Do you dread having to write thank you cards? Are you never sure what to write in a thank you card?
While we always want to say thank you, putting the right words into a card can feel tedious and sometimes phony.
But it doesn’t have to feel that way! Writing a thank you card can be a quick, honest, and thoughtful gesture. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to write one.
What to Write in a Thank You Card
People are generally troubled with sending thank you cards because they feel they need special words written at some absurd length. They need a flowery language. That the note needs to be a grand gesture.
It doesn’t. At the bottom of everything, no matter what you end up writing, start by remembering that the important thing you are saying is “thank you.” That’s all.
Keep It Simple
The best way to write a thank you note is to keep it simple. Consider the who, what, when, and how as you write, and let them guide your reason for saying thank you.
Sometimes people feel the need to make the reason bigger than it actually is. But it’s best, to be honest.
For instance, if you are given a gift of money for your honeymoon, instead of saying, “We cannot wait to spend this at Expensive Excursions Travel Co,” simply write, “This will surely help make our honeymoon special.”
You aren’t obligated to inflate the importance or value of any gift. The person receiving your note will appreciate it and you will feel good sending it honestly.
Acknowledge the Gift
Thank you card etiquette demands acknowledging the gift. This is the “what” you’ll want to consider for your thank you. But remember that gifts can be more than objects and money.
When thinking of gifts, consider the three t’s—time, talent, and treasure.
Maybe a relative helped you paint the living room of your new apartment. Maybe your coworkers took time after work to attend to your grandparent’s wake. Maybe they also sent flowers. Maybe a friend let you crash on their couch while you were on a trip.
Acknowledging the gift gives your note purpose and substance. If you want to send a thank-you note but the gift seems too abstract, ask yourself, “What am I thankful for?”
The gift is in your answer!
Make It Personal
This part is the toughest, especially if you have to write a lot of thank you cards. Birthdays, mitzvahs, and weddings always require that everyone who attended gets a thank you.
However, there is an easy formula. In one or two sentences, tie the person to memory and to emotion.
For example, let’s say you received a breadmaker from a wedding guest:
“We had so much fun with you at the wedding! And thank you for the breadmaker—we will remember you with every loaf we bake.”
Perhaps that seems silly, but where’s the lie? Again, it only takes two sentences to personalize a note.
Now that you know what to write in a thank you card, get writing! And yes, that means you should hand-write your thank you’s. Keep your handwriting neat and you’ll be on your way to thank you card success.