Anatomy of a Thank You Note

written by Mikaela Cowles on October 23, 2014 in Experiences and Mikaela in Print with no comments

I returned from St. Louis two weekends ago. It was an amazing trip. I spent three-and-a-half days with my nieces and nephew. They’re young and they’re a tad bit wild. But, there’s nothing quite so wonderful as a big, unprompted hug.

Their mom and dad work incredibly hard teaching them to be kind and polite. It’s a tall order, raising little ones. Oh that patience required! With my oldest niece, they’ve begun the lesson of thank you notes. And while I sat at the kitchen table watching my seven-year-old niece scrawl, “Thank you for my new doll,” I realized the lesson of thank you notes is one we all need from time to time. It’s just so easy to forget.

The Anatomy of a Thank You Note

This article first appeared in Points Living, a local print-only magazine.

Anatomy of a Thank You Note

When your first grader scrawls “Thank You” on a card it’ll melt nearly anyone’s heart. For those of us who are stringing together full sentences, that type of simplicity probably won’t cut the mustard. Unfortunately, the “how” of writing a good thank-you note often leaves us stumped. And so we commit the biggest thank-you note sin of all – we don’t send one.

Fear not. You don’t need to be a professional writer to send your heartfelt gratitude. Expressing your appreciation in a meaningful way doesn’t have to be complicated. It just takes a few quick steps and we’ve outlined them for you.

Address – Your thank-you note should always begin by addressing the person you are thanking by name.

Acknowledge – Immediately acknowledge for what you are thanking them.This is where you say,“Thank you for the fill in the blank.”

Show – Display how you have used their gift. Examples: Your new sweater was the perfect cover-up for a stroll through Heritage Park. Your massage at Ambrosia MedSpa & Wellness left you relaxed and revitalized. You’ve received several compliments on your beautiful Stella and Dot earrings.

Personalize – Reinforce how the note’s recipient is an integral part of your life. You might acknowledge where the gift was given, an upcoming event at which you look forward to seeing them or a past memory of them that holds meaning.

Re-Acknowledge – Re-acknowledge your gratitude by saying thank you one more time.

Salutation – Close the note with a salutation that feels natural such as: Love, Best, Fondly, or Sincerely. Then, sign your name.

SEND – Get that baby stamped, addressed and in the mail as quickly as possible. You can never be too prompt with a thank-you note.

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