The holidays are over. The food has been cooked, the decorations have been taken down. The gifts have been received, opened, and enjoyed.
Aren’t you forgetting something?
Oh, yes. The thank you letters.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for your “thank you” letters to take a backseat when you’re recovering from the holidays.
This goes for all the holidays, by the way.
No matter what you celebrate, it’s important to recognize the time and effort your friends, family, or coworkers have put into your present.
But composing a million “thank you” letters can get really overwhelming, really quickly.
Can’t you just skip them?
No, you can’t.
Unless you want to get a bad reputation as an ungrateful recipient, you have to write them.
The good news is that you don’t have to put an incredible amount of time and effort into writing them. How’s that? You can simply follow a thank you letter template. This ensures you get the best of all worlds, giving a personalized expression of gratitude while still saving valuable time.
Read on to learn what exactly you need to include in your “thank you” letter, and discover a template to get it done as painlessly as possible.
Thank You Letter Rules and Regulations You Need to Follow
Before we go any further, check out these rules that you should follow when writing a thank you letter. These apply whether you’re writing a note from scratch or following a template.
Write it Out
The best kind of thank you letters are handwritten. This adds a degree of personalization that you just can’t find in a typewritten note. This holds especially true since nobody really writes notes anymore. Everything is done over email or text. Make sure to send you thank you note via “snail mail” and help save this beautiful tradition from extinction.
Focus on Them
If you use a template, it should be friendly and warm. It should mention the giver in a personal way. This lets them know that you appreciate them deeply in a real and genuine manner. It should also be short. Avoid rambling, but let them know you care.
Once you receive you gift, the clock is ticking. RD recommends writing your thank you note within a few days of receiving the gift. Those who receive wedding gifts have a bit more time, but 6 weeks is the maximum you should wait.
Why Use a Thank You Letter Template?
A thank you letter is a beautiful thing. It’s not only polite, but necessary to let the giver know that you’ve received their gift and acknowledge their thoughtfulness.
However, it’s difficult to sit at your desk for long periods of time, attempting to add a degree of personalization and flair to each thank you letter. Using a template helps increase organization and raise productivity when you’re down in the boring old thank you dumps
A template will eliminate the need for you to pore over your words. It will give you the “meat” of the letter laid out in front of you, so all you have to do is fill in the blanks.
That way, you can turn your desk into an assembly line of gratitude in a few simple steps. What could be easier?
Situations Which Warrant a Thank You Letter Template
It’s important to realize that not every situation really warrants a thank you letter template. If you’re sending out a one-off thank you letter to your lawyer or doctor for example, you don’t need a template. However, you can still use one if you don’t know what to say.
There are a few situations in which a thank you letter template can be a real godsend. These include situations where you may receive lots of presents at the same time, and therefore, have to write a massive amount of thank you letters:
- Birthday parties
- Holiday season holidays
- Office celebrations
- Housewarming parties
- Baby showers
If you have to write more than two thank-you letters at a time, it’s a good idea to use a template. That way, you can stay organized and productive with a touch of sentimentality.
If you have received a gift in the mail, it is especially important to send a thank you letter. The person who sent it to you won’t have any way to confirm that you’ve received it if you don’t send a note. Never make them call and ask. That’s not classy.
In fact, you may want to consider sending them a gift in return. It doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out these inexpensive personalized gifts you can use to express your gratitude for their thoughtfulness.
Anatomy of a Good Thank You Letter Template
So, what makes a good thank you letter?
Personalization is key.
One thing you absolutely don’t want to do is send out mass, spammy letters. A template isn’t a prewritten letter. It’s only part of a prewritten letter.
The rest you have to write yourself.
If you don’t write any of it yourself, it doesn’t count. It’s rude. It demonstrates that although you want to be perceived as the type of person who sends thank you notes, you don’t actually want to put any time or effort into writing them.
And that means you can kiss your good social standing (as well as any future presents) goodbye.
Hallmark tells us exactly what we need to put into the letters for them to be an acceptable expression of thankfulness. Each letter must have these elements, and the template you use must express them thoroughly.
- First Paragraph: This is your greeting, and the start of personalization. The greeting you use can (and should) be simple, but it must include the name of the person who has sent you the gift. Sometimes you may receive a gift from multiple people, like a couple or a family. If this is the case, address both people in the greeting. You can also use the last name of the family.
- Second Paragraph: First, express your gratitude. Say something nice about the person who has given you this awesome present, or compliment their gift-giving skills. Gushing too hard will make you seem insincere, so keep it short and sweet.
- Third Paragraph: Write a short sentence detailing what you plan on using the gift for. If it’s a sweater, say you can’t wait to wear it. If it’s an edible flower arrangement, say you can’t wait to eat it. If you want to absolutely kill the thank you game, add in a question here to invite a dialogue. This will show them you aren’t communicating solely because of the gift.
- Fourth Paragraph: End the letter succinctly but warmly. Marie Claire warns against ending a letter too formally. It’s good to add a second expression of thanks here, just to put a little icing on your cake of gratitude. Do mention that you wish to see them soon, to thank them in person. If you want to, you can end with a call to action about getting together.
The Universal Thank You Letter Template for the Busy Bee
We understand that you don’t have time to write a million letters. You can use this one in a pinch, simply fill in the blanks.
I can’t believe you got me the_________! Thank you so much for thinking of me on this special day. It’s touching that you know me so well, the present just fits me perfectly. You really went above and beyond this year.
I know exactly what I’ll be using this for, too. The________ would be perfect for________, and I can’t wait to put it into action. I think everyone else will like it, too. By the way, I was thinking about you the other day when_______. How are you doing?
Thanks again for the_________. I feel so lucky! I’d love to see you sometime soon, so I can thank you in person. Let’s get together at________. I’ll give you a call.
The Magic Behind It
As you can see, this thank you letter is perfect. It’s short, sweet, and to-the-point while still managing to be personal, warm, and inviting.
The reason this works so well lies in the wording. It’s versatile enough to be used for almost anything, but it incorporates language which is highly personalized — in other words, it doesn’t sound like a template.
This is what you’re going for.
It’s the ultimate Holy Grail – an effortless, painless thank you letter.
It makes you look good, and it’s easy to use.
However, no thank you letter template is perfect. That’s because there are so many occasions which warrant thank you letters.
There is no one template which works for every occasion.
However, you can modify this template to fit your needs. These will change depending on which holiday you’re celebrating, or which occasion has caused your influx of presents.
Using a Thank You Letter Template Makes Your Life Easier
A thank you letter template is one of the best organizational tools around. It keeps you on track during a time in your life which may be quite busy, allowing you to complete the obligatory task of thanks with minimal effort. If you’ve got notes to write, don’t hesitate to pick up a pen and use this template.