Advice for writing a sincere thank you letter

Anyone who has given a gift or made a gesture, offered hospitality or been kind deserves a properly penned — yes, handwritten — note of gratitude. These tips will help you write the perfect thank you note.

Advice for writing a sincere thank you letter

1. Putting the pen to paper

In these days of texts and emails, it can be a lovely surprise to receive a letter or, perhaps even better, an attractively illustrated card. If you write a letter, make sure you use a good-quality paper and matching envelope — a piece of photocopy paper won't impress. And choose a pen that works — not one that's about to run out of ink or makes smudges.

  • As important, don't wait too long to respond. Send a letter or card within a few days. If you really haven't the time to send something in writing, an email is better than nothing, but should be sent as soon as possible.

2. Choosing the right words

 The most important thing is to keep it personal. If you received 50 wedding gifts, that means 50 individual letters. Don't just change the name and address at the top; take the time to craft each one. Do a few each day so you don't become jaded.

Use the following basic framework:

  • Remember that it's a letter, not an email, so begin with, "Dear Friendsname."
  • Say at once what it is that you're thankful for and why it's special: "The vase looks lovely filled with roses." "I couldn't put the book down." "How clever of you to pick just the right colour!" "What a treat to get up into the hills again!"
  • Close with the hope that you'll see one another or be in touch soon. If you already have a date in your diary, say how much you're looking forward to it.
  • Sign off on a warm, appropriate note: "With love," "With best wishes," "Thanks again."
  • Avoid abbreviations. Both "LOL" or "xxxxxxx" will seem insincere.

By following these simple guidelines, you will help show you are sincerely grateful for the act of kindness.

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