I'm about to write a thank you note to my grandmother, so I thought this post might come in handy for those of you writing your after holiday notes! Here are some helpful tips and rules of thumb for expressing your gratitude.
Step One: Who should receive a thank you note?
Here's a helpful rule of thumb: if you are not related to the person, you want to send a thank you note. If the gift giver is a relative, send a note if you believe that they would enjoy receiving it or if they are in the habit of sending you notes. If you didn't exchange gifts, but received a gift, send them a note. If you always exchange gifts and neither of you sends notes, it is okay to forgo the thank you note. Sometimes, you do them even if you know the person wouldn't care about receiving it, just because it's fun!
Now, make a list of the gifts you received from each person you want to write a note to.
Step Two: Aim for Writing in a Timely Manner
General rule of thumb: try to send your note no later than a month after the gift was received. Brides-don't fret, you technically have a year, but the sooner the better, right? When I graduated from high school, I wrote about 2-3 thank you notes each night. Setting a small goal helps the whole process seem less overwhelming.
Step Three: What to Say
This part is so easy!
I wanted to write and thank you for the __(gift)___________. A couple of sentences about why you love the gift and how you will use it (if the gift is money, make sure to detail how you will spend it). It was so wonderful to see you at ____(event)__________. Write about a special memory you have of the event with that person. Thanks again for your generosity.
Remember: It's a thank you note, so you can keep it to the size of 1/2 a small card, but it can also be a thank you letter, if letter writing feels more natural to you.
Step Four: Do I Really Have to Do This?
If you were married or had a bridal/baby shower, or received graduation gifts from non-relatives, or a scholarship, etiquette says absolutely. In terms of birthday/Christmas: I'm sure your friends and family will love you either way, but it always feels nice to express gratitude. If you mess up one year, it's okay. No one is perfect!
I told you it was simple!
We hope it helps.
<3 S, B, L&Z