blogger I’d happy accept).

Let’s Talk

  • Do you miss the art of handwritten thank you notes? 
  • Do you write thank you notes to your family and friends?
Ashley LaMar
Ashley lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two small dogs. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. She also loves horror movies.


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