A Crash Course On Thank You Notes

They say the giving of a gift is reward enough, but gift-givers may feel miffed if they don’t get an acknowledgment in return. That’s where the ancient art of thank-you notes comes in, allowing you to express appreciation for what you’ve received.

Bargaineering helps out with a primer on how to write succinct, polite notes that will bring smiles to those who give you stuff.

Recommendations include greeting and thanking the giver by name, describing how you’ll use the gift and maybe tossing in a vague offer to get together soon. There’s no need to make an essay out of it. Brevity and sincerity are key.

The post notes that a thank you email is acceptable — especially if that’s the way you usually communicate with the giver — but taking the time to write an actual note shows an extra level of dedication.

How to Write a Thank You Note [Bargaineering]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    Waiting for…

    1. Thank-you notes aren’t necessary
    2. I never bother to write one
    3. They should be satisfied with an e-mail
    4. What the hell is a “thank-you” note?

    • HomerSimpson says:

      You forgot:

      5. I’m special. They should be DAMN GLAD they have a friend/relative/SO/etc like me to even give a gift to, let alone get a thank you for it!

  2. Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

    To Whom It May Concern,

    You didn’t give me anything for Christmas, in fact, no one did which caused a great sadness to fall over me this year. Over my meager Christmas feast of a two liter of diet Dr. Pepper and a massive bag of Ruffles Sour cream and Cheddar cheese I thought that this could possibly be my last Christmas on earth. I am writing this thank you note to express my gratitude at your lack of actions. Your callous nature has inspired me to live in order to destroy your beautiful life in all ways for all generations. I have contacted Stephine Meyers and have become a beautiful vampire so I’ll see you soon.

    Blessed Christmas and glorious New Years,

    P.S. I loved you in The Parent Trap.

    • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

      I very CLEARLY left you a decapitated mouse on your doorstep, Missy, so don’t you take that note with me!

      • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

        Dear Agent Hooter,

        I deeply appreciated the dead mouse that you left on my doorstep. What was left of him. I ate it in the spirit of the holidays and now the doctors say I only have a week left to live. Also, I believe they are judging me for eating one of my own kind.

        We should hang out soon.

        Seasons Greetings and OH MY GOD IT HURTS TO LIVE,

        • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

          Dear Wasp,

          Due to familial obligations and work requirements, I am sorry to say that I’m unable to meet on such short notice. Would some time in the first week of January work for you? I realize that that is past your “expiration date” but those are just a suggestion after all!

          Looking Forward to Your Response,
          Agent Hooter

          P.S. I recall one particularly lean summer in 1816 when I too was forced to eat one of my own kind and I too recall that judging stigma. It never leaves. But BEST OF LUCK!

          • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

            Dearest Agent Hooter,

            I’ve heard my bloated corpse is excellent at parties. Hanging garlic around my neck should cancel out the decaying flesh stink. As long as you have a wagon you can pull me around in I should be fine. Any company or family get together’s would be fantastic for me.

            Tally-ho, wut, wut, and pimpin’ ain’t easy.
            Forever yours,

            P.S. I appreciate the kind words of encouragement in re: stigma in cannibalism. To be sure 1816 was hard on us all.

  3. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    And, as my momma always said, “Better late than never.”

    Even if it’s 6 months late, it’s still better to write one, along with a “I’m so sorry this is late, but …”

  4. Rachacha says:

    “Recommendations include greeting and thanking the giver by name, describing how you’ll use the gift and maybe tossing in a vague offer to get together soon”

    This is the same advice that my mom gave me, unfortunately she never liked any of the thankyou notes I would write as a kid.

    Dear Aunt Betsy,

    I hope that you had an enjoyable Holiday season. I am sorry that we were unable to see each other over the holidays. I wanted to thank you for the wool sweater you gave me for Christmas. As I mention to you every year that I have very sensitive skin, and wool makes my skin itch,I will be donating this sweater to the local homeless shelter, just like I have done for the past 15 years. I do have to say however that the big red Roudolph nose on the back adds a special touch of class, and I especially enjoyed the 3000 sequins that you added. Did you hand stitch those, or do you have a special machine? Thany you again, we will have to get together sometime this summer.


