“I need to write a Thank You note.”

How many times has this thought popped into your head?  More to the point, does the thought of acknowledging someone’s act of kindness make you smile or does it fill you with dread?  Well, let me see if I can make writing a few lines of thanks more palatable for you.

It helps remembering that any hand-written note, no matter how brief, will be welcomed by its recipient.  Going through one’s mail at the end of a long day, your note of thanks will be among the first to be opened and appreciated.  I save most of my Thank You notes and carry the most recent ones in my handbag, to re-read.  I don’t print out or save Thank You e-mails and rarely write them because I believe they don’t convey the same sentiment.  A Thank You note says, “I thought of you, and stopped in the middle of my busy day to write to you.”  Don’t try too hard and let the words flow, in your vernacular.  Be yourself.

I aim to write as much as possible about the gift or experience in my Thank You note, to avoid giving it a perfunctory feel and I mention my gratitude towards the end.  I always work to make the recipient to feel that it’s all about them, not about me. 

I recently read an article in The Telegraph, a UK publication, regarding Thank You letter writing and enjoyed a quote by Charles Kidd, the editor of Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetage,: “I think that generally speaking the thank-you letter makes everyone feel good: the person who writes the letter feels good because they have behaved properly and the person who receives it is gratified. It is just a simple thank-you letter it shouldn’t be too onerous.” He said that the finding that pen and paper was still by far the preferred medium showed that letters of thanks retain a special status.   “The most satisfactory way of acknowledging and thanking somebody is to do it by letter, it is naturally pleasing,” he said.  “It is still a nice surprise to receive something through the letter box that isn’t a circular or a promotion for a supermarket – and, of course, stamps are not cheap these days, it is a mini investment.”

I’m with Mr. Kidd- write with someone else’s feelings in mind and you’ll wind up feeling good about yourself. 

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