Thank You Note Samples & Examples

Continuing our series on all the do’s and don’ts of writing thank you notes, today’s post is all about practical examples of wording that would do well for a thank you note in most situations.

The 6 steps below show the general format you should follow for a thank you note:

1. Salutation

  • for formal letters (say for the Boss, or older family friend)

 Dear [name of person]

  • for informal (friends, younger co-workers etc.)

Hi [name of person]!

2. Opening line of thanks, making specific mention of the gift

Thank you for the [description of gift] [name of gift] or event or favour

Example: Thank you so much for the lovely yellow towels you sent us.

3. More than one sentence about the item (or event or favour) including a positive comment on what you are thanking them for.

– using more than one sentence (or breaking one sentence into 2 parts) makes this part of the thank you note feel more sincere

It is always so nice to have new fluffy towels to use in the bathroom. And the beautiful colour you have chosen is so fresh and spring-like it will cheer me up every morning just to see them.

4. Another sentence telling the giver you appreciate the thought or time they put into it (a postive comment on the giver), and mentioning the occasion it was given for

It was really thoughtful of you to send us a gift for our new home, and we look forward to showing you around the next time you are able to visit.

5. A second thanks

Thank you again,

6. Sign Off

  • formal – Yours sincerely, Kind regards, Warm regards
  • informal – Love

+ your name – signed (if your signature is readable) otherwise hand written.

So, the full note would read like this:

Dear Aunty Margaret

Thank you so much for the lovely yellow towels you sent us.

It is always so nice to have new fluffy towels to use in the bathroom. And the beautiful colour you chose is so fresh and spring-like it cheers me up every morning just to see them.

It was really thoughtful of you to send us a gift for our new home, and we look forward to showing you around the next time you are able to visit.

Thank you again,

Love from, Jessica & Pete

There, that’s not so hard is it! And following this easy example should work well for most occasions.

However, it you would like to add a bit more oomph & personality to your notes, here are some other great examples from

Dear Stacy,

How in the world did you know I liked chocolate? Ok I guess it’s not a big secret, but you managed to get me my absolute favorite kind, and wrapped in a bow so pretty I hated to untie it (but I did). I’m trying to pace myself but it’s going quickly!

Thank you for thinking of me! You could not have picked out anything more perfect!

Much love,

Dear Bill,

The flowers are gorgeous! I’ve never gotten flowers at the office before and it was quite a treat! I felt like a queen. Thank you so much for sending them, and for choosing such a beautiful bouquet. You really made my day!


Dear Friends,

I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the gift basket you sent to the hospital. It was such a nice surprise, and how did you know all my favorite treats? You are so thoughtful to have sent it; it really lifted my spirits. Thank you all very much!


Dear Mindy,

Oh my gosh, just when I thought baby clothes couldn’t get any cuter, you find these adorable little overalls! And as if they weren’t sweet enough, the matching hat and socks put them over the top. I cannot wait to put them on the little one. Thank you so much!

It was such fun to have you at the shower. Thanks for making the drive over!

And of course, if you’re Marilyn Monroe, you can show loads of personality in 3 short sentences:

Thank you note - Marilyn Monroe

And, if none of this advice works for you, there’s always the Molesworth self-adjusting letter system to try:

thank you letter - Moleworth self-adjusting

Photos 1 & 2 via Pinterest


How to Write the Perfect Thank You Note

You must have heard the news story last Friday about the “insane email from the world’s worst mother-in-law”  that was doing the rounds on the internet.

Well, in the email, one of the many complaints made to future daughter-in-law Heidi by her future mum-in-law (that’s her in the picture) was that,

You should have hand-written a card to me. You have never written to thank me when you have stayed”

Poor Heidi – if only she’d been following our series of posts on all the in’s and out’s, do’s and don’ts of thank you letters, cards & notes!!

Anyway, for the benefit of all of you who may have to deal with snooty mothers-in-law or others like them in the future, we will now continue on with our thank-you note series. Today…


The first important thing to note is that your “thank you” should be TIMELY

Thank you notes, or cards, should be written and sent as quickly as possible. The recommendation is that you write them immediately because, as we all know, it is all too easy to put tasks like this off and before you know it so much time has passed that you tell yourself there’s no point sending it now. So, tip #1 is to do it straight away.

However, not all of us are that well organised, and if you have been slack it’s good to know that it is still better manners to send a note late, than not at all. Perhaps you could apologise in the note for your tardiness, but don’t try making excuses. As primly noted by Miss Manners in her online etiquette column “the declaration of being busy just irritates those who took the time to be kind”.

The second point is that written thank you notes and cards should be SPECIFIC

The best thank you notes always make specific reference to the gift you’ve been given, or the experience or help you are thankful for. Think about how you felt at the time, and how you feel when you think about it now. Kelly Browne, author of “101 Ways to Say Thank You: Notes of Gratitude for all Occasions” also advises to use adjectives in your writing as they help convey emotion. For example, instead of just writing:

Thanks for the glasses.

Try adding a bit more detail like:

Thank you for the sparkling crystal glasses!”