  5. sj_user1 says:

    If you get offended for not getting a thank you note or a thank you note that is not sincere enough then you need to rethink your motives for giving gifts and doing nice things for people.

    • RandomHookup says:

      So I’m at fault if I want a simple acknowledgement that my gift was received and enjoyed? Way to blame the giver.

      • caradrake says:

        I kinda feel this, but I don’t care what form the thanks comes in. Even a simple verbal “we got your gift, thank you” is great. Not getting any acknowledgment, at all, means that person is unlikely to receive something from me in the future.

        I give you something to make me happy. I’m not asking for anything more than a quick thank you. It’s really not too much to ask for.

    • tbax929 says:

      For me it’s not a matter of being offended. It’s a matter of feeling that a gesture or gift is appreciated. There are few things nicer than receiving a hand-written thank you note after doing something nice for someone.

  6. Snoofin says:

    I always wondered if someone sends me a thank you note for giving them a gift or something, am I supposed to send them a thank you note thanking them for sending me a thank you note

  7. Invader Zim says:

    My thank you note is normally in the form of a gift.

  8. Dalsnsetters says:

    I’m seeing an interesting decline in thank you notes with this new generation that is coming up (get off my lawn and all that crap).

    My niece (26 y/o) got married last year. The family and I all pitched in (a coupla hundred each) and sent them rawther sizable sum. The thank you note we received was a mass produced card with pictures of the bride and groom. It was printed in the middle with Thank You, and had a general thank you note to everyone, nothing personalized AT ALL. They couldn’t even be bothered to sign the note, let alone be specific what they were going to put their $1,000 toward. I mean, okay, we got a thank you note, but I guess being family, we all wanted something personalized, or at least to know a little bit of what they were going to use the cash flow for.

    Another (former) co-worker of mine (20 y./o) got married in May of this year. She made such a big deal out of telling me how she wasn’t inviting anyone from work to the wedding, but she wanted me to come and sent an invitation (I guess I should have felt special or something). A week before the wedding (exactly 7 days) she asked me to coordinate the arrangement of her reception (setting up the tables, tying bows on the chairs, making sure everything was set up and good to go for her, etc.). I said yes and, subsequently, missed the wedding. She got a bridal shower gift AND a wedding gift AND I gave up having a fun time to manage her reception. And I have yet to receive a thank you note for any of it.

    So those two bad apples have made it much less enjoyable. I don’t expect a fawning “OMG your gift was so awesome we love it we love you we love the world gosh that’s what your gift did for us!” but, in the case of my niece, even a proper signature would have been appreciated. In the case of my former co-worker–while she was on her honeymoon, my position was eliminated so I was gone from the company by the time she came back. She never called, emailed or anything. Just unfriended me on FaceBook (oh boo hoo) and never looked back.

    I guess my thought process is if you can’t be bothered to send an appropriate thank you note in a timely fashion, you shouldn’t solicit or accept the gifts in the first place. :)

  9. windycitygirl68 says:

    Last five weddings I attended I wrote the bride/groom a sizable check. Not one could be bothered to send a thank-you note. I’m getting really tired of it. Now I try not to attend weddings at ll. I simply put a nice “0” in the RSVP box, though I don’t even know why I bother doing that, as no one can be bothered to RSVP for anything that I send out. Last party of my own, sent out 25 invitations, received 4 RSVPs, and 40 people showed up. (Uninvited guests, etc.) Let’s throw out one semester of PE in high school and insert an etiquette class, okay?

  10. Sad Sam says:

    I send or deliver Thank you notes for all gifts, even ones I don’t have to send a note for (i.e. no note is required if you open a gift in front of someone and you tell them thank you right there, I used to send thank you notes to my boyfriend, now husband, until he told me to stop, that no thank you note is required if the gift giver is someone you have sex with [I was unaware of that thank you note exception].

    Mostly I send thank you notes because if someone is going to bother to give me a gift I want to maintain that relationship and a little note goes a long way.

  11. Grungo says:

    This article is way better than the one linked: