Writing a thank you note for a birthday gift is a great sign of etiquette, but it can be ruined if the note is too impersonal, or does not properly display your gratitude. When people get you a birthday gift, they are taking their time, effort, and often money to give you something they think you will like. Even if you don’t, it is polite to let them know how much you appreciated them even thinking of you. Here are some steps for writing birthday thank you notes.
1. Mention how the gift made you feel. While you can start your thank you note with the words “Thank you”, it is often more effective to start by telling the person how their gift made you feel. For example, “I was feeling a little bummed out that I was getting older until your gift arrived in the mail.”
2. Cite the gift specifically. This tells the person a couple of things, one that you know what they gave you, and two that you are not sending them a form letter, but a personal note to offer gratitude. “When I opened it and saw a hand made scarf I was so excited.”
3. Indicate your future plans using the gift. This lets the person know that you are going to use it, and that thus, it was not a waste of their money or time. No one likes to give someone a gift, only to discover later that they never used it. “I know this winter it will be my constant companion.”
4. Give specific reasons you like it. These should be things that let the person know that they chose well for you. If they didn’t, you can be generic here, and you still give them a great thank you note. “It looks just like one I wanted to buy from Nordstrom, and is just the right color.”
5. Reaffirm your gratefulness, and appreciation for their thoughtfulness. “You always send such beautiful gifts, thanks for thinking of me on my birthday.”
6. Close the letter with one last “thank you” and your name.
This is a personal thank you note that will reassure the person that you appreciate them, their efforts, their time, and thought. If someone takes the time to remember your birthday and send you a gift, the least you can do is acknowledge it, and even better is to give them feedback on how much you like. The more personal and detailed it is, the more obvious it is that you gave the note time and thought. While it is always polite to send a thank you, even one that just says, “Thank you for the birthday gift.” It is far more meaningful to the recipient to receive on that really shows gratitude.