Dec 4, 2013

Crafting the Perfect Thank You Note

Growing up, I was always taught to sit down and write Thank You's a few days after a birthday party, family gathering, graduation or any other special moment that included a gift for moi. As I've gotten older and my love for the handwritten notes has grown, I appreciate the task of writing them myself and receiving them from others.
Let's be honest, most of our mail as adults, requires a check to be mailed back in the return envelope. That's no fun. Handwritten Thank You notes, random Cause I Thought of You cards and basically any occasion that deserves a card showing up in my mail box from a friend is more than welcome. If I know someone well enough or know something they really want, I love buying gifts for that person and surprising them. The Thank You that follows shows me that the gift meant as much to them as it meant to me when I gave it to them. Maybe it's the southern in me, but any gift (outside of your parents putting Christmas gifts under the tree) deserve a Thank You note and when I say people notice when they don't get one, I mean they really notice when they don't get one and then they mention it to everyone else in the same social circle.
The older generation was born and raised in a time when they had only handwritten notes as an option to express their gratitude. It shows genuine appreciation to sit down and take the time to write out a heartfelt Thank You and if you go through the trouble and spend money on a gift for someone, it's not wrong to expect a note in the mail. In The South, our matriarchs pass on their manners, social graces and ethics to the next generation and that's one of the reasons I love being from The South.
Have the Write Tools: Always keep a set or two of flat notecards some place within reach, a great pen (I like Le Pen) and a book of stamps. If you want to kick it up a notch, look into a self-inking return address label. The less items you have to go searching/shopping for, the easier it'll be to write a great Thank You note.

Simply start with "Thank You": The best way to start a Thank You note is with the actual "Thank You". It lets the recipient know what you've written them for and starts the note off on a...good note.

Lead Into the Gift/Action: Once you've said "Thank You", it's common practice to offer a reason as to why you're saying "Thanks". If you recently moved house and a few people helped you lift furniture and lug boxes up and down stairs, thank them for doing exactly that.

Short and Sweet: Keep your Thank You's short and to the point. The perfect note is usually 3-4 sentences long.

Closing Remarks: Closings like "Sincerely" or "Thanks" are informal and kind of flippant sounding. I choose my closings based on whom I'm writing my note to, but more times than not I close with "XOXO", "Kisses" and sometimes I'll draw a simple heart. If it's someone you're not super close to or doesn't feel comfortable with a cutesy sign-off you can always use "All the Best" or "Warmly".

Perfect Timing: It's best to write Thank You notes within a few days of receiving a gift and optimal delivery of note would be 1-2 weeks. If you feel you've gone past the time limit on sending a note, don't hesitate. A late note is always better than no note at all.

Bonus: So, back to those friends that helped you move. Did they go home with a back ache or take time out of a Saturday they could've spent doing...well, anything other than helping you move? Include a gift card (maybe $10 or $15) in your Thank You note as an extra way of saying "Thanks". It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, maybe it's a Starbucks or Target gift card and like I said, it doesn't have to be an exorbitant amount—just enough to show your appreciation.

My Favorites: In the market for some notecards? I tend to pick mine up from Target, Rifle Paper Co., Kate Spade or Crane Co. You can purchase a book of stamps from most grocery stores or the post office and I love LePen pens for crafting the perfect handwritten note.

Check out the full list of Southern Belle Rules

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