You’ve put in the work and finally made it. Graduation is finished, and you’re likely left with a few gifts from friends and family expressing their support. But what is the best way to show your appreciation for their thoughtfulness? Generally speaking, a thank you note is a great way for a gift recipient to show gratitude. The following are a few ways you can make sure your notes are kindly written, heartfelt, and truly communicate your message to your friends and family.
Customize the Greeting
One of the key features in a thank you note is the greeting. This may seem counterintuitive since it is only the beginning of the note, but a lot can be said in those first few words. Here are some tips to start strong:
Make it relevant. Use your greeting to express a personal connection with the person you are sending the note to. “Dear Sue” is acceptable, of course, but livening up the greeting with something particular to that relationship may be better. The easiest way to do this is to take a positive trait of the person, state your relationship, and say their name, though not necessarily in that order. Some examples are “To My Kindest Aunt Sue” or “To the Funniest Cousin I Know, Frederick.”
Make it accurate. Each name must be spelled properly. Double check spelling before finalizing your note to avoid an embarrassing mistake.
Start by Expressing Thanks
The best way to start is by expressing sincere gratitude. Consider starting your note with a simple “Thank you so much…,” continuing with a description of the gift or cash amount that was gifted. You might also begin by saying the gift made your day or that it meant a lot to you. The important thing is that it be heartfelt and genuine, so go with what feels correct.
Give Some Details
A good way to fill in the body of your letter is by explaining how or when you plan to utilize the gift or money. For example, if you were given a hundred dollars for high school graduation, you might say “I already have the money put aside for my first university book!” This way, the person who gave you the gift will know his or her investment is something useful and important to you.
Reflect or Look Forward
Within your note, likely toward the end of the body, reflect back on when last you saw the person who gave your gift or to look forward to seeing them in the future. A simple “I had so much fun talking with you at the graduation party” or “I can’t wait until we meet up over the holidays” can make your note meaningful and communicate this person’s importance to you.
The Perfect Ending
The ending can be a perplexing portion of the note. “Sincerely” may sound too cold, whereas “Love” may be too intimate. Here are a few genuine closings that fall somewhere in between:
Thinking of you
Your grateful niece/son/cousin/etc.
There are a number of other options, so when deciding which is best, find the one that most effectively communicates the depth of your relationship with the recipient.