©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com

In today’s busy world, getting a “Thank You” note is something to cheer about in itself. But how do we make our notes of appreciation less perfunctory and more sincere?  Obviously, the note should include the What, How, and Why – what the gift or gesture was, how we plan to use it, and why that was/will be helpful or meaningful. When we stick solely to that formulaic approach though, people may wonder if their action mattered or if the recipient really liked it.

Here are a few quick tips to write a “Thank You” that shows you care:

Write it from the Heart
Act as if you’re chatting with the person you’re thanking. Dictate it into your phone or computer. Avoid basic, standard phrases.
Even if you plan to send a handwritten note,consider typing it out first. Since most of our communicating today is done on a keyboard, it could be easier to express your thoughts, plus you can edit quickly without ripping up stationary! You can always take the best of your ideas and pen them.

Get Help
Not confident in your own expressions? Find a clever, thank you card with a meaningful sentiment. You’ll have a jumpstart with professional artwork and verse and can add your own personal comment.

Look up “thankful” quotes and incorporate one of those in your note (with proper attribution, of course!).

Send it Quickly
Pressed for time to write or out of town? Send a quick note via email, text or FB Messenger right away, then send a more personal, handwritten one afterwards.

Make it about Them as Much (or More) as the Gift
After the person reads your note, they should feel not only good about the action they took or the gift they gave, but also about themselves.

When you communicate, include at least one sentence or two about how much the person means to you. It can be as simple as “I’m so glad you’re in my life’ to “Your thoughtfulness is one of the many incredible character traits I admire” to “How do you always know the right thing to do?” as long as it is authentic.

Share something you genuinely admire about the giver or how their thoughtfulness made you feel, and you’re sure to come up with a statement that makes them smile.

Remember the Gift-Giver in the Future
Can you think of a time when someone has worn or displayed something you’ve given them? Remember how good you felt that they were enjoying it?

Whether it’s an item of jewelry or a memento from a trip, your gift-giver will rejoice that you are using it. If you’re wearing it, it’s helpful to mention just in case the giver isn’t honing in on it. “Love these earrings you gave me! They go with so many things!” Just recently a friend brought to my attention that she was wearing a scarf I’d given her a couple of years ago. What a delight it was to see she was still enjoying it.

You’ve probably been the recipient of a seasonal holiday gift item that you bring out once a year. Why not send a quick email or text the next time you take it out telling the person who gave it to you that it reminds you of them?

Gifted with an experience? Take a photo of the event and send it to your benefactor. Let them see your joy in the gift.

Make Your “Thank You” Stand Out
When we think about the value of gratitude and how words encourage others, it reminds us that each thank you can be a gift in itself. With the deluge of emails and texts each day, a sincere handwritten note/snail mail note will be special.

Thanking The Ultimate Gift-Giver
Guess what? These same techniques can be used to turn our routine “Thank Yous” to God into meaningful connections.
How would you feel if you’d invested time and energy into getting beautiful, useful, enjoyable gifts for someone, and they just said, “Hey, thanks for all the stuff.” What if they added, “and can you get me ______ right away?”

Use the thank-you note principles above as a guide toward deepening gratitude expressions to God. Consider these possibilities:

  • Write out a prayer of thankfulness to God acknowledging what you’re grateful for and why. When we identify specific things we appreciate, we not only express thankfulness to Him, but we remind ourselves of the blessings.
  • Use Scripture verses to include in your “Thank You” to God. Not sure how to quickly find them? Go to www.biblegateway.com or www.biblehub.com then keyword search “Praise” or “Thankfulness” or “Joy.”  Open your Bible to Psalms.
  • Examine the writing of famous Christian writers on gratitude and praise and worship. Let them jumpstart your gratitude attitude with God.
  • Express thanks to God in the moment when something good happens. Even the shortest “Thank You” in a timely moment matters. Active gratitude helps keep us keep our perspective.
  • Thank God not just what He’s done for you but for who He is. His unconditional love. His faithfulness. His empathy and understanding. His sacrifice. His strength. His power.
  • Reflect on specific ways God has provided for you in the past, or times when you’ve experienced God’s presence or gifts. In recalling those, we see His hand and heart – and His desire for our happiness.
  • Write a “Thank You” to God today. Even if you voice your gratitude in prayer, consider penning it or inputting it. Writing “Thank You” praises can keep us attuned to God’s involvement and impact in our lives – and remind us continuously of His love.

As we communicate with a grateful heart, we strengthen our relationships with each other and God.

What “Thank You” note have you received that sticks out to you?
Have you ever received a perfunctory “Thank You”? What about it made you think it was just a “to do” item checked off the receiver’s list?
Is there a “Thank You” note you wished you’d written but didn’t? Write it now. What a gift it would be for someone to receive. Even if the person is no longer living, you can express your feelings and enjoy the memory.
What do you want to thank God for today?

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:29

Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™


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