An e-mailed thank-you is OK only if you have a casual relationship with the gift giver and already correspond regularly via e-mail. But when in doubt, write it out – a handwritten note is infinitely more personal and thoughtful. Think of it as the hug your gift-giver would have gotten had you been together when the gift was opened. An e-mailed thank-you, on the other hand, is more like a fist-bump. Or maybe a high five.
If you have a little time to spend on your thank-you note (sure you do), it’s easy to use your computer and printer (or scissors and glue) to create a custom note card. By adding creative photos, printouts or elements that tie in with the gift or your relationship with the giver, you can make the card itself a meaningful and fun part of your expression of heartfelt gratitude.
Some thank-you note theme ideas:
- Take a digital photo of the recipient with the gift (opening it, enjoying it, or just posing as shown above)
- Scan an old photo of the gifter and the giftee together
- Decorate a card using packaging or giftwrap from the gift, or a printout from a related website
- Use something that ties in with the gift -- if your gifter gave you a gift card for a bookstore, decorate the card with the art from a best-selling book. If he/she gave you a ski jacket, cut out a snowflake or find a graphic of a skier.
- Think about the past: If you went to France together once upon a time, use some French graphics on the card (or better yet, write it in French!). If you were college chums, decorate the card with a graphic of your school’s mascot.
- Think about the future: If you will be seeing her in 2010, decorate the card with a tiny calendar with your reunion date circled. If he is planning a trip somewhere exciting, use a photo of his destination.
Either way, just be sure to write the dang note. Ms. Post says a late thank-you note is always better than no note at all (but why wait?).