Writing Thank-you Letters


Christmas is over, and the time is perfect for brushing up on how to write a thank-you letter. If you’ve received gifts or help of some kind, it never hurts to show your appreciation, and acknowledge kindness in a timely manner.

Let’s assume that you are thanking someone for a gift. It is good to have foldover note cards on hand. Handwriting your note gives it a personal touch.


What to Include

When you describe the gift, be sure to avoid tacky phrases like “the lovely gift” or “the nice present.” Instead, name the gift and tell how useful or appropriate it is. You might want to say how you plan to use it or where you will place it. Tell what it is about the gift that especially pleased you.

Add one or two sentences saying something nice about the giver of the gift, expressing affection or sending greetings to them and their family (if it applies).

Do Not

It’s not a good idea to ask where the gift was purchased so you can return it.

If you receive duplicate gifts, do not mention this to the giver.

If the gift is money, it is usually best not to mention the amount. Instead, you can mention the giver’s kindness or generosity.

Don’t include news, extra information, or questions unrelated to the gift. Find a different opportunity for this, if necessary.


The main thing is to convey to the giver of the gift, that you appreciate their thoughtfulness and to tell them a simple “thank you.”

There is no need to gush over the gift or the person who gave it. This would seem flowery and insincere. Simplest is often best. Show your genuine appreciation and you will make the giver of the gift very happy.


18 thoughts on “Writing Thank-you Letters

    • You’ve just made me aware of another negative trend in our society. If thank-you cards were replaced by something on a phone app that showed the same appreciation as a card would do, I would say, “Of course, let’s move on.” But in most cases, people assume it is their right to receive and not their responsibility to show appreciation. If it is done with a phone call, I can accept that, and appreciate it, but I suspect that in most cases, the “thank you” is simply forgotten completely.

      Liked by 1 person

      • By writing this post, I’ve been reminded by commenters how out of date my thinking is. On further reflection, I realize how seldom people show appreciation with written messages, and I can learn to “get with the program” but what I can’t get over is how rude society in general has become, leaving politeness mostly for the older fuddyduddies to practice. Having said that, I find it really refreshing to hear a young person say a heartfelt thank you, card or no card. It’s the message that counts.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wise advice, Anneli. I recently helped my dad write generic thank you cards because he couldn’t remember who gave him what. Ha ha. In my oldish age, I need to keep notes about who gave what or I’ll have no idea an hour later. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s