This Spring Start Using Proper Thank-You Note Etiquette

The Spring brings plenty of opportunities to celebrate and for us all to show gratitude.  It is our belief that the best way to give thanks is to make it personal. For this reason, we asked Mindy Lockard of Gracious Living to weigh in with her tips for how to properly write a thank-you note. 

Mindy is a nationally recognized etiquette expert and teaches formal etiquette courses for people of all ages, providing valuable corporate training for schools, government agencies, and private companies. She also included for us her favorite picks on thank you notes at Swoozie’s, too!

With so many Springtime events around the corner such as Graduations, Baby and Wedding Showers, let’s take a look at how we can add a little Spring to our Thank-You writing step! A thank-you is a physical sentiment of the recipients’ true gratitude, not only for the act or gift but also for the thought, time and care that went into the gift giving process. Often times the thank-you note writing process is much easier said than done. Here are a few gracious suggestions for taking the chore out of writing and adding heart to every note you write this season.

The Rules. There are really only two real ‘rules’ that you need to worry about in writing your thank-you notes. They are (1) that you write them and (2) that you send them out promptly.” Many leading etiquette experts differ on the amount of time between receiving a gift and writing a thank-you note (from two to ten days). Sometimes in our hectic lives our thank-you notes get put off for weeks with the guilt hanging over our heads. No matter what the time, it is always important to send a thank-you.

The Supplies. If you don’t have everything you need to write a note, that is a huge roadblock for writing and sending a thank-you in an appropriate amount of time. Keep a basket or box with the following items:

  •  Stationery (personalized cards and quick, cute notes of varying sizes for different lengths of notes)
  • A pen that features your penmanship well
  • Addresses (in hardcopy or on your computer)
  • Stamps
  • Tracking Guide {click to download the template!}

What to Say? Often we put off thank-you notes because of a little something I call handwriting stage fright. But remember, the key to a well-written thank-you note is not found in profound statements, the use of large words, or even perfect penmanship. A well-written thank-you removes the “I” and replaces it with “you.” It is easy to make the notes about us: “I loved it.” “I appreciate your friendship.” “I will use it often.” I, I, I. Create the discipline of making the note about the other person: “You always select the most thoughtful gifts.” “Your friendship means the world to our family.” “You were so kind to think of me while I was ill.” “You have a gift in the kitchen,” etc. Thank-you notes are about crediting the giver of the gift or act of kindness while expressing your sentiment. A note written with the giver in mind will become a handwritten gift worth treasuring!

The Presentation. Although we should not be judged by the nature of our thank-you, we should make a concerted effort to present ourselves well. Taking the extra time to draft a note, consult a dictionary or thesaurus when necessary, and use a pen that presents our penmanship well shows the readers that we took the extra care and effort to make the thank-you a lovely one!

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