life advice
How To Write a 'Thank You' Note
With the holidays out of the way, itís time to sit down and thank those you love by following 7 simple tips.

January is National Thank You Month, the perfect opportunity to pause and express your gratitude for the gifts you received during the holidays, or a great time to just thank someone who has special meaning in your life.

† While an e-mail or text message is nice and a phone call is fine, nothing conveys heartfelt thanks better than a handwritten note. A handwritten note is a tangible and personal expression of your appreciation. It signifies that you took the time to focus solely on the giver, that you cared enough to express your gratitude. Letter writing is a lost art and when you write a personal note, you are creating something that will last, both on a piece paper and in a personís memory.

Here are my seven tips on how to write the perfect thank-you note:

1. Keep it short and simple.†A thank-you note doesnít have to be long, it just has to say "thank you." The average thank-you note contains 4-5 lines.

2. Write by hand.†Donít worry if you think your handwriting is illegible. Your handwriting will hold allure for the reader because it is an extension of yourself.

3. Start with a salutation.†Begin by writing, "Dear Paul, or Hello Paul." This makes it more personal than just launching into the note.

4. Express your gratitude.†Be specific by mentioning the gift. Instead of saying, "Thank you for the pottery." Try, "Thank you for the handmade ceramic bowl from New Mexico."

5. Mention how you plan to use the gift or how much the gift means to you.†For example, "The bowl goes perfect with my dťcor and I plan to proudly display it on my coffee table." If you receive money or a gift card, allude how you intend to use it by saying something like, "Now I can buy that new pair of shoes Iíve always wanted." Even if you donít like the gift, a simple thank-you will suffice and be appreciated.

6. Reiterate your gratitude.†Close your letter by saying, "Thank you again for your generous and thoughtful gift."

7. Send it promptly.†Itís best to send your thank-you note within a week of receiving a gift. If more time passes or you simply forget to write a note, send the note as soon as you remember. After all, itís better to send it late than never.

Jacqueline Whitmore, CSP, has helped thousands of people around the world learn to be more confident and courteous in business and social situations. She is an etiquette expert, author and certified speaking professional. She is also the founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, a premier business etiquette consulting firm dedicated to helping executives polish their professionalism, enhance their interpersonal skills, and improve their personal brand. For more information visit

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