Friday, December 26, 2008

Time to Send Thank You Cards

The art of letter writing and sending thank you cards is almost a lost one in our day of email and cell phones. But nothing says a sincere "thank you" like a well-chosen card with a pleasant note inside. Many people are afraid of writing even the simplest card, but it's not hard at all. Here's all you need to know, in a few easy steps.

1. Make it personal. Begin with a personal sentiment such as "Dear Mary" or "Hi, Grandma!"
2. Express your thanks. Don't begin with "I'm just writing to say..." or "Just dropping you a note..." Jump right into the thanks, and make it specific and effusive. "Thank you so much for the sweater!" or "Thank you for your hospitality..." However, if the gift was cash, gift card or a check, don't mention dollar amounts! No "Thank you for the $200 check" or "Thank you for the $20 gift card." Merely say "Thank you for the gift" or "Thank you for your generosity."

3. Mention how the gift will be used. IF the gift is cash, you can say "Your gift will help me so much with tuition" or "It will be so useful when we begin remodeling the den." IF the gift is an item or product (even an ugly sweater!) mention that it will be so useful this winter, or it will look so nice on the mantel, or whatever. Put yourself in the shoes of the giver, and imagine how that person hopes you will put the item to use.

4. Be upbeat and appropriate. No mentioning that Uncle Joe got drunk again this Christmas or that Auntie Sue got busted. No matter how hard you have to think, try to think of something pleasant and newsy to say about the occasion for which the gift was proffered. "We missed you this Christmas, but it was a pleasant holiday anyhow" works fine. Or "I shared the chocolate with everyone at the party and it was a big hit!"

5. Close with another thank you. "Again, thank you for remembering me this holiday season" or "We both thank you again for the wonderful gift."

Thank You Notecards Watercolor Rose Pk of 10

6. A personal ending salutation. One of my friends always signs her cards "Warmly" and I love that. It's not phony "love ya" stuff, and it's not too formal. But if the recipient is a close relative, "Love" or "With Love" is appropriate.

Pk of 10 "Country Lane" Notecards

A final note: sending a sincere thank you card is the best way to make sure the recipient will remember you next birthday or Christmas, and send you another gift. AND the flip side -- if you DON'T send a thank you card, DON'T expect another gift from that person. They're that important.

Blank Thank You boxed notecards

So get yourself some pretty cards and maybe some matching postage, and start writing!

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