How to write a Thank you Card

How to write a thank you note

After receiving a gift, attending a dinner party, or leaving someone's house from an overnight stay, you know you need to write a thank you note, but you might not know what to say. Most people want to send them, but they don't always know how to put their thoughts into words.

If you are at a loss for words..

when you sit down with paper and pen and try to write something to show gratitude for someone else's generosity, follow this advice.

You don't have to use fancy wording or write anything worthy of an award. The main thing you need to do is show how much you appreciate the gift or hospitality.

Of course, you'll need to use some of your own wording, but with a basic outline, it shouldn't take too long to jot a thank you note to let others know how much you appreciate their gift, their hospitality, or their thoughtfulness.

WHO

Make a list of everyone you need to thank. If your thank-yous are the result of a party in your honor, write down the names of those who sent or brought a gift, whether it came by mail, email, carrier pigeon or in person. Then add in the friends who did anything to help out with the get-together—planning, decorating, running errands and so on. We recommend sending a thank you card if have received a gift too or if someone has done you a favour.

 WHAT

Here’s the basic template for a good thank-you note along with a few sample phrases to get you started. 

1. Greeting. Don’t forget to make sure you’re using the correct form and spelling of the person’s name, as well as anyone else’s mentioned in the note.

  • Dear Aunt Sharon and Uncle Bob,

2. Express your thanks. Begin with the two most important words: Thank you.

  • Thank you so much for…
  • It made my day when I opened…
  • I’m so grateful you were there when…

3. Add specific details. Tell them how you plan to use or display their gift. It shows them that you really appreciate the thought that went into it. Even if it’s cold hard cash, describe how you’ll spend the stuff.

  • Here’s a picture of me with my new briefcase. I look so professional!
  • I can’t wait to use the birthday money you sent to buy a new hat for my summer holiday.
  • The going-away party meant so much to me. Having all my friends and family in one place was something I’ll never forget.

4. Look ahead. Mention the next time you might see them, or just let them know you’re thinking of them.

  • We look forward to seeing you next month at Lucy’s party.

5. Restate your thanks. Add details to thank them in a different way.

  • Again, thank you for your generosity. I’m so excited about university. I’ll let you know all about it when I get started.
  • We felt so blessed that you made the trip to be with us on our wedding day. We can’t wait to see you again soon!

6. End with your regards. “Sincerely” is a safe standby, but for closer relationships, you might choose a warmer option.

  • With love,
  • Many thanks,
  • Yours truly,

 WHEN

Try to send your thank-you notes out quickly. For events such as parties and showers, a good rule of thumb is to send your cards out within a month after the event. If it’s later than that, start your note with a brief apology. “I’ve been meaning to tell you…”