How to Write a Thank You Card

Writing thank you cards is the bane of my existence. They always end up in the mail a couple weeks late, and though the card's front may seem pretty, the inside is filled with inadequate wording representing my attempts to express sincere gratitude.

One of my earliest memories of suffering through writing a thank you card is when I was eleven. Some young adults from church were going to a gospel meeting a day's drive away, and were kind enough to let me tag along. On the way home, I got sick, and thus, a thank you card seemed all the more appropriate.

So, sitting on the couch the next day, a kleenex in hand as I coughed every now and then, I stared at a bright green, blank card. And oh, my dear Dragons, writing a thank you card was pure misery. How was I supposed to start it? Was a one sentence, "Hey, thanks for driving me to that gospel meeting," alright? How many sentences should it even be?

In my five years since then, I've (thankfully!) learned some of the little tricks to writing a decent letter of appreciation.

1. Create an outline.

This can be just a little mental note of how you want the card to go, or even a sticky note with a few bullet points jotted down. But keep in mind why you're writing the card.

2. Get out a pretty card/sheet of paper.

True, it doesn't have to be pretty. But why not? Even a sheet of college-ruled notebook paper can be dolled up a bit, with some spare ink. ☺

3. Who are you addressing it to?

A majority of my current cards begin with the names of those involved, followed by a cute, squiggly line (You know, the ~? What is it really called, anyway?). If one person's act of service (for example, a birthday card) included signing off the names off the names of other people, be sure to address the card to them, as well.

4. What have they done for you?

Did they tend to your garden while you were on vacation? Did they give you a gift? Did they come to your dance recital?

5. When did they do it?

Monday? Tuesday? National Unicorn Day?

6. How did this make you feel?

Grateful, right? Uhg, writing can be so hard (and, unfortunately, there's no exact science to putting words on a page), but consider your wording and your relationship with the person. Was this a "thank you so very much" moment, or an "oh my stars, you are the coolest person in the world" experience?

7. Were you able to be with them?

Did you go over to their house for tea? Was it a pleasure to spend time with them?

8. Thank them one last time.

True, you don't need to thank them again. But why not? Thank yous are awesome. 😉

9. Sign off.

"Love," "your friend," "sincerely," "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" -- whatever works.

10. Leave your name.

Maybe with a little heart at the end, maybe without. 😏

11. Send it.

This one's kind of important (and one I can fully admit to forgetting to do, seeing as I forget everything).


Do you ever struggle with expressing written thanks? What was one of your first thank you card experiences?