It adds a lot more oomph and personality to the note.

And speaking of personality, this is the third golden rule of thank you cards, to be PERSONAL and SINCERE

Address the person(s) you are thanking directly, don’t use pre-printed thank you letters, don’t be half-hearted and don’t lie.

In all cases a thank you note should stress the generosity of the giver, remembering that it is the thought that counts. But even when that thought just doesn’t seem right, you should still be gracious in your appreciation and be really careful not to hurt someone’s feelings. Be wary of using phrases like “The ornament is so unique” or “Your taste in clothing is so original” – people can usually pick these for what they are, and will justifiably question the sincerity of your appreciation.

The final thing you might want to consider is the STATIONERY you will use for the thank you letter, card or note.

It is generally accepted that there is no need for the stationery to be too formal – but on the other hand it shouldn’t be too messy either (as Miss Manners also notes, you don’t want your thank you letter to look like a ransom note!)

It is very easy to pick up sets of thank you cards or blank notecards, and notecards are a great size because you don’t have to fill a whole page, but there is enough room to craft a lovely 3 or 4 lines – which is probably a good length to aim for.

In practical terms, the Emily Post Institute ( advises that a thank you note for a gift should contain:

  • an opening line of thanks and specific mention of the gift
  • 3-5 sentences (use the tips above for ideas)
  • another thanks
  • sign off

Next week we will post a few sample thank you letters or notes to use in different situations so that we can see examples of this advice in practice…


Thank You Letter, Thank You Notes, Thank You Cards… & When You Need to Send Them

Probably one of the first things to know about the “proper” way of sending thank you letters, notes or cards is knowing when you need to send them.

So, although it is apparently never wrong to send a written thank you letter or note, there are some occasions when it is compulsory:

  • For engagement and wedding gifts
  • For sympathy or bereavement cards, gifts, flowers & assistance
  • For hostesses
  • For bridal/baby shower gifts
  • After being entertained by your boss
  • For hospitality
  • For congratulatory letters or gifts
  • For gifts of particular value

Engagement and Wedding Gifts

Thank you notes or cards should be sent out within 3 months of the engagement or wedding day. For wedding gifts in particular, a written thank you should be sent to everybody, including close friends and family.

Sympathy/bereavement letters, flowers, gifts, cards and assistance

Even though it will be a difficult time, and the niceties of etiquette may not be high up the priority list, it is still important that the thoughtfulness, care and acts of kindness people have shown during a bereavement period is acknowledged. If it is too difficult for the closest family members to carry out the job of writing the thank you notes, it may be delegated to others (although  often the actual act of reading through sympathy cards and recalling other peoples kindness and how much they care can be positive & healing experience).

Hostess duties

Anybody who has hosted, or helped host, an occasion for you (such as a baby shower) should be sent a written thank you letter and perhaps even a thank you gift.

Bridal shower and baby shower gifts

It is a good idea to send written thank you’s for these gifts as soon as possible. They will be the easiest things in the world to put off once you become busy with a newborn baby or are involved in the last minute wedding preparation fuss.

Being entertained by your boss

For obvious reasons it is important to show your boss that you understand essential good etiquette and have good manners, so send a written thank you note after being entertained by your boss or other work superiors.


Thank you notes should be sent after staying overnight at someone’s home (unless they are a a close friend or family member).

Congratulation gifts or notes

Written thank you notes are appropriate after receiving graduation gifts, or cards congratulating you on a new job etc.

Valuable or expensive gifts

It is important to send written thank you notes after receiving gifts of particular value, even if these have been received, opened and appreciated in person.

In the following instances, written thank you’s would be thought nice, but not compulsory:

  • When you have been a guest at a dinner party
  • After a job interview
  • For birthday or Christmas gifts received and opened in person
  • For personal favours (such a meals cooked or children picked up from kindy – in these cases a reciprocal helpful act of favour can be more appropriate)

Well that’s good then…  we’re all clear on when to send thank you letters, thank you notes and thank you cards, now we just need to know how to write them! Stay tuned for another fascinating post for tips on this:)

Thank You Letters, Notes and Cards – Your Essential Guide

Thank You Cards

Rifle Paper Co. French Boxed Set Of Cards

Although fashions and trends may come and go there is always one thing that will not go out of style and that is good manners.

But do we all know what good manners requires in different situations?

I absolutely do not claim to be an expert, but I have tried to research some of the social conventions that involve gift giving situations. And up first, here are some of the in’s and out’s, and do’s and dont’s I have discovered about Thank You Letters

The proper way to display good manners and courtesy after being the recipient of a gift, an act of generosity or a little kindness is to write a thank you letter, note or card.

Nothing else shows your appreciation and gratitude with as much sincerity, warmth or charm. It is also very courteous to let a gift giver know that their present was received safely

This series of posts will provide a short, but essential,  guide to thank you letters, thank you notes & thank you cards.

With this information at your fingertips you will be able to glide through this particular social minefield with your head held high!

Part One : When do I need to send a written thank you?

Part two: How do I craft the perfect thank you letter?

Part three: Thank you letter samples + samples for thank you notes and cards