One of most kid’s favorite parts of a birthday is all of the presents, and while many adults are more circumspect about it, it would be safe to say that does not change with age. However, one of the things that does change is the etiquette associated with birthday gifts. When a child is given a gift, generally a hastily penned note, or a phone call, or a verbal “thanks” given the moment the open the gift is considered sufficient. With adults, a little more thought and care is expected. The following is a little guide to how to write a birthday thank you note. If followed, your thank you notes will be more meaningful to the persons who receive them.
1. Specifically name the gift in the first line. For example, “Thank you for the lovely stationary set.” This shows that they are not getting a form thank you note, but rather, one made out specifically to them, with them in mind as you hand write it, address the envelope, etc.
2. Tell them your plans with it, how you plan to use it, etc. “I have already placed it on my desk, and can’t wait to start using it.” This shows that you are not just sticking it in a closet, or disregarding it, but actually appreciate the item they gave you, and plan to use it. People like to know this, they want to know that their money wasn’t wasted.
3. Give details about why you like the gift. “The quality of the paper, and the unique and lovely design you chose is just perfect for me.” This reaffirms that their time and efforts, as well as money were not wasted on giving you a gift.
4. Say thanks once more, but subtly. “It is a truly lovely gift.” This again reinforces your gratitude. This is important because no one likes someone who is ungrateful. Think of it this way: have you ever given someone a gift and they did not like it? How did it make you feel? Will you give them gifts again? Chances are slim. When people are not grateful for the items you buy, make, or give to them, then it makes you wonder if you should have bothered.
5. Show appreciation for the thought they put into it, and try and make it personal. “You surely have an eye for what I like, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.”
Now all you have to do is sign it, address it, and send it.
Who wouldn’t appreciate a card that says:
Thank you for the lovely stationary set. I have already placed it on my desk, and can’t wait to start using it. The quality of the paper, and the unique and lovely design you chose is just perfect for me. It is a truly lovely gift. You surely have an eye for what I like, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.