Writing thank you notes is not as common today as it has been in the past. More often I receive a text with the letters ‘TY’ to express appreciation or quickly typed emails. Rarely do I see handwritten thank you notes. When someone takes the time to choose out a card and write a thank you note they are personal. More time, thought and effort is put into handwritten notes.
Two reasons a thank you note should be written.
What’s the big deal with writing thank you notes? Before we can learn to write thank you notes we needed to recognize and be thankful for:
- those things we receive – gifts, clothing, food
- the effort others put in on our behalf – watching a piano recital, coming to a school function
Be thankful for those things we receive.
It is easy for us to understand a thank you is required after receiving a physical gift. Christmas and birthdays are great times to begin teaching your children how to write thank you notes.
Grandma sent Suzie a gift in the mail. Teach Suzie to pick out a card and write just 3 sentences of gratitude. Help her find a stamp and mail the thank you card. It is not important to spell every word correctly or even be legible for a small child. The important part is getting into the habit of being grateful and expressing those feelings in a handwritten thank you note.
Recognize the effort others put in on our behalf.
This second reason for why handwritten thank you notes should be written is sometimes more complex.
- Who gave you a ride home from school?
- Did a teacher give additional help with an assignment?
- Did a friend listen to you complain about your bad day?
These are three examples of when someone spent time helping or listening. Others are not required to be a listening ear. They are not required to invite you to join them for lunch but they did out of kindness. This kindness should be acknowledged with a thank you.
Technically we could write many thank you notes each day for those small and big things that others do for us.
Is saying ‘thank you’ good enough OR do you need to write a handwritten note?
I love looking at situations from different perspectives. If I helped someone out and they said thank you immediately how does that make me feel? If later I received a thank you note for that same act of kindness now how do I feel?
Hearing thank you right away is always polite but by writing a note that person would feel even better. By writing handwritten thank you notes we are opening the door to a new or better friendship. We all want to feel appreciated, especially when we are doing something nice for someone else.
Thank you notes do not need to be long or written on a fancy card. This printable is a great help to know what to write in a thank you card.
Some of the points I included are:
- Why should you write? To show sincere thanks…
- When should you write? Within a week, but better late than never.
- Steps to a perfect note. Specific details are given how to open the letter, how to progress and how to close.
- Additional things to remember from Emily Post such as how to write a note when you do not like the gift you received.
Tuck this in with your premade cards, or try creating your own with this simple Thank You Card Template.
Writing thank you notes is something we all need to learn and practice regularly. Remember the two main reasons why handwritten thank you notes are important. Be thankful for those things you receive and recognize the effort put in on your behalf. Each day we can find someone worthy of a thank you note. Once you start writing these notes of gratitude it becomes a habit. Amazingly you will find yourself being more thankful and looking at the world in a different way…in a better way.