Monday, 23 January 2012

Thank You Notes

If you haven’t already written your Christmas thank you notes, don’t worry; it’s not too late. Here are some tips for writing the perfect thank you note. If you’ve already penned your Christmas thank yous, you can apply these tips to birthdays, anniversaries, spontaneous-non-corporate-initiated gifts, etc.

* I usually start in one of two ways:
1) by saying how great it was to see the giver on Christmas/ my birthday/ etc and mention something that you did together: maybe you played a few board games or went for a walk. If you shared a particular moment/ funny story then refer to that.
2) If the gift was posted then I say that I hope they had a good Christmas/ have been keeping well. I then briefly say that I had a good Christmas, it was quiet/ hectic/ a lot fun or I say that I’ve been keeping well, and give any significant news.
You can skip this section if the giver is someone you see on a very regular/ daily basis or if it doesn't feel appropriate. 

*Next comes the thank yous. I normally start this paragraph with a simple thank you very much for the… If you get stuck as to what more to say, then here’s what I do:

* If you got money or a handmade gift, skip to the next tips.
Is the gift particularly thoughtful and suited to you? If so, say so. Talk about how useful/ brilliant/ fun the gift is. If you got a book, say how it looks really good, or that you love this author, that you can’t wait to read it. The same can be applied to films, games or music (you love this genre, you can’t wait to watch/ play/ listen). If you like the gift so much that you already started to read/ watch or play it, then say so and how good it is.
If you got clothes, say how good the fit is, how the style is just so you, how you’ve been wearing it non stop.
Whatever you got, praise it, let the giver know how well suited it is to you and how you’ve been using (or will use) the gift.
If your gift wasn’t all that great or you really can’t think of anything to say about it, then keep it simple, fill the note up with news and extend the first section. Let the thank you be a simple “thank you for the….!”

* Hand-made gifts should be especially appreciated because the giver has spent time and thought on your gift, as well as money. Compliment the item, pointing out things about it you like in particular. Even if you don’t like the gift, it’s polite to find something about it that you can compliment. It’s a good idea to briefly go into your experiences with the gift. Eg: I got a handmade apron this Christmas (which I definitely did like!) and after saying how much I liked the design and fabric, I said that I’ve been wearing it each time I cook, trying to avoid splashing it too much because it’s so lovely.

* For those of you who got money or a gift voucher: let the giver know how you intend to spend it (or what kind of book/ music/ John Lewis product/ gardening equipment you’ll get). If you haven’t thought about what you’ll spend the money on, now is the time to give it a good think. Before I got into the habit of writing detailed thank you notes, I’d bank my cheque, the money would be assimilated into my current account and I’d forget about it. So take a few minutes to think of something you really want. Then when you get that item it’s that bit more special and the giver can feel their money wasn’t wasted.
You can always put the money towards a more expensive item if you can’t think of something within the value of the gift.  

If you’ve left it a while since receiving the gift and have since spent the money, then you can let the giver know what you bought and how great it is.

* Finish the note off with something like have a good new year or I hope to see you soon. If you’ve got a date set when you’ll see them next, mention it. If the giver is someone you see on a daily or very regular basis, skip this and just repeat a quick very many thanks!

And you’re done! Phew! It’s worth putting some effort into; your loved ones have spent time and money on you, let them know how amazing they are.

This year I bought my thank you notes from Meticulous Ink, a fine stationary company in Bath. I went for a lovely chicken design, letterpressed on 410gsm cotton card. The envelopes are lined with tissue paper for that added feeling of quality. You want the recipient of your note to feel like the amazing special person they are, so it’s only right that you splash out and get the best quality stationary for them.
You can buy Meticulous Ink note cards via their etsy store, or give them a tinkle on the telephone 01225 333004.

Alternatively, make your own cards! 

1 comment:

Freya Morris said...

ooo I love thank you letters.

These are beautiful!