Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thank-You Letters

These notes can be boring—boring to write, boring to read: “Thank you for the present. It was nice of you to think of me.” To avoid this sort of letter, you can follow my foolproof, three-step formula:
  1. Be sure to thank the person for the specific gift and mention the gift by name.
  2. Acknowledge the effort and energy the giver put into selecting, purchasing, or making the gift.
  3. Let the giver know how you have used or will use the gift. When thanking someone for a gift of money, don’t mention the amount in your letter of thanks. A reference to “your generous gift” will suffice.
When you refuse a gift, a letter, or at least a note, is required. It should say that you don’t feel you can accept the gift (perhaps in the case of a woman receiving expensive jewelry from a male acquaintance) but that you appreciate the thought.
Dear Helen:
Tom and I and the two girls want to thank you very much for the handsome Deluxe Edition Monopoly game you gave the family. I happen to know that you can’t get this beautifully produced version of the game at most stores, and you must have had to do some shopping around to find it. The four of us spent last night playing the game. (Tammy won.) Your gift has made this familiar game very special for us.

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