How to Be Wonderfully Gracious on Paper - Writing the Perfect Thank You Note

My, what lovely loot. Now that the wrapping paper has been cleared, it’s time to thank everyone who wrote your name on a gift tag.

Here are our etiquette tips on how to craft the perfect Thank You Note.

Say it with style

Your Thank You Notes should reflect your aesthetic, whether it’s classic, romantic, minimalist or modern. The recipient of said note should know who it’s from even before he/she reads a word.

Be gracious in a timely manner

Thank You Notes should be sent out as soon as possible after you receive the gift. One to two weeks is the sweet spot. Your note should be a thoughtful gesture, not a reminder for the gift.

Give credit where credit is due

Make sure to address your Thank You Note to the person or persons who gave you the gift. If the gift is from your friend and her husband, your note should address both individuals (even if you know she “did all the work”). Everyone likes to feel appreciated, after all.

Name drop

Mention the gift you received by name. It may seem like a small detail, but in an era of generic, automated emails, it’s nice to receive something that is personalized just for you.

Go the extra descriptive mile

Everyone hopes that the gift they give isn’t going to collect dust, destined for the Goodwill bag when spring cleaning comes around. Prevent such worry with a sentence or two about how/when/where you might use the gift and how excited you are to do so.

Let’s practice, shall we?

Dear Lindsay, Jeff and Gabriel,

Thank you so much for the gorgeous silk Hermes scarf. You know my taste so well! I can’t wait to wear it out to dinner with Barrett; it’s really the perfect accessory for a lovely night out in the city. I hope all is well, much love to you all.


  1. I’m in need of some new stationery. I am recently widowed, although young to be (60). I want to know what to use as my return address name on the back of the envelopes. Do I simply use my first/last name, do I use Mrs. His first/last name, Mrs. My first/last name or Ms. My first/last name?
    I’m confused. Please help. Thank you.

    1. Hi Marilyn,
      I am so sorry for your loss. I spoke to our Crane Concierge and her response was

      A widow will use her proper social name on a return address, which is Mrs. followed by her deceased husband’s first and last name: Mrs. John Smith

      For very casual correspondence with close friends, she can use her own first name and her married last name: Michelle Smith

      I hope this helps answer your question.

  2. Is it proper etiquette to use personalized note cards (embossed name or initials) as thank you notes for funeral flowers, donations, etc.?

    1. Yes, in the case of sympathy or condolence acknowledgements personalized stationery is perfectly appropriate. Another alternative might be simple black or navy bordered cards or notes.

  3. Is it proper etiquette for a thank you note to have “Thank You” pre-printed on the front?

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