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The who, what and when of expressing gratitude
Since the dawn of time, people have struggled with the right way to say thank you. From prehistoric grunts around a campfire (Urrrp…good meat) all the way to present-day postings on Facebook (Shout out to my peeps!), we’ve come up with lots of easy ways to say thanks. Phone calls, emails, text messages—they all get the job done. But a handwritten thank-you note says more: It tells our friends and family that we went out of our way to sit down and write just to them, because they’re worth it. And if that’s not an improvement over the campfire grunt, what is?
The hardest part of writing a thank-you note, for many, is just starting it. How do I begin? Does it sound forced? Can I say enough to fill the page? To help you face your fears, consider the Who, What and When.
WHOMake a list of everyone you need to thank. If your thank-yous are the result of a party in your honor, write down the names of those who sent or brought a gift, whether it came by mail, email, carrier pigeon or in person. Then add in the friends who did anything to help out with the get-together—planning, decorating, running errands and so on.
WHATHere’s a breakdown of a good thank-you note along with a few sample phrases to get you started (and finished):
WHENTry to send your thank-you notes out quickly. For events such as parties and showers, a good rule of thumb is to send your cards out within a month after the event. If it's later than that, start your note with a brief apology. “I’ve been meaning to tell you...”
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