Red Wine & Glue Sticks

Anatomy of a Thoughtful Thank You Note

Beth PacykComment

Yesterday I shared my favorite resources for thank you notes, but if you struggle with what to fill those thank you notes with, today's post is for you! 

After Tom and I got married, I was totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of thank you notes we had to complete from our wedding. He obliged to help (a task I had aways taken the lead on during our six year courtship), but I was a little shocked when I read his first thank you note. It went something like: 

Dear _____________,

Thank you for the _____________. We like it very much.

Tom & Beth

I teased him that I wrote more thoughtful notes in elementary school and he challenged me to develop a thank you writing formula for him if I wanted the task done any differently. I came up with one, he helped write thoughtful wedding thank you notes, and he's continued to write thoughtful notes in the years since. I'm calling that formula a success and I'm sharing our secret sauce with all of you today. I promise it will become second nature, this is just support to get you through the awkward beginner stage.

1. Thank you for the (gift). This seems obvious. Because it is. Never write a specific amount of check or cash gifted. 

2. How you plan to use the gift. If it was a cooking tool, what recipe are you most excited to make with it? If it was clothing, where do you plan to wear it? If it was money, say how you plan to use it, even if you're just saving it up for something down the road. My relatives love knowing that they are contributing to a trip or membership. 

3. A personal interaction from event. This one only stands if you are sending thank you notes after a large event like wedding, shower, or birthday party. Mention something you enjoyed doing with them (I had fun tearing up the dance floor with you, it was a blast cheering for you during the flag football game,  the dip you made was so delicious - I couldn't stop eating it...)

4. If there was no group event, expand on how you spent the holiday the gift was sent to celebrate (we enjoyed a relaxing day at home, we went out for margaritas at our favorite taqueria, we took advantage of beautiful weather and went for a bike ride...)

5. Thank them again for thinking of you and/or for their generosity. 

I'm no Emily Post, but this is a foolproof formula to follow to send out a thoughtful, mature thank you note. 

Thank you for reading this post, your thank you note is on its way!