How to Write a Holiday Thank You Note
The holidays have come and gone.
Dinner parties were had, gifts were given and everyone was merry.
But even after the last present has been unwrapped and the last piece of silverware washed and put away, there's still something else that must be done.
You need to plan how you'll show your gratitude to those who share in the holiday season with you.
The lost art of saying thanks
Long before text messages and Instagram posts conveyed the innermost thoughts of people, cards sharing best wishes and kind appreciation were handwritten and mailed as thank you notes.
Receiving an actual letter in the mail amidst all the junk that still comes through can bring more joy to someone than whatever you're actually thanking them for doing. The importance of taking a few minutes to jot down a special message for the people you appreciate, especially during the holidays, isn't as common anymore, but it's an easy gesture with a big impact.
Where to start
Before you begin thinking about the message you want to write, you need to have the right materials. Put aside blank sheets of printer paper and ripped off pages from notepads. They only convey a lazy sentiment and that you rushed to get this note written.
Instead, invest in a pack of nice cards to have on hand when needed. You don't have to spend a lot of money at a stationary store in order to be prepared – just about every drug store sells them. If you're in a situation where you'll be thanking the same person more than once in a short time period, consider getting a set of notecards with different designs on the front, for some variety.
The pen you use is important, too. No pencil and no typing. Stick with ink colors that are easy to read and ones that stand out against the color of the notecard. Dark blue, purple or green might be good choices, but stay away from black, especially if your notecard is white. According to color studies, the black and white combination of colors is the hardest to remember.
Pick your handwriting style that's easiest to read as well. If you can pull off an elegant cursive, go for it. Otherwise, stick to print. Don't worry if your handwriting isn't perfect, either. The fact that you're taking the time to physically write out a note will make a positive impression no matter how neat the handwriting.
Write the right message
A typical thank you note doesn't have to be long. A short, heartfelt message will do the trick. What's important is that you speak in your own voice, share a message that's complimentary and kind, and personalize each note with specific details related to the recipient.
Your purpose is to express gratitude, so make sure that clearly comes across. It's OK to say thank you more than once in your note, as well. It's also a nice touch to add a line about when you'll see them again, or that you hope to see them soon.
Mailing the thank you note
Once the note is complete, it's time to pop it in the mail. Again, hand write the recipient's address on the envelope. Don't print out labels, even if you're writing quite a few notes. Show off that you've put time into this special message.
Consider purchasing holiday themed stamps for a little something extra, and keep return address labels on hand, even if you're not sending out that much mail these days. Stationary stores also offer return address stamps or embossers if you're interested in adding a classier element to your mail.
What are you thankful for
Two of the most common reasons to write a thank you note are for gifts you've received or to show gratitude toward someone who came to an event you hosted. Sometimes these sentiments are combined in a single note, like at a birthday party, but during the holidays, they're often separate.
Here are two sample thank you notes which convey the tips already shared.
1. Thank you for coming to my holiday party
Thank you for coming to my holiday party this past weekend. It was such a fun night, and I was happy you were able to join in the festivities. It was so thoughtful of you to bring cookies to share with everyone. I appreciated the extra dessert and they were so delicious. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and look forward to seeing you again.
2. Thank you for the lovely holiday gift
Dear Clark and Lois,
Thank you so much for the wine of the month club subscription. I love trying new wine and it's exciting to know I'll be sampling bottles from around the world. I really appreciate you thinking of us during the holidays with such a kind gift. You'll have to come over one month for a wine tasting! Have a wonderful holiday.