Hand-writing a personalized thank you note is the best way to respond to graduation gifts. No matter what the gift was, the giver was thoughtful to remember your special day, and must be honored with a response. A good thank you note should be sincere, and tailored specifically towards its recipient, mentioning the gift in question and responding to it personally. Write thank you notes as quickly as possible after you have received a gift, but remember that it's better to write a note late than never.
Make the process of writing thank-you notes pleasant for yourself. Emily Post recognizes that writing thank you notes may seem like a daunting task. To help you along, she advises making the process enjoyable in some way, which should make it easier to relax and be sincere. "Schedule a few different days to write your notes," she advises, "and each time give yourself a little something to make it interesting: music, a glass of wine, your favorite radio show, a cup of tea—perhaps even some chocolate." This will make the process of writing more enjoyable, and hopefully give you more focus so that you can better put yourself into words. "Giving thanks shouldn’t be a chore," writes Post, "and doesn’t have to be if you make the effort to keep it interesting."
Make a list of the people you need to thank and the gifts that they have given you. Organization will make the process of writing quicker and easier. This way, you can also check givers off as you finish each note, which will encourage you about the progress you have made.
Begin writing. In their guide to note writing, Angela Ensinger and Keeley Chace offer some questions to ask yourself if you get stumped: How did you feel when you opened the gift? What are you doing with the gift now, and do you have any plans for it? Does the gift remind you of the giver? After you have responded to the gift, you may want to let the giver know what your post-graduation plans are, if they have not been informed.
Stamp and address each note, then mail them. The effort you have put into your notes will have given you a renewed appreciation of your friends and relatives, and your notes will let them know how grateful you are for them and thei thoughtfulness.
- Emily Post: "Being Thankful: A Thank-You Note Q&A"
- "On a Personal Note: A Guide to Writing Notes With Style"; Angela Ensminger and Keeley Chace; 2005