Thank You Note Tips for All Occasions

Woman reading note with flowers
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Writing a thank you note only takes a few minutes, but it's one of the most important things you can do when you receive a gift or someone does something nice for you. It's always appropriate to send a thank you note, even if it's for a gift you don't want or a favor you didn't ask for. Whether someone gives you concert tickets or offers to watch your child so you and your spouse can go out, take the time to jot a note and get it in the mail as soon as possible.

Show of Appreciation

Many people groan when they're told that they should write thank you notes because they think they're a hassle, and they worry they won't come up with the right words. Remember that someone spent time or money doing whatever you need to thank them for. If you wonder whether or not you should send one, chances are, the answer is "yes."

There are some instances when may jot a quick email, but it’s a good idea to follow up with a letter or note that requires an envelope and postage. Whether you receive a gift, attend a dinner party, or have an important business meeting with good results, you’ll stand out afterward with a strategically written note. It's also nice to send someone a thank you note for simply being a good friend.

If you have pretty stationery, you’ll probably enjoy writing thank you notes more often. You might even want to invest in a pack of blank cards. However, there is nothing wrong with using plain white paper and envelopes.

Thank You Note Examples

Thank you notes don’t have to be long, but they should be specific to the sender and the item. Be specific about the gift, add a sentence about the item, and close with a pleasantry. If you have more to write, by all means, include more. Just make sure you have the important part of the thank you note at the top.

Here are some examples of well written but brief thank you notes:

Dear Uncle John,
Thank you for the CD you sent for my birthday. I’ve been to this band’s concerts, and now I’m happy that I can listen to their songs whenever I want. I look forward to seeing you during the holidays.


Dear Mr. and Mrs. Blakewell,
Nick and I are happy you were able to share the joy of our marriage and the wedding reception afterward. We’d like to thank you for the check that puts us closer to our goal of a down payment on a house. Next time you’re in town, give us a call, and perhaps we can have you over for dinner.

Patty and Jeremy

Dear Joanna,
We had a wonderful weekend in San Francisco. Thank you for your generosity and giving us such a comfortable place to stay. We’d love to reciprocate if you’re ever on the East Coast.

Much love,

Dear Mr. Henderson,
Thank you for taking the time to discuss the sales management position with Henderson and Associates. After hearing about some of your sales procedures, I feel that I am well suited for this job. If you have any additional questions about my skills or qualifications, please don’t hesitate to call.

Sarah Myers
When to Send a Thank You Note There are quite a few occasions when thank you notes should be used. The general rule of thumb that is the other person spends time, money, or effort on you, a thank you note is in order.

When to Send a Thank You Note

Here’s a partial list of occasions when it’s appropriate to follow up with a note:

  • After you receive a gift of any kind – birthday, bridal shower, wedding, engagement, baby shower, or holiday
  • When you return home after staying at someone’s home
  • The day after a party, whether it is in the person’s home or at a restaurant
  • After a job interview
  • After someone does something special for you – recommends you for a position, helps move furniture from your old apartment to your new house, offers tickets to your favorite band's concert, or when someone volunteers to watch your children
  • If you are in charge of volunteers who work hard for the cause

Teach Your Children to Write Thank You Notes

One of the most important things parents should do is teach their children proper etiquette. Let your child know that sending a thank you note is not only a nice thing to do, it leaves a good impression with the receiver. Writing thank you notes will get them in the habit of something that can aid in their success as adults.

Tips for teaching children to write thank you notes:

  • Tell them it makes other people feel good.
  • Don’t let too much time go by before writing the note.
  • Tell the person what you like about the item or action.
  • Allow your child to send a drawing or snapshot.
  • Be creative with the paper and color of ink or pencils.
  • Allow your child to put the stamp on the envelope and drop it in the mailbox.