How to Write Thank You Letters
I know what you’re thinking. “Why waste time with a trip to the post office when I can mail a thank you card with the click of a button?” Although it may be tempting to send a quick e-card (which, I must confess, I have a tendency to do), electronic communication is a poor substitute for a thoughtful, handwritten letter. Take the time to express your heartfelt gratitude the old fashioned way.
What you'll need:
Stationery or a thank you card
A high-quality pen
Start by writing the date in the top right corner of your paper or note card.
Using your best penmanship (preferably in cursive), begin your letter with a formal salutation, regardless of how well you know the recipient (ex. “Dear Uncle Bob,”).
Express your gratitude for the gift, favour, or experience (e.g. dinner, theatre tickets, etc.). You don’t have to be elaborate, but you must be specific. “Thanks for the present” just doesn’t cut it.
Tell the recipient what their gift meant to you, how you plan to use it or, in the case of money, how you intend to spend it. For example, if the giver provided childcare so you and your spouse could have an evening out, let them know how much “we needed that” or how “your timing was perfect.”
Include a few lines by way of an update on what’s happening in your life, particularly if the recipient is someone you don’t see on a regular basis.
End your letter with a closing line such as “Many thanks, Sarah.”
When thanking someone for a thoughtful deed, consider including a token of your appreciation (e.g. flowers or a small gift) with your thank you letter.
To avoid any hurt feelings, use words such as “unique” or “conversation piece” to describe a gift that isn’t quite your style.
Avoid the use of informal greetings like “Hi” or “Hey,” even when the recipient is someone you know well.