If you thought it would be okay to thank people for the graduation cash and gifts you received with an email or text, you would be wrong. Even in this digital age where online greeting card are acceptable, you still need to hand write thank you notes to everyone who gave you a graduation gift. The good news is, writing that thank you card isn’t all that difficult.
It’s not necessary to write a long, drawn out letter telling the person what’s going on in your life. In fact, you can get away with writing as little as three sentences, although you’re more than welcome to write even more. The important step is it should be handwritten, not typed and printed off a computer. It should also be written on stationery or a card, not a random piece of computer paper. If you received graduation cash or a graduation gift, here is what you need to include in your thank you note.
Thank-You Note Greeting
It’s proper to begin the thank-you note with “Dear (the person’s name).” Whether you use their first name or their last name depends on how you would normally address that person. Think about if they were to come to your door at this moment. Would you address the person by their first or last name?
For example, if it’s a good friend you know well, you would use their first name, if it is a friend of your parents you don’t know as well you would use the last name and if it’s a relative, you might use “Aunt (first name)” or “Uncle (first name).” You should use whatever you would normally call the person when creating the thank-you note.
Thank-You Note First Sentence
Begin the thank-you note with thanking the person for the gift or the amount of money you received and the occasion for which it was given. A couple of examples might be as follows:
- Thank you for the generous gift of $50 for my high school graduation.
- Thank you for the beautiful writing set for my college graduation.
Thank-You Note Second Sentence
After thanking the person for the graduation gift, the next sentence should explain how much you appreciate the gift or how you are planning to use it. A couple of example of this might be:
- I plan on using the money to help me with my college costs this fall.
- I know the set will come in handy at my new job, and, in fact, I’m using it right now to write this note.
Thank-You Note Third Sentence
In the third sentence, let the person know you want to continue the connection you have with them in the future. A couple of examples would be:
- I hope that we have an opportunity to get together over the Thanksgiving break when I will be coming home from college.
- It would be a pleasure to write with you while I begin my new job.
You can then end the note with the appropriate salutation (Love, All My Best, Thanks Again, etc.) which is appropriate for the person you’re writing to, and your signature.
Complete Thank-You Note Sample
Dear Aunt Sue,
Thank you so much for the $50 you gave to me for my high school graduation. I picked out a beautiful book bag I’ve had my eye on for awhile now that I know will be great to use when I head off to college. I’ll be coming home over Thanksgiving, and I hope we have a chance to see each other then.
The above is a basic thank-you note, but you are free to include more information if you desire. The most important part of any thank-you note is to write sincerely from your heart. If you do that, it will come through and be appreciated by the recipient.
While the thank-you note should be handwritten, you can use an address label for your return address when addressing the letter. However, the address to the recipient should be hand written.
(Photo courtesy of Katharina Friederike)