The Sweet Christian Bride

What To Say in a Thank You Note

by admin on May 18, 2011 in Thank You with No Comments

When I receive a thank you note, a couple of thoughts go through my head:

1) I appreciate that they took the time to send me an official thank you, and

2A) [if the thank you note is lame] I feel bad that they took the time to go through the motions of writing a ton of generic thank you notes, or

2B) [if the thank you note is personal] I am blessed by the gift they just gave back to me by their time and their words (and for my friends who love beautiful stationery, also by their expense).

There is a simple little formula for thank you notes that will keep your letter above a minimum quality threshold.

1) (If applicable.) Acknowledge the benefit of your guest’s presence: “It was a pleasure to see you at the bridal shower last weekend! You bring such warmth into any group of people.”

2) Thank them for their gift: “Thank you for the beautiful platter you gave me.”

3) Put the gift into a context that assures them it was a gift well chosen: “I can’t wait to use it when I have dinner parties.”

4) Acknowledge their thought behind the gift: “It was truly a thoughtful gift.  Thank you for helping me be able to host with style like you always do!”

5) Close with a future thought or a well-wish: “Hopefully I’ll get to see you before the wedding, but if not, I’ll be so glad to see you there.”

Of course, if you don’t know your guest well or don’t like the gift they gave you, you will have an exercise in creative diplomacy when filling in those pieces of the formula. 

Just remember, the thank you note is not about you and it’s not about the gift; it’s about honoring your guest.  If you get stuck, write with that in mind.  If you don’t like the gift, focus on your appreciation for the person.  If you don’t know the person, focus on the gift and tell them you hope to get to know them in the future.

And finally, the best step of all:

6)  Though you are rushing to get through so many notes at a time, take a few seconds to pray for each person.  Praise God for their presence in your life. They will never know you took time out for them, but God will respond to your prayers for them.

Lame thank you notes only do steps #1 and #2.  Good thank you notes do the entire formula.  And awesome thank you notes take the time on steps 1 and 5 to honor the person in depth.  For some people, you won’t know them well enough to do this, and that’s fine, but for those who you know closely, you can never tell someone too many times that you are thankful for their presence in your life.

By Lindsay

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