Be Your Writer

A Quick Guide on How to Write Thank You and Holiday Notes

In the age of social media, we skip the personal and handwritten notes and replace it with facebook posts, tweets, instagram posts with generic messages of thank yous and holiday greetings. I think we’re all too familiar with lines like, “Merry Christmas from our family to yours.” and these greetings have sort of lost a part of their meaning after some time. 

While it’s not bad to do generic messages, after all we just want to extend our thanks and greetings to a wide audience as it’s more efficient than personally doing one for each you’d want to greet, there’s still a hidden charm with personal letters and handwritten notes. And here’s the thing: you don’t actually need to burden yourself to personalize those letters from start to end. With this quick guide, you can make personal thank you and holiday notes to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even your bosses in no time! 

The Step-by-Step Guide:

Based on personal experience, it helps to get a list of people I would like to send in personal notes. That’s the baby step before the first step and it helps you organize your thoughts and categorize people based on your relationships with them instead of just jumping the gun and making one for every name you remember. 

Step 1: Greetings!

Just like in any letter, the greeting is very important as it addresses the person you’re writing to and also sends an impression especially to the degree of closeness or comfortability you have with that person. There’s no set greeting and you can shy away from the traditionally sweet “Dear [name]” with many different options. 

Personally, I love to just say “Hi!” because it feels lighthearted and it doesn’t feel too awkward. Aside from that, I can also use it with any person unlike “Dear” and other related terms. But if you’re not comfortable with this, you can address them with “To” which works best for bosses and colleagues. 

Step 2: Thank You Note

After the greeting, you don’t need to make mushy intros (though of course, no one’s stopping you from doing so) and you can go straight into writing your thank yous. A tip to make this part a little less generic, veer away from “Thank you for everything” (we’ve all heard that way too many times and it doesn’t make the thank yous sound more sincere) and instead quote one or two things/moments that you’re actually thankful for. You don’t have to list all of them but noting a few specific things make the letter or note more personalized and touching. 

Step 3: Looking Ahead

This is sometimes the neglected part of the letter but is actually an essential one for a really well-crafted thank you and holiday note. For this part, mention them and let them know that they’re in your thoughts by mentioning details or events in their lives or saying that you look forward to the next time you would be seeing them. 

Step 4: Say Thank You Again

You might think, “Isn’t this redundant? Why am I saying thanks again?” The simple answer is that it reinforces the purpose of your letter or note. This time you can also add some quirky comments you’d like to say but as they say – simple is best. You don’t need to put in a lot on this part just a quick thank you and a quip. 

Step 5: Close with Warm Holiday Greetings

If there’s no holiday season celebrated, you can totally skip this part. But if there’s one like during this time when Christmas is fast approaching, you can add in a “Merry Christmas!” to your ending greeting. 

Personally, I am not very particular with personalized holiday greetings and take in more value with thank you notes. So I don’t really dwell whether it’s just a generic holiday greeting or not (also, these are hard to personalize!). But if you’re solely doing a holiday note, add a bit of Step 3 and a garnish of some personal thoughts you have about the person especially when you’re giving a gift. You can mention how you came about with the gift or anything similar. This adds a more personal touch to your gift. 

Step 6: Warm Regards

As much as greetings are important at the start and sets the tone of the letter, regards at the end are also equally important. But again, you don’t have to overthink these things and go with what’s comfortable for you as the writer. I usually don’t put any and just sign off with my name. These days, people are also very creative and there are some who put in emojis or images as sign-offs and those are good concepts as well! Just make sure it fits the person you’re writing the letter to (especially with your boss!). 

Let’s Vault In!

Here is a sample note. 

Hi Sam!

I would just like to thank you for the gift. I have always wanted a coffee press that I can bring anywhere to fill in my unusually high caffeine cravings these days but I haven’t had the time to shop. I will definitely use them and make sure to tag you when I post it on my Instagram!

The weather’s cold these days and unfortunately, with the pandemic, I won’t be able to see you this holiday season and give you a warm hug. But I’ll be thinking of you and your family as I sip my hot coffee. I hope you all are fine and I look forward to next year and maybe we can have some time to personally catch-up? 

Thank you again for this lovely (and very practical) gift. Happy holidays. Take care, always. 

Not like all the other problematic same name who always looks for the manager, 

Karen

Thank you and holiday notes can be quite nerve-wracking to write even when it shouldn’t be but that’s okay. We hope that this holiday season, you will be able to breeze through this hurdle and send people you love with easy and personalized messages. 

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