When was the last time you wrote a thank-you note? Not a “thank you” via text or Facebook post, but a real, handwritten thank-you note?

It’s not that we aren’t thankful – we all appreciate when someone in our lives gives us something, be it a physical gift, their time or simply their presence. But when we try to put that appreciation into words, we draw a blank.

Thank you Note
Photography: Harmony Lynn Goodson

People struggle with thank-notes because they don’t realize one underlying fact: Thank-you notes aren’t about the gift, they’re about the gifter. A good thank-you note shows compassion and gratitude for the relationship you share with that person. Sharing your simple sentiments can give your gifter a boost of self-esteem and strengthen the relationship you share.

Thank you Note
Photography: Harmony Lynn Goodson

So, this holiday season, as loved ones travel to see you and bring you gifts, take the time to sit down and write a formal thank-you card. We promise: your recipients will love it.

  1. Handwrite it. While an email or text might be easier, it can’t compare to the joy that your loved one will feel when they find a handwritten note specially for them in the mailbox. Bonus points if you use stationery with fun design or texture. See our sidebar “Paper Matters” for where to find the best stationery in the area.
  2. Thank you Note

    Photography: Harmony Lynn Goodson

    Greet the person. A classic “Dear _” is just friendly but respectful enough to address a teacher or coworker. However, when addressing a close friend, family member or significant other, don’t be afraid to use something a bit less formal. For example, “Dearest,” or even a simple, “Hello!” It may seem insignificant, but a greeting can set the whole tone for the card.

  3. Say “thank you.” Name the specific gift the person gave and tell why it’s meaningful to you. Even if you plan to quietly make use of the return receipt, you can still show appreciation. What does the scent of that candle remind you of? What will you buy with that gift card? What is your best memory of that dinner at your friend’s house? Show your giver that their generosity won’t go to waste.
  4. Say “thank you” again. This time, express gratitude for the gifter, not the gift. You don’t have to delve into deep emotions- “I’m glad we got to see each other” is just as warm, and sometimes more genuine, than “You’re a light in my life.”
  5. Look to the future. Express hope to spend time with the recipient soon. You might say, “I hope we can tackle another project together in the future,” “Let’s party together soon” or simply, “Let’s catch up sometime.” Your goal is to show the recipient that they are more important to you than any material gift.
  6. Close. As with the rest of the note, take your reader into account: “Regards” is appropriate for a coworker or boss, but it’s a little cold for a note to Grandma. Inversely, “With love” is great for Grandma but you wouldn’t send it to your boss. If you’re unsure, “sincerely” works for almost anyone. Don’t forget to add your signature underneath.
  7. Send it. Don’t chicken out! In a world where social media enables us to communicate with anyone instantaneously, we’ve lost a sense of authentic, meaningful communication. You might be tempted to scrap your note- “it’s too much,” “they’ll think it’s weird.” Swallow your doubt and send it. Spread gratitude- the world needs it.

Paper Matters

The right stationery not only makes your letter beautiful for the recipient to read, it also inspires you as you write. Hit up these Florida shops for unique, stylish stationery.

Paper Goat Post
provided by: Paper Goat Post

Paper Goat Post – Orlando.  Committed to the “lost art of snail mail,” Paper Goat Post is a creator’s haven. Ask about their personalized stationery.

Rifle Paper Co.

Rifle Paper Company – Winter Park. Trendy and elegant, Rifle Paper Company offers personalized stationery. You can even put your own portrait avatar on your stationery. If Winter Park is too far for you, you can find their products at Barnes and Nobles or order online.

Rifle Paper Co.
provided by Rifle Paper Co.
Love Betty Design
provided by Love Betty Design

Love Betty Design – Viera. Bright and fun, Love Betty Design has everything you need to send a warm and cheerful thank-you card this holiday season. You can find her stationery online at lovebettydesign.com, or at her new store in The Avenue Viera, Thrive Local.