It’s slow, time consuming and requires much thought and consideration. But when done with a right heart and in proper fashion, writing thank you notes can be a powerful and genuine tool.
There’s something special about a hand written note: A small gesture of time, energy and love, who’s efforts are far more rewarding then the tapping of computer keys. It tells the recipient, “I care enough to go the extra mile, to make you feel adored and cherished.”
As a lover of all things “old-fashioned,” here are my tips for creating an authentic and touching Thank You note; one that will find it’s way into the keepsake box, as oppose to the trusty recycling bin.
The art of heartfelt Thank You Notes
1. Make them feel fussed over
No matter the occasion, I start with the paper, the actual card.
When choosing the perfect stationary, I look for one thats elaborate in detail and intricate in design. Envelop lining and artwork, decals/ embellishments and gold leaf script, always boast well on my list. Once retrieved in the mail, it will stand out from the mundane and make the recipient feel special; worthy of being fussed over.
If the recipient is crafty at heart, a hand-made card will earn major brownie points. Regardless of your own crafting abilities, your attempt shows a far greater effort than a bought card.
2. Be Specific
When thanking someone for their gesture, whether in action or in possession, be specific.
“Thank you, Julie, for brightening my day with the bouquet of flowers; the peonies and garden roses looked stunning together and even better on my mantle.”
Or if you’ve been given a gift, be sure to explain how you plan on using it or how it’s made a difference in your life.
“Thank you, Julie, for the beautiful candle and journal. The vanilla scent is lovely; I can’t wait for my next bubble bath! I plan on using the journal to capture my daily prayers and reflections.”
By addressing the gift itself, the reader knows you are not confusing them with someone else, or writing a generic note to save yourself time and effort. By mentioning how the gesture has impacted you, your reader knows their efforts have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.
3. Think beyond the gift
After thanking the individual for the gift/gesture specifically, go the extra mile to make the card personal; think about ways this person has affected your life outside this occasion. If they’ve been a loyal friend, have helped you in business or in life, or have inspired you in any way, tell them!
“Julie, you are such a lovely lady and I am so thankful to have you in my life. Your support has helped push me forward on days that seemed endless; and your words of encouragement have brought hope in times of frustration and doubt.”
Or if you’ve failed to thank them for something previously, use this as an opportunity to do so. You never know what kind of day someone is having and the extra line or two, could elevate that persons mood and leave them feeling upbeat and positive.
“I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the brownies you made the kids; they loved them and devoured everything that evening!”
4. Add a Special Touch
When appropriate, try and add your special touch, or personal signature.
Share something with them that has meaning to you and has brought a smile to your face; a favorite quote, a small token, like a pocket angel, or a gift card to a place of meaning/usefulness. Many times I use this for business.
It doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive; the thought behind it moves mountains and extends a sense of closeness that many people crave and admire. But, be sure to explain the touch, even in a P.S form, so not to be misconstrued or overlooked.
“Julie, accept this small token of gratitude; use it to bake another delicious batch of brownies or spoil yourself with goodies!”
5. Be timely in Delivery
Whether you plan on mailing your card or hand delivering it, be sure to do so within a week or two of receiving, depending on the occasion. The sooner its delivered, the more of a priority that person appears to be, on your long list of to-do’s.
It may seem tedious or unnecessary, as long as you do the actual task, but it truly makes a difference. During that time, the gesture is fresh in the giver’s mind and your gratitude will mean far greater, with greater impact. After all, the goal is to make the person feel as special as possible!
If your concerned about your word choice or flow of writing, try creating a first draft. And with practice comes skill. The more you write, the better you get….and the more people you will touch with love and grace.
Gratitude is a beautiful thing: Take the time to share it and you may just make someone’s day, week or even year!
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8