29 Dec 2020

The Art of the Thank You Letter

Taking the time to write when you have received a present, hospitality or some other kindness, reassures the giver that their efforts are appreciated. A handwritten letter or card is preferable to an email or text message, but digital thanks are better than none. Christmas is an occasion when you are likely to receive a number of presents, so, make a note of who gave what and try to commit it to memory. Parents should write thank you letters on behalf of their children until the children are old enough to do so, when they should be encouraged to write themselves. Letters or cards should be sent as promptly as possible, but when it comes to saying thank you, late is invariably better than never.

With regard to structure, we have found that a five-step approach should cover all bases. Start with a general thanks, before moving on to a more specific thanks (explaining why the present was a good choice), news or general chat (often simply summarising your Christmas Day), further news (a brief update on work, university, or school perhaps), before repeating the thanks and signing off.

Letters should be handwritten and on good quality stationery. If you’re running low, our range Debrett’s thank you cards are currently 20% off!


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