Tonight I spent a couple of hours writing thank you notes for birthday and house warming gifts. I am known for my thank you note writing abilities. When I got married a little more than a year ago I wrote many thank you notes and many people commented on them, told me they used them as examples, told me they shared them with others, and even suggested I start a thank you note writing business. As much as I enjoy writing thank you notes, I am not sure I would like to spend all day every day writing them. All this talk got me to thinking, what makes a good thank you note and what makes mine stand out from all the rest?
1) Practice. I have been writing thank you notes since I could speak. My mom would have me sit down at the table with her to dictate my thank you notes while she wrote them out. Thanks, Mom!
2) Scarcity. It seems very few people actually hand write and snail mail thank you notes, or any greetings for that matter, very often any more. People love to get "fun mail" mixed in with all the bills and advertisements.
3) Sincerity. I often receive thank you notes that have a general message already printed in the card, a hand written "Thank you for the ice cream bowls.", and a signature. Yes, I recognize that a thank you was sent which is appreciated, but that's it? It feels more like an acknowledgment out of obligation than a genuine "Thank you."
4) Personalization. If it is a thank you for something I received at an event, I try to mention an interaction I had with the person I am thanking in the thank you note. If I am given something having to do with entertaining, I mention in my thank you note that the person should check their schedule so we can arrange a time for them to come over for dinner and enjoy the gift they bestowed upon me.
5) Intention to Use. If I am given clothing, I mention where I have already worn it and the complements I have received or the next big event I intend to wear it to. If I receive ice cream bowls, I mention how lovely they look on the table with my existing dishes or that I am having a summer party and can't wait to show them to and share them with friends. If I receive money or a gift card I mention how I used or intend to use it.
These are just a few of the ways I write my thank you notes. Also, I think people tend to hear the phrase "Time to write thank you notes" and automatically think "Ugh! Yuck!" when really it can be a very creative writing experience.
Finally, continuing with the theme of thank you notes, I would like to thank Being Five for featuring my question for Georgie in reader mail and posting a link to my blog. It really made my day! There is, as always, a link to Being Five in the "Notable Blogs" section of this blog. Good call on the chocolate eclair, Georgie. For the record, since I am getting older and need to watch the waistline, snow cones are currently my favorite ice cream truck treat.