six points for crafting a thank you note



There are few words more elementary or more welcomed than please and thank you- in fact, we introduce these words to our children as “magic words.” Even as children, we learn the grace of those magic words and the art of using them at appropriate times.


It is a simple concept, but the reality is that gracious living is being compromised in the digital age. While it is easier than ever to stay connected, one of our most gracious traditions, the thank you note, is a dying art.


A thank you letter, or note, is a gesture of appreciation for a thoughtful act, expression, or gift. Thank you correspondence need not be a daunting task.  Stationary, proper postage, and black ink are all the materials required.


There are six points to the proper thank you: learn them, know them, use them— they will not fail you.


Greet the Giver

“Dearest Grandmother,”

Begin with a greeting. While it seems simple, it is often overlooked.


Express Your Gratitude

“Thank you for the hand-knitted scarf.”

Open the letter by simply thanking the giver for the gift, hospitality, or kindness offered.


Discuss Use

“It gets quite chilly here, so it will get a lot of use when winter comes.”

Say something nice about the item and how you will use it.


Mention the Past, Allude to the Future

 “It was great to see you at my birthday party, and I hope to see you at the family reunion in October.”

Mention the occasion for which the gift was given. Try to build towards a future connection. Let them know that they are special to you.


Be Gracious

“Thank you again for the gift.”

Mentioning “thank you ” again is a good idea, as it will emphasize the point of the letter.


Close Kindly

“With Love,


Simply wrap it up. Use whatever works for you: Love, Yours Truly, Regards, et cetera. Finally, remember to sign your name.


Add a stamp and drop your letter in the mail.  Your friends and relatives may not be thank you note writers, but remember that no matter the occasion or reason, a few quick sentences on stationary can mean the world. So—antiquated or not—it is a tradition worth keeping. In an attempt to revive gracious living, let’s bring back those magic words…please and thank you!