Thank You Note Help

Ah... thank you notes. How often does someone give you a gift and you truly do mean to send them a thank you note, yet you just never quite get around to it? As a child, my mom would snatch my new toys right from my hands and say, "Sit down and write all your notes and only then you can have it all back." You better believe I quickly made it a habit to crank out thank you notes and be done with them. (She even did this to me when I was in college!)

As a rule of thumb, I keep my cards all in one place. My address book and stamps stay together too. Writing out a heartfelt note and then leaving it on the counter for two weeks, letting it become a sponge for spills, means nothing if you have to toss it in the trash can, and yes, I speak from experience. I have two toddlers. Almost every surface in my house is sticky. Keep those stamps and addresses handy so you can complete your card, start to finish, without getting out of your seat.

Writer's Block

It happens. You sit down to write a thank you note and bam. You can't think of a single nice thing to say beyond the, "Thank you for the tomato shaped, plastic kitchen scale..." It, um, well, um, it's not all that nice but should I lie and say it is? The answer is no. Just avoid saying that you absolutely love it. Instead focus on something else. For instance, "It was great seeing you at the housewarming party and we really enjoyed your company."

If you can't think of anything to say, take a moment to think about the time that the other person had to put into buying your gift, wrapping it or shipping it, or doing whatever act of kindness that your note is addressing.

Some ideas...

You can always get out one sentence just stating what the item is. "Thank you for the..." Then you can usually follow that up with maybe talking about how you will use it / put it.


If you received money, don't mention the amount that was given to you. A simple, "Thank you for the money. I plan on saving it/buying new shoes/going out for a nice dinner, etc." will do.

Don't Ever Lie, but Also Don't Ever Be Anything Less Than Grateful

I watched as my brand new husband ripped the wrapping paper off a gift from his friends. The box showed a picture of decorative candles. Cute, but we didn't have any place to set them out. We opted to store them in the basement. When I penned the thank you note, I gushed over how wonderful the candles were and we really were enjoying them.

A few weeks later, a letter arrived.

It said, "We're glad you like the box we used to wrap your gifts, but you should probably open it." With dread in our stomachs, my husband pulled the box down from a shelf in the basement and I watched in disbelief as he pulled out many smaller gifts including the bread basket I had hoped to receive, some tools, and other various fun gifts.

I had been caught in my own lie! (Seven years later, it still makes me cringe to remember that day.)

Do I Need to Send a Thank You Note?


I mean it.

If someone took the time and trouble to extend generosity to you, then yes, you need to take 2 minutes to sit down and thank them for it. You do not need fancy stationary (even though I have some cute suggestions!). If the only thing you can afford is a blank piece of paper, then write your note, fold it up, and send it off.

...and then you can go play with your new toy. My mom and I are cheering you on.