After an event, large or small, from a Wedding or Birthday Party to a 'free lunch', gift or kind gesture, it can be both gratifying and wise to take some time to write a thank you note or letter expressing your appreciation.
While most agree with that notion, it can be difficult to find the right words that are genuine and meaningful while being 'light', so we've put together a quick reference for you.
The best advice we've come across, while intended for a child's handwritten note, is very much worth keeping in mind - it comes from Daniel Handler, who wrote the 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' books in the pen name of Lemony Snicket and said;
- "Do not start with thank you.
- Start with any other sentence. If you first say "Thank you for the nice sweater", you can't imagine what to write next. Say "It was wonderful to come home from school to find this nice sweater. Thank you for thinking of me on Arbor Day."
- Then you're done."
A brilliant rule to keep in mind and we've added some additional tips for those who might want to expand their message.
Have your stationery on hand so when the need arises, you're ready to write. Make sure you have the person's address or method to give them the thank you letter available - too many a thank you note have been left unsent for this simple reason.
A handwritten note is something worth waiting for. However, you should aim to write a thank you note immediately after the event, the sooner the better, but sending it within a few weeks is also acceptable. If overwhelmed, write notes in batches, aiming to write a few at a time.
You do not need to write a lot - four or five sentences will suffice, If you're in doubt, stay brief as the gesture itself is often most appreciated.
As Mr. Handler pointed out earlier, a simple reference to the gift, gesture or occasion and what it meant to you is the standard. Feel free to add as detail as you're comfortable with but keep in mind that many a piece of paper has been crumpled up when a sentence was started with the best intentions only to trail away without a conclusion!
It is often an idea to close with a reference to the future, a promise or suggestion for some future endeavour, to keep the relationship growing - just be sure you follow through.
The sign-off should reflect your relationship to the recipient. "Love" is suitable for close friends and family; "With affection", ''Yours" and "Best" is a less intimate option; "Sincerely" is appropriate when you're writing to someone in a professional capacity.
That's all it takes to write the perfect thank you note. We'll leave you with one final pearl of 'tongue-in-cheek' wisdom from Mr Lemony Snicket;
"I recommend learning how to write a very good thank-you note. A child who can write a nice thank-you note can turn into a cocaine dealer five years later and be remembered as child who wrote nice thank-you notes."
Design the perfect stationery for your thank you notes here.