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Writing a thank you note for gift

The Lost Art of Handwritten Thank You Notes

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A warm meal. Pet-sitting. A gift card. Folding a load of laundry. A birthday gift.

Our friends, family, coworkers, and loved ones show that they care for us in many different ways. We show our gratitude by saying, “Thank you,” or “I don’t know what I would do without you.”

Sometimes, though, it doesn’t feel like enough to simply say it. Maybe it’s time to turn back to the lost art of handwritten thank you notes.

In fact, in a study reported by Harvard Health, participants who wrote and hand delivered a thank you note experienced an increase in their own happiness. 

So there you have it. Handwritten thank you cards can bring a smile to others and to you. Here are some tips from for getting back to the art of writing these wonderful thank you notes by hand:

Set aside a little time

Clear a space and reserve a few minutes in your busy day to hand write your thank you cards. A rushed card won’t be as sincere or thoughtful, and you’ll miss out on the experience of practicing gratitude.

Plus, when you’ve received several birthday gifts or Christmas gifts, it will take more than a minute or two to properly write a note for each gift giver.

Include details about the gift

In the art of handwritten thank you notes, try to avoid generic and repetitive statements, like “thanks for the gift.” Mention what the person gave you, and reflect on how you’ll use it.

For celebrations, such as when you’ve received a large number of Christmas gifts or birthday gifts, it helps to have a little notebook or piece of paper nearby so you can keep track of the giver and their gift.

Practice your penmanship

We aren’t saying you have to learn fancy calligraphy, but if you want to embrace the experience of handwritten thank you notes, it helps to practice a little.

You want your notes to be legible, after all. And if it’s been a long time since you’ve handwritten anything more than a quick shopping list, you’ll appreciate the practice. Then, once you’re a little more efficient, you can add a fancy flourish or two.

Purchase supplies from small businesses

Stationery from small businesses always feels more personal. Here are a few small business to check out for thank you cards and related supplies:

  • Visit @BlackTabbyStudio on Instagram or their shop on Etsy for handmade greeting cards and paper goods with cute illustrations. 
  • Take a look at ArteOfTheBooke on Etsy, where you can find accessories like calligraphy pens, wax seals, and stationery. 
  • If you’re environmentally friendly, consider thank you cards from Etsy shop FlowerSeedPaper that prints stationery on recycled paper with flower seeds (or follow them on Instagram @ote_seattle).

Whether you’re thanking someone for a Christmas gift, a heartfelt gesture, or a little of their time, consider going back to the art of the handwritten thank you note to show your gratitude.

Happy gifting!

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