You must still sit down and hand-write a card to each person who was kind enough to give you a gift this season.
We are always surprised when we hear grown people shrug off thank-you notes. No, it doesn’t matter if Grandma was sitting with you as you opened the gift from her; you still owe her a formal thank-you note.
An email won’t do either. And yes, even if you have horrible handwriting, you must still sit down and hand-write a card to each person who was kind enough to give you a gift this season.
With all of that said, we do understand that the thought of writing thank-you cards can be daunting, especially if you received a lot of gifts. But there’s really no reason to become paralyzed. Here are four simple tips that will help you organize yourself so that you get yours done before the week is out, and without breaking a sweat.
1. Keep a list. It sounds simple, but it’s amazing how often this little thing is overlooked. Keep a pad and pencil handy as you and your family open gifts. Document who got what from whom; then when it comes time to write your thank-you notes, there won’t be any confusion.
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2. Set up a stationery stash. You must have a stash of thank-you stationery and some stamps on hand before you can get to writing. Shopping for stationery is the fun part. We recommend going with a classic design you like rather than something funky because the funky option might not be appropriate for everyone, and you don’t want to have to buy multiple sets. Stay away from full sheets of paper, as you don’t want your thoughtful note overshadowed by lots of blank space. Note cards are ideal, and if you prefer postcards, there is nothing wrong with using them.
3. Use the rule of three. There are generally three components to a well-written thank-you note. The first is a simple statement of thanks, such as, “Thank you for the lovely flowers.”Don’t worry if it sounds too simple; that’s the point of a note like this — it’s supposed to be a simple expression of your gratitude. Second, note how you have used or will use the gift. Again, keep this statement brief; it’s nice for the giver to know how you intend to use their gift, but they don’t need a whole paragraph about it. In addition, avoid the temptation to lie here. Even if you received a gift you truly dislike, like a pair of wool socks, there is always something to appreciate, like the color or the fact that the wool keeps cold toes warm. Finally, wrap up the note with a final statement of thanks, and if appropriate, a nod to when you will see them again. For example, “Thanks again for such a thoughtful gift — I can’t wait to see you at Johnny’s graduation.”
4. Write three notes a day. Sitting down to write 20 notes may seem overwhelming, but if you set aside 20 minutes every evening for the next week and dash off three notes in each sitting, you’ll have crossed this off your to-do list in good time and without suffering. Don’t turn on the TV or go to bed without having at least written three notes a day until you are done.