How to Write a Thank-You Card

A personal thank you note is the only appropriate way to say “Thank You!”  At one time, notes were not considered necessary when you thanked someone in person. Today, with guest lists being longer and guests busier, a personal thank you note is the only way to make sure sincere appreciation is expressed. Just telling someone who has given you a gift, how much you appreciate it, does not “cut the cake!”

Thank You Do’s and Don’ts

  1. Never, Never, Never, send a preprinted thank you card.  When you send a preprinted card, you are telling the person receiving the thank you that their gift didn’t mean enough to you to even receive a mention in your note.  A warm personalized,  handwritten note, regardless how brief, tells the guest how much you appreciated the gift and how it will be cherished for years to come.  Handwritten notes express sincerity.
  2. Be sure to send thank you notes to friends and relatives who arrange showers and parties for you. It is appropriate to thank them for the party or shower in the same card you send thanking them for their gift.
  3. When you receive more than one gift from someone, each gift must be recognized with its own thank you card.  If you receive a shower gift from a friend or relative and then, three weeks later, receive a wedding gift from the same person, it is not appropriate to thank them in one card.  Shower gifts should be acknowledged within ten days of the party and wedding gifts within two weeks after returning from the honeymoon. Wedding gifts arriving in advance of the wedding, should be responded to immediately, so that an extended period of time does not pass between receiving the gift and it’s thank you.
  4. Be sure to put your new return address on all thank you cards. Your guests will appreciate having your current and correct address.
  5. Although colored ink is readily available in your favorite stationery store today, it is still more appropriate to write your notes in dark blue or black. It is more easily readable.
  6. When writing thank you notes, never start the note with “I.” Always use “you” more than “I” or “me” in the note.

Suggested Wording Ideas for Thank You Cards

When writing to a close friend or relative:

Dear Aunt Mary:

It’s beautiful and we love it!!!!! How thoughtful of you to give Keith and me such a lovely family treasure.  Grandmas’ hand-crocheted bedspread will be my most prized possession. We both thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Love and Kisses,


When writing to a person you don’t know very well:

Dear Mrs. Monnie,

We just received the beautiful crystal cake pedestal you left and I couldn’t wait to tell you how lovely it is.  Keith and I will think of you each time we use it.  Thank you so very much.

Yours truly,

Stephanie Hall

When writing to a group of friends who have gone together on a gift:

Dear Friends:

Thank you all very much for the place setting of sterling you so kindly have given to us for our new home.  Keith and I now have a service for eight and are so looking forward to using it for every special occasion in the years to come.  What a thoughtful idea.  You are such a great group to work with and I appreciate each one of you.


Stephanie Hall

If less than ten people have gone together on the above gift, then a personal note to each must be written. If more than ten have participated and signed the enclosure card, such as in the case of coworkers in the same office, one note, placed on a bulletin board is considered proper etiquette. Be sure to speak to each person individually as the opportunity arises and express your gratitude.

When writing a thank you note for a gift not really cared for:

Dear Mike and Mary,

Thank you so much for the gum ball machine.  We’ll be sure you’re among our first guests to visit, so don’t forget your pennies!  Looking forward to seeing you soon.



When writing a thank you note for monetary gifts

Appreciation for monetary gifts are expressed in the same way you would thank a friend or loved one for a purchased item.  If you have a particular item you intend to buy with the money, you can share that with them.


Dear Aunt Mary:

Kevin and I want to thank you so much for the check you sent for our wedding.  We have been saving for a down payment on our first home and have added your gift to our special account.   It was so thoughtful of you.  Someday soon, we will be inviting you to our housewarming!!!
Can’t wait to see you and Uncle Ted again.