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How To Write A Thank-You Note

Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick
Now that the holidays are coming to a close, it is time to sit down and write those all-important thank-you notes. Thanking people is our way of respecting them by showing appreciation. People like to feel appreciated, and receiving thank-you notes makes them feel good. A thoughtful thank-you note makes us appear considerate and appreciative. Not thanking a person, on the other hand, makes us appear inconsiderate and unappreciative.
Thank-you notes should be sent to thank someone for sending you a gift, having you as a guest for dinner or in their home for the weekend, and any small favor. Your appreciation should be acknowledged within 72 hours of its receipt if possible. A thank-you note sent late, however, is always better than not sending one at all.
Thank-you notes don’t have to be long, but they should be sincere; and thank-you notes usually sound much more sincere when written promoptly. Three or four carefully written sentences is enough.
Following is a four-step formula for writing thank-you notes:
1. The greeting: Dear Susan
2. An appreciation of the item or favor: Thank you for the beautiful sterling silver vase.
3. Mention how the item will be used: It will look perfect on the piano
4. End with a suggestion of a I’m looking forward to seeing you future meeting: I’m looking forward to seeing you next summer.
1. Thank-you note for a present:
Dear Barbara,
The jade-colored sushi dishes you sent from Gump’s are wonderful. You know how much I like sushi, and the color goes so well in my apartment. In fact, I’m planning to use them this weekend when I have my New Year’s party.
Have a happy new year and thanks again.

2. Thank you note for a present of money:
Dear Uncle Bob,
It was so thoughtful of you to send such a generous check for Christmas. I plan to use it to buy a CD player for my new apartment, and will think of you every time I use it.
I hope to see you soon.

3. Thank-you note for lunch
Dear Mr. Roberts,
Thank you for lunch today. I really enjoyed the restaurant and think that was probably the best steak I have ever had. But most of all, I appreciate your advice about interviewing at law firms in Manhattan, especially at such a busy time of the year. I’ll let you know the outcome. Again, thanks for lunch and for your support.
Best regards,

4. Thank-you for dinner:
Dear Christine,
You and Harold gave a wonderful holiday dinner party last night. We enjoyed
your guests, your dinner, and most of all how special you made us feel.
It isn’t easy attending a dinner party when you don’t know the other guests,
but everyone made us feel welcome, thanks to your efforts.
Jay and I look forward to having you for dinner at our house in the
near future.
Kind regards,

5. Thank-you note for a favor:
Dear Bob,
Deborah and I can’t begin to thank you enough for taking the time to
write such a glowing reference letter for us. Thanks to your letter, Kelly
accepted to nursery school. If we had known it would be this difficult to
get into nursery school, we might have stayed in Connecticut.
Again, we really appreciate your effort and look forward to seeing you
and Lois soon.

6. Houseguest or “bread and butter” thank-you note:
Dear Kate,
Thanks so much for having us for the weekend. The holidays are the perfect time to visit
Bedford. Your home is so warm and cozy and you are such a good cook. John
has not stopped talking about the crab cakes and risotto you made for dinner.
We do hope you and Ed and the girls will come to visit us next summer.
Best regards,
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