Cards connect us.
I have a folder of cards given to me from friends, family, coworkers, even strangers, from over the years and I love rediscovering that folder when I clean out my filing cabinet every so often. The most special cards are the ones written and signed by loved ones that have passed. Just seeing their handwriting again brings back so much of who they are.
There is something magical about finding a card addressed to you in your mailbox. About looking at the writing, the stamp, and any extra doodles left on the envelope as you open it up in anticipation for what’s inside. Then there is the card itself–A beautiful painting that matches their personality and reminds them of the magic that’s all around. Anything could be on that card, and often its something that connects you with the giver of that card. A small sign that they know you and see you.
The art of snail mail doesn’t have to complex or time consuming. Actually, it can take less than 5 minutes to create and be a great practice in slowing down and coming back to this moment. So let’s break down how to write a thank you note that will make someone’s day!
The Magic is in the Details
If you’re anything like me, you grew up in a home where thank you notes were mandatory. And as an adult, I’m thankful for this. We learned the art of gratitude and for taking the time to let a person know that the time, energy, and resources that went into the gift they gave was appreciated. You acknowledge them. You let them know they’re seen.
Crafting a thoughtful thank-you note is an art that goes beyond mere appreciation – it’s a personal connection expressed on paper. Much like curating your home decor, the process begins with selecting a card that reflects the recipient’s essence.
Attention to detail elevates your note from ordinary to extraordinary. Give yourself time to write out the card in legible handwriting so they can see how their kindness touched you. The pen you choose can leave an impression – opt for a quality instrument that glides effortlessly and doesn’t lose ink half way through, signaling the care invested in your words. Speaking of words, the vocabulary you employ carries weight. Strive for sincerity without overindulging in adjectives; let your gratitude speak in a genuine tone.
For a touch of class, adhere to the traditional rules of how to write a thank you note. Promptness is key – send your note within a week of receiving the gift or gesture. Getting a note a few days after giving a gift always has the most impact so do you’re best to be timely with your thank you notes.
What to Put In A Thank You Note
Here is the trick to writing thank you cards that don’t sound like a third grade writing assignment. Start with a line about how much you care for the person, what seeing them (or not seeing them) this season was like, or a shared memory you have of them that brings joy to your face–bonus points if it can relate to the gift given. Then you thank them for the gift. Tell them what you’ve done with it, how it’s touched you, what their thoughtfulness means to you. And end with a way to connect further–a phone call, a coffee date, a dinner party. Or end with a gratitude– “I’m grateful for….our friendship/ your continued support/ How this gift will be used.”
Consider the impact of your words. Expressions like “grateful,” “touched,” and “appreciative” convey genuine emotion without excessive embellishment. Keep it concise; brevity enhances the sincerity of your message.
Cards of any kind don’t need to be long. They don’t have to be poetic or written in perfect script. But coming from the heart, written with intention, that’s what makes a card special. The standard “thank you for ______. I really love it. I hope you are well” doesn’t bring the connection and intentionality I know we’re all looking for. How you write a thank you note is less about being perfect, and more about being honest and authentic–your loved one will feel the difference.
Remember, the art of the thank you note extends beyond material gifts. Express appreciation for someone’s time, wisdom, or presence with equal sincerity. Whether it’s a handwritten letter or a well-crafted email, the intention behind your words holds the power to create a lasting connection.
As you write your thank you notes, think about what that person really means to you, and let them know it. Share stories from your past, inside jokes, or simply relay how they made you feel. You never know how something as small as a card can affect someone, and it could just be the card they keep in a drawer, looking at year after year, appreciating how you made them feel in return.
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