Saying thanks simply - in style

Saying thanks simply - in style

A handwritten message works best to express your gratitude for a gift - even if you didn't really like it

Christmas and New Year's Eve are considered by many teens to be among the best times of the year. We can attend special dinners and parties and - best of all - exchange lovely presents with our friends and family.

Saying thanks for gifts in a sincere way is a must. And one of the most thoughtful - and charming - ways of doing so is to write a handwritten note.

The emphasis is on "simple".

I suggest you invest in some standard stationery. Don't worry about buying something too fancy or expensive; just pick out some white sheets of paper and matching envelopes.

An embossed card or a small sheet of printing paper should do, too.

Try to avoid choosing cards with a brash "Thank You" scrawled across the front. Unfussy card designs will fit the occasion best.

What message you convey on the card is equally important.

So here are some suggestions to help you produce a clear and eloquent thank-you note:

1. Be sure to greet the recipient. It is well known that people love hearing and seeing their names. And this is one time when it should not be overlooked. Little things often give great pleasure so don't forget this frequently forgotten step.

Your first paragraph should express your thanks immediately. Get to the point and make sure the reader knows what your note is about. A simple "Thank you so much for the chocolates" or "Thank you for the lovely lunch" is perfect for that first sentence.

2. Elaborate a little bit about why you enjoyed their present. You can talk about when you will use your new gift and how it fits into your life. For example: "The teddy bear looks really cute sitting on my pillow". Or: "The scarf goes well with everything I wear and has become a wonderful addition to my daily outfits".

If you're thanking someone for their hospitality, a modest "The hotpot was really good fun. I really appreciated spending time with you and your family" should do wonders.

You can have fun with this part of the thank-you message so don't be afraid to get a little creative. If you didn't like the present, well, try your best to find a good part of the gift and elaborate on that.

3. Next, write a sentence alluding to the future. This is the best time to talk about your relationship with the sender and how he or she fits into your life. If it's someone quite close to you, fire off: "It was great seeing you at the dinner party last night. I hope to see you at the school luncheon in January." For people you are not so close with, let them know you are thinking of them with an "I hope all is well with you and your family".

4. For the closing sentence, restate your gratitude with a "Thank you once again for your lovely gift".

5. Now for the final bit. Wrap it all up with a "Yours sincerely", "Yours truly" or even "With love". Append a lovely, cursive signature and you're done.

So there you have it: a wonderful handwritten thank-you note. Now, I'll let you in on a little secret: a simple, sweet note like that ensures many more gifts to come. So come on, start writing!

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