I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks. ~William Shakespeare

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.  ~G.B. Stern

One of the most common complaints we hear at the store is that people don't bother to write them a thank you note following a gift. That, or that their grandchildren haven't been taught to write a thank you note. They're left wondering if they even received the gift, got it and didn't care for it, and/or just didn't have the manners to thank them for it.

These days, thank you notes come in so many forms - elegant, cute, fun! I love these fill-in thank you notes we have from Penny Laine to help children get started. The child writes (or attempts to write) a few words, and then colors the picture with the set of crayons that come in the package. It's never too soon to start teaching children good manners! And what a treat to receive one of these from a child you love!

We often think of the weeks following Christmas as a common time to write thank you notes. Makes sense, with all the gift giving. But think about it, thank you notes are one of our best sellers year-round!  So many events lead to gifts, which (should, at least) lead to a hand-written thank you note. You've got birthdays, Mitzvahs, wedding and baby showers, let alone weddings! And then there's graduations, thank yous following job interviews and notes to the professors who gave a good word and helped you land the job of your dreams! Then there's anniversaries, retirement, the list goes on and on!  We all have so much to be grateful for, don't we?

Writing thank you notes is a part of life, and all gifts should generate a hand-written thank you note. One exception is if the gift-giver is present at its opening, and the person is able to personally thank the giver. Even in this case, however, a thank you note is always appropriate.

Traditionally, a thank you note was written on an "informal note," which is why they are now sometimes referred to as an informal. It would typically be personalized with a name or monogram, such as these from Crane & Co.

Many people, however, use a simple note or correspondence card with "Thank you" pre-printed, which is also fine. Remember, the sentiment is what is important.

Sometimes writing thank you notes can seem monotonous and repetitive, such as notes acknowledging wedding gifts. Thank you notes should be a warm, sincere expression of gratitude, and you want to convey that feeling to your gift-giver. Some helpful hints include

  1. consider the gift you are writing about, even picture it in your mind.
  2. think of the person who gave you the gift, and (hopefully) what they mean to you.
  3. mention the specific gift. If it's money, mention that as well. (thanks for the check...)
  4. say something about the gift, such as 'we've always needed that', 'we plan to use the money towards remodeling the kitchen' or if you have no idea what you'll do with it, mention how pretty, colorful, unusual (fill in the blank) the item was. 
  5. wrap up with something like how great it was to see them, you look forward to seeing them again, sorry you missed them, or something like that.
Thank you notes don't need to be lengthy. Keep it simple, but sincere. Also, be sure that you thank them for the correct gift! (Thanks for the kitchen utensils wont go over well when it was a vase from Tiffany's!) Also, if you have many notes to write (lucky you!), break them up. Write five or 10 a day, then stop. Come back to it again when you're fresh!  You'll get through them in no time!

And I meant that "lucky you!" sincerely! Remember, no one has to give you a gift, even for a wedding. A gift is just that - a gift!  Enjoy and be grateful!

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