Say “Thank You” for the Gifts of the Season

Now that the holidays are past, you’re happily enjoying the great gifts you received…but did you say thanks?  No, I mean have you really shown them how much the gesture of their gift means to you?

During the holidays we say that we hope the Spirit of the Season stays with our loved ones throughout the year, but finding ways to make that happen gets lost in the shuffle of our days.  Preparing thoughtful thank you notes for the gifts you were given is an excellent way to spread that spirit of goodwill and love into the new year.

But you sent out holiday cards and it was hard enough coming up with a message to write in those. What else is left to say in a thank you note after the holidays?

Well, consider what it is they’ve done for you.

If they gave you a gift you’re crazy about:  Let them know you’re ticked that they know your tastes and chose a perfect gift.  If it’s just what you wanted, make sure you tell them.

“Dear Aunt Sue – I’m so excited about the gift card to Art World that you gave me.  It’s the perfect gift to feed my Zentangle addiction – you know me so well! I can’t wait to get in there and grab up some cool goodies. Thanks!”

If they gave you a gift that’s just ‘okay’:  Unless it was part of a Secret Santa gift exchange, this person probably did not “have to” get you a gift.  They value you and like you to the extent that they chose to spend their money on you.  Find something positive to say about the gift and let them know you value their gesture of giving.

“Dear Cousin Chris – Thank you for the fuzzy socks you gave me for Christmas.  They will be great for cuddling under the covers with some hot tea and a warm book this winter. Thanks for keeping my tootsies toasty!”

If they gave you a gift and you didn’t give one back:  Maybe you got an unexpected gift from a coworker the day before you left the office for your holiday break.  Maybe you’re strapped for funds and weren’t able to buy a gift for everyone who gave you something.  Whatever the reason, it’s likely the giver doesn’t want you to stress or be embarrassed about the non-reciprocation.  Thank them for thinking of you and give them a sincere compliment. That means as much as a return gift to anyone with a good heart.

“Dear Joe – Thank you for the ergonomic computer mouse you gave me. I bet you remembered my bouts of carpal tunnel syndrome when you picked that out for me! I’m sorry I didn’t have anything for you, but please know that your gesture means so much to me. I’m lucky to have such a thoughtful coworker.”

And finally, a way to go above and beyond with your holiday thank-you’s:

If they didn’t give you a gift, but shared in special times with you:  The holidays are, first and foremost, about the moments we share and the memories we make.  Not everyone who makes your holidays special will give you a gift, but you can let them know that they, as a person, are a gift to you.

“Dear Jenny – I want to let you know how great it was to have you join our family for our Christmas Eve get-together.  During the years that we’ve been neighbors you’ve become really dear to us and it felt so natural to have you with us. Thank you for celebrating with us and we look forward to all the good times we’ll share in this new year!”

See more tips on what to write in your correspondence.
‘Thank you’ image courtesy of Graham Erwin under Creative Commons license (BY-NC-ND 2.0).