Read a Selection


Just in time…

Thank You for Your Thank-you Note: The Art of Being a Gracious Recipient
Excerpted from Chapter 2

Most people put a great deal of thought and effort into giving a gift. Even the most hastily purchased present takes considerable time to procure, wrap and deliver. The very things that make a gift so touching and meaningful also make a thank-you note meaningful.

1. It truly is the thought that counts. Many of us have everything we need. In this context, gifts are a luxury. Be grateful someone thought of you. It may not be something you wished for, but if you can’t find it in your heart to be grateful, you may want to examine your expectations or your values or maybe your relationship! Effective communication relies on a clear understanding of the situation. If you’re genuinely disappointed, it will be difficult to express sincere gratitude.

2. Ask yourself what element in the gift is special or specific to you or your interests. My sister, Gail, started collecting ducks at a very young age…any kind of duck except the real kind. For years, friends and family enjoyed helping her add to the collection. Over time, she amassed several hundred ducks. Then, word went out from Gail, “Read my lips: no more ducks.” (Too bad. I’m sure those duck salt and pepper shakers would have looked perfect in the Hamptons’ breakfast nook.) Though we must squelch our urge to purchase them, I doubt anyone in my family can see a duck without thinking of Gail. Find that special element in the gift that said something about you to the gift giver, and mention it in your thank-you letter or note.

3. If you’re totally stumped on #2 above, ask yourself what element in the gift is specific to the gift giver and their personality. This may be the case a good deal of the time. It’s just human nature. We figure that if we like it, they’ll like it. Find the unique element in the gift that says something  about the gift giver, and mention it in your thank-you letter or note.

4. When all else fails, just say “Thank you.” Thank you for the gift. Thank you for thinking about me. Thank you for being a wonderful friend. Thank you for remembering. Thank you for being part of my life. Thank you for caring. Thank you for being a fantastic brother. Thank you.


Wish you could read more? Buy the book and enjoy! Oh, and if you happen to have a communication challenge of your own, click on Ask Barbara… and she’ll create some Well-turned Phrases just for you.