Writing Your First Thank You Note Ever

If your family did not have the tradition of writing thank-you notes when you were growing up, you might have never written one.

My husband’s family did not grow up writing them. Mine did. I learned how to write them. He didn’t. 

You can start the tradition with your family. This article will help you get started with your first thank-you note.

I recommend handwriting the thank you note as they are more personable and memorable.

Writing Your First Thank You Note

Writing a thank-you note sounds easy. Buy a box of thank you note cards. Write them. Address and stamp them. Mail them. However, if it is something you have yet to do, it may feel a little intimidating.

It could be a challenge to your mindset. However, once you do something once, it is a lot easier. You have likely spent more time wondering how to get started than it will take to buy some cards and write your first note.

A thank you note can be treated like a recipe. You should follow the instructions, and it usually turns out alright. I read and reread the instructions when I make a recipe for the first time. And the whole process usually takes 25% to 50% longer than stated in the recipe.

I go slow. I re-read. I take my time when making a recipe for the first time. So it’s okay if writing the first thank-you note takes a while. However, just like cooking, they get easier with practice.

What You Need To Get Started

Start with a nice pen. Nice does not mean expensive. Only use a cheap pen you got for free somewhere. It will likely not write well and may leave behind ugly ink blobs. I prefer to write with a fine-point pen, but you can use whatever point you prefer.

You will also need stamps, address labels, and thank-you note cards (unless you are emailing them). My recommendations can be found on the Resources list.

Before you start, review the thank you note basics. Knowing what is needed, like in a cooking recipe, will help you give confidence and lessen your fear.

First, identify what gift you’d like to send a thank-you note for.

Since finding an address can sometimes be an issue, for your first thank-you note, start with someone for which you already know their address. Or if you say thank you in another way, you don’t need to know their address.

Review the example below to get an idea of what to write.

What to Say in the Thank You Note

The person should be addressed by name.

Thank them specifically for what the gift was. Add another sentence if you can think of one.

For your first thank-you note, having only one sentence is okay. It will look short, but that is okay for your first one, as it will help build your confidence.

The first thank-you note is about writing the message, not so much what you say. Instead, it’s about the process and proving to yourself that you can do it.

End with an appropriate closing. “Thanks Again” is one of my favorites!

Then sign your name.

In the examples below, you could start with the basic template. I included examples with one or two extra sentences.

As you can see, this helps fill out the thank you note card a bit. The receiver may also feel more connected with you if you include more than one sentence.

Easy Thank You Note Examples:

This basic thank you is the easiest way to get started. It’s only one sentence and can work well for kids learning to write thank-you notes. The examples that follow will build on the first example.

Dear [insert name],

Thank you for the [insert gift].

Thanks Again,
[insert your name]

Basic easy thank you template example:

Dear Mom,

Thank you for the cookbook.

Thanks Again,

Easy thank you note example with an additional sentence:

Dear Mom,

Thank you for the cookbook. I have already made two delicious recipes from it.

Thanks Again,

Here is an easy example with two additional sentences:

Dear Mom,

Thank you for the cookbook. I have already made two delicious recipes from it. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thanks Again,

I hope this article has given you the encouragement and examples needed to start with thank you notes. 

Just to let you know, the recipient may never acknowledge the thank you note. So refrain from expecting them to. It just depends on the person.

Remember that you are writing a thank you note to express your gratitude and acknowledge the gift.

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Author: Heidi Bender

Title: Writer

Expertise: Thank You Notes


Heidi Bender is a writer and author who founded Tons of Thanks. She aims to help people write thank-you notes by providing examples and tips. She is the author of She is the author of A Modern Guide to Writing Thank-You Notes.

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