One of the first observations you might make is that saying thanks to someone in writing is usually referred to as sending a thank you note, not a thank you letter. A note of thanks should focus specifically on the gift they gave you and not become a lengthy letter relating personal events.
A thank you note should begin with an opening that addresses the person by name. The first few sentences should include some comments that relate specifically to the gift they gave you. You want to mention things like the color of the gift or some identifying factor so that your note doesn't appear to be a generic version of a thank you that was sent to everyone who gave you a gift.
Next, you should tell the person how you plan to use or display the gift. Before ending the note, mention how pleased you were to see them at the party, cookout, family gathering, or whatever the location was when they gave the gift to you. Depending on your relationship with the person, you could also mention something about hoping things are well with them or that you hope to see them soon. The note should be signed in a manner that is appropriate for the relationship you have with the person you are sending it to.
To help encourage timely Thank-you cards after a party, Baptism, etc., I began addressing the thank you envelopes while I was addressing the invitations, when the energy level was still high. After the party, it is much more fun to just focus on the thoughtfulness of the gift and then just stuff it into the right envelope!
When you throw a bridal (or baby shower), buy a pack of thank you cards for the guest of honor. During the party, pass out the envelopes and have everyone put their address on one. When the bride (or new mom) sends the thank you notes, they're already addressed!
To those grandparents who never get a thank you note from their grandchildren for gifts, leaving it up to your children to teach them might be futile. I suggest that instead, your grandchildren may become more interested in writing notes if they have personalized stationery, stamps, and an address book of their own, like a grown up.
You could give them this as a gift (filling in the important addresses for them) and clearly, their thank yous will now mean so much more than if they'd been forced to send them by their parents.
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Here are questions related to Sending Thank You Notes.
I love Christmas and especially like to thank my mail man and trash men by making healthy zucchini white chocolate chip cookies. I wanted to write a little thank you note to attach. Is there a note I can use for a template?
Deeli, I hate to disagree with you! Perhaps hubby and I were imprudent to joyfully receive and enjoy the homemade treats from his paper route folks a couple of years ago, but then, he did get to know them more than the usual paper carrier or mail carrier would. That's just his personality. These service personnel might also be diabetic. You wouldn't know unless you'd had some contact or conversation. Few people have or take the time to do that these days. I do agree with LyndaGail to a point: other than whatever physical reward we want to give those who serve us, prayer is the best thing we can do. Jesus is coming soon even many who aren't professing Christians see the signs. They're just not interpreting them the same way.