How To Write Your Holiday Thank-You’s

Posted by Annie on Jan 14, 2010 in Activity, Education |

With the holidays over, it’s time to start writing thank-you notes for all those wonderful gifts.

As Geoffrey Parker states, “The thought behind the thank-you should be equal to or greater than the thought that went into the gift.” A thank-you note is a critical part of the gift giving season, so pick up your favorite stationary and pen from the Parker Premier collection and start writing

How to write meaningful Thank You notes.

  • Why is hand writing a thank-you note more special than electronic devices?
  • What is the best way to show your appreciation through handwriting?
  • What is the best way to start off the card?
  • Why should you not sign with a signature? What is the best way to sign a personalized note?
  • Which types of pens are best for writing thank-you notes?

We all know email is the easy way out of thank you notes but are they Emily Post acceptable? In today’s fast paced, high tech world, the art of letter writing may seem passé, but it is a habit that should not be forgotten. What better way to say thank you than with a hand written note with a beautiful writing utensil, on your favorite stationary?

During the holidays, Geoffrey Parker, branding consultant for Parker Pen Co. and great-grandson of its founder, George S. Parker, is careful not to overlook what he calls a “critical” aspect of the gift-giving season: thank-you notes.

Common Courtesy!

“It’s common courtesy,” he says. “If someone does something for me, I need to acknowledge that.” Mr. Parker sometimes thanks a gift-giver or party host with a phone call, email or text message. But he believes that these modes are “insufficient” and always follows up with a handwritten message. “As these modern electronic devices become more common and overused, they become cheap,” he says.

Mr. Parker usually sends his thank-you notes on four-by-six-inch cards with his name and address printed across the top. He favors heavier paper and cards with printed words that are raised, noting that people often subconsciously run their fingers over the printed portion of stationery when they receive a note. “People are establishing impressions based on a lot of subtle things,” he says.

When writing a card, Mr. Parker eschews everyday ballpoint pens. “I feel fountain pens allow me to be more expressive,” he says. He likes using a pen with a broad nib, saying that the fatter script and signature “doesn’t look as if it’s something that’s been mass-produced.” He uses ink in a different color from the printed message on the card, usually favoring a striking bright royal blue for his black-printed stationery.

Before he writes his note, he sometimes practices writing a line several times to see how it looks on paper. “People are writing less and less these days … a lot of people have forgotten how to write,” he says. “You don’t want something to be difficult to read, misunderstood or simply not understood.”

How To Write Your Holiday Thank-You's

He typically begins the note with a line “harking back to the last time I saw or communicated with them” and then goes on to ask about an associate or family member. “By doing this, you establish a sort of conversation, more than a blunt ‘Thanks for the necktie,'” he says. While he tries to keep his message brief, he makes sure it is always more than one or two lines.

Finally, he signs off informally with his first name. “Do not use your business signature for a personal note,” he says. “It can seem too formal, and a personal note should not be done in any sort of mechanical or perfunctory way.” His rule of thumb: “The thought behind the thank-you should be equal to or greater than the thought that went into the gift.”

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