Thursday, December 26, 2013

How to Send Christmas Thank You Notes


Christmas thank you notes are a way of giving back to the giver. Children of all ages should be included in the process of thanking others for their gift. If thank you notes are written after each day, versus waiting for them to pile up, it won't be so overwhelming for them (or you!).
Otherwise, a few notes each day over week should be doable for most people, of any age. Although electronics provide the major form of communication these days, receiving a note in the mail is always received warmly.

After the general guidelines, there are some unique ways of thanking others which are afforded by our modern times.

First, as part of your thank you line, identify the gift. This makes it difficult when people scream and tear apart presents, but it’s essential to a good note. But if gift tags become separated and there is a sadly unaddressed vase in the corner amidst broken boxes, some generic lines can be used.

“Thank you for your gift. It was a thoughtful gesture.”

“Thank you for your gift. It was so kind of you of think of me!”

“Thank you so much. We truly appreciate your gift.”

If you are good friends with the giver, you might be able to use honesty and tact to ask, “Aunt Mabel, you always give us a wonderful gift. We were so silly when we opened our gifts. We lost the nearly all the tags. Did you give us the lovely vase? Or the African art?”

Second, if you are able to identify the gift, it is appreciated by the gift-giver if you are able to address its beauty, function or usefulness.

“Thank you for the blouse. It is such a pretty red!”

“Thank for the rolling ball pens. I am using one right now.”

“Thank you for the pretty potholders. I am looking forward to using them tonight.”

If you are clever, you can sometimes do it in one sentence.

“The picture frame was so nice for our family photos.”

“Those cookies were delicious as our dessert last night.”

“I used those tools to fix my broken drawer today.”

Finally, close the note appropriately, with well-wishes for the season.

“Have a wonderful New Year.”

“See you at the next gathering.”

“Blessings for a happy holiday season!”

Unique situations

If an aunt has given gifts to multiple members in one family, each person can sign one note with an appropriate line. This saves time and postage. It also encourages everyone to participate because the non-participants will feel silly if their names are left out.
What if the gift is disliked? We all occasionally receive a gift which is inexplicably given to us as a token of appreciation or love. Simply focus on the love and you can use general terms of appreciation:

“Thank you for the lime green sweater. It is so cheerful and will certainly be warm.”
“Thank you for the crockpot scrubber. I’ll be sure to put it to good use.”

“Thank you for the VHS collection. They are certainly classic movies.”

Thank yous may not be used to discourage the gift giver or to ask for things.

“Thank you for the football. I love baseball. Next year, give me something about baseball.”
“Thank you for the recipe book. I don’t like to cook but I bet I’ll find something useful in this.”

“Thank you for the chardonnay wine. Just so you know, I usually drink reds."
Afterwards, you may put the gift aside for an upcoming event or quietly donate it to a good cause.
If the gift simply doesn’t work at all, honesty, with some tact, is the best course of action.

“Thank you for the sweater. It’s a little bright and I don’t wear much green. Would you mind if I exchanged it?”
These days, there are other ways to thank people for their gifts.  This depends on the relationship between the recipient and the giver.

·       A verbal thank you - the written guidelines are also easy to use for verbal thank yous.

·       Sending a picture via email, text or video, with the happy recipient using or holding their gift

·       A phone call

·       An in-person hug  

These may not be the classic linen note on monogram stationary, but they are still acceptable because truthfully, being thanked is always appreciated, no matter the form of the delivery.

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