When I receive a thank-you note from a child, it makes me respect his parents even more for taking the time to teach that child to be thankful. It is never too early to teach a child to write a thank-you note.
For many years, my mother sent each of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren a small monetary gift in cards for their birthdays and in Christmas cards. Because the amounts were very small, none of the children bothered to send her thank-you notes. In my mother’s later years, she lost her sight, and she could no longer send those cards. I recently was visiting with my mother, and she shared with me that my granddaughter had sent her a Christmas card, and in that Christmas card, my granddaughter thanked my mother for all those years that she had sent her birthday and Christmas cards. That small expression of thankfulness from my my granddaughter was a real encouragement to my mother.
I read an illustration of a woman who received a sweater from her aunt. This woman failed to send her aunt a quick thank-you note as soon as she received the sweater. Since the woman was somewhat of a perfectionist and wanted to write a perfect note, she postponed writing it. As the weeks passed, she began to worry about how to word her late thank-you. She began to think, “What will my aunt think of me for not writing sooner?” By postponing writing the thank-you note to her aunt, she felt guilty and dreaded writing it.
Writing thank-you notes does not have to be difficult. Sometimes we put off writing them, because we do not know what to say. Our words do not need to sound formal, but they should express our feelings of thankfulness. Here are a few tips to remember when writing a quick thank-you note.
• Keep a supply of paper, cards, postcards, and envelopes near your desk.
• Hand write thank-you notes unless your handwriting is illegible.
• Send a thank-you to someone who does something nice for you such as treating you to a meal or taking you to the airport.
• Send thank-you notes within two weeks. Even if the note is late, always attempt to send one.
• Thank-you notes do not have to be long but they should be sincere, specific, concise, clear, and positive.
• Always mention the gift and your plan to use it.
• Teach children as soon as they can write to send thank-you notes for gifts.
• Always send thank-you notes for wedding gifts. (Try to send within three months)
• If someone mails you a gift, mail a thank-you within two to three days. The sender will want to know that their gift arrived safely.
• If you receive flowers of condolences after a death, always send a thank-you.
• If you receive a birthday, Christmas, or shower gift, send a thank-you within two or three days.
• Send a thank-you to someone who helps, provides food, or gives you a gift during an illness.
• When you stay overnight in a home or a mission’s apartment, leave a thank-you note in the home or apartment before you leave.
• To thank good friends or close family members after you have stayed in their home or enjoyed a nice meal, you can give a thank-you phone call or email, but it is always good to send a card.
• Leave a small gift with a thank-you note if you stay with family or friends more than one night.
• Consider sending informal cyber thank-you cards with personal notes. Although if you receive a beautiful gift with a hand-written letter, do not send a quick e-mail; respond with a nice handwritten thank-you.