Thoughtful Wording for a Thank You Note

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Writing a thank you note is essential after receiving a gift or being a guest in someone's home. Porcorex/Getty Images

After receiving a gift, attending a dinner party, or leaving someone's house from an overnight stay, you know you need to write a thank you note, but you might not know what to say. Most people want to send them, but they don't always know how to put their thoughts into words.

If you are at a loss for words when you sit down with paper and pen and try to write something to show gratitude for someone else's generosity follow this advice.

You don't have to use fancy wording or write anything worthy of an award. The main thing you need to do is show how much you appreciate the gift or hospitality.

Of course, you'll need to use some of your own wording, but with a basic outline, it shouldn't take too long to jot a thank you note to let others know how much you appreciate their gift, their hospitality, or their thoughtfulness.

Before you get started, you need to know what you are thanking the person for. If this is for a gift at a shower, birthday party, or some other event that involved multiple gifts from a lot of people, have someone jot down who gave what as you open them. 

Show Gratitude

You might think that showing gratitude is a given, but there are some people who overlook writing a simple "Thank you," even though that was the purpose of the note.

Phrases to help with the opening line:

  • Thank you for the …
  • I am grateful for …
  • I am thankful for …
  • I appreciate the …

State the Gift or Act

Don't take the easy way out and simply state, "Thanks for the gift." Although this is officially a thank you message, it lacks the personal touch that makes the note seem sincere. This will be the second part of the opening line or first sentence.

Here are some examples:

Mention Your Reason for Being Thankful

This can include what you plan to do with the gift or how it helped you. Most of the time this part will be the second sentence of your thank you note.

Here are some examples of this part of the thank you note:

  • My husband and I will celebrate our anniversary soon, and we will use the candlesticks to make the setting even more romantic.
  • You made me feel like part of the family during our visit.
  • I have had a difficult time making my decision, and you helped me tremendously by being there for me.
  • They serve some of the best seafood in town, so I always look forward to eating there.

Add a Closing Statement

This should be something that is specifically targeted toward the person you are sending the thank you note to. You can write one or two sentences, depending on what you want to say and how well you know the other person. Avoid something generic that could go to anyone.

Here are some ways you can end the note:

  • We would love to have you over for dinner sometime soon.
  • I look forward to seeing you and John next time you are in the area. Give us a call before you come so we can clear our schedule.
  • If you ever need someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to call.
  • Maybe next time we plan a trip to (the name of the restaurant), we'll give you a call, and hopefully you can join us.

Sign the Note

Personal signatures emphasize your relationship with the other person. If you have some sort of "friendship buzz phrase," this is the place you can use it. Otherwise, come up with something that leaves the other person feeling good about what you are thanking her for.

Here are some examples:

  • Love
  • Warmly
  • Friends always
  • Pals forever
  • Affectionately

The best time to send a thank you note is right after you receive the gift or whatever you are thanking the other person for. However, if a week or two has passed, don't let that be an excuse not to send one.

Just do it as soon as you can.