We might think we know how to give thanks. But, in this festive season, it’s important to brush up on our skills to show appreciation for the people in our lives. Here are some musts in a thank-you letter.

Timing is key

It may seem obvious, but it’s a busy time of year so sometimes people forget to say thanks in the rush of the season. It’s very important to say thank you as soon as possible. 

“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Having a “no time like the present” attitude to giving thanks is especially important if you’ve just had a job interview. It can’t be overstated how crucial it is for your chances of getting hired for a role. All it takes is a quick email after your interview thanking them again for their time and consideration. 

Make it personal 

Generic thank-you notes are okay, but they’re nothing special, and it may make the recipient feel like one of a batch rather than truly appreciated. 

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life and you’ll find that you have more of it.” — Ralph Marston

Also, the ‘you’ in ‘thank you’ is a powerful word which will help you connect with the reader. 

Thank the person specifically for what they treated you to, or what they did for you. By doing this, you’ll show how sincere you are. 

Say thanks more than once 

A lovely thank-you note will begin with saying thanks and end with saying thanks again. 

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust

Whilst we’re all about being concise, it’s important to reiterate your appreciation at the end of your note. 

Don’t just do it once a year 

Thanksgiving and the festive season is a wonderful occasion and opportunity to give thanks, but it shouldn’t be the only time you do. 

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward

Your thank-you note will be infinitely improved if it’s not the only time in the year you show appreciation. See it less as something on your to-do list after you receive lovely things and more as a way of living. 

Some of the most successful and positive people practice gratitude daily.

What are you the most grateful for? Let us know in the comments.

Laura Kelly

Laura is a freelance writer and worked at Readable for a number of years. Laura is well-versed in optimising content for readability and Readable's suite of tools. She aims to write guides that help you make the most out of Readable.