Chances are, somewhere in this fleeting whirlwind we call life, or many someones, did something that left a lasting impression on your heart. Now is the time to return the favor.
People are in the joy zone when they give — even science agrees. Don’t spoil their experience with an uninspired message of thanks. Instead, make it your mission to express your gratitude in a way that will only augment the happiness of the giver.
“Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them.”
— Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
Make it Sincere
Hopefully, this advice is something of a no duh, but sometimes it is a fine line between expressing gratitude and gushing. To start, send thanks via post, not e-mail or — the horror! — social media.
We’ve touched on thank you notes before, but it’s okay if you need a refresher. The key to being genuine is specificity. A vague “thank you for your gift” is not going to bring cheer to anyone. So hearken back to grade school English class and use both a noun and an adjective when you write: snazzy phone case, scrumptious fruit cake, cozy bed at your lovely home, etc. You might want to skip the note regarding your “raging hangover…”
Make it Funny
Being sincere doesn’t mean you have to be serious. Demonstrate your joy by sharing a laugh. Between friends, nothing is funnier than a shared misadventure. If, say, you roared the night your hostess served soured eggnog, send a certificate voting her “most likely to have rum.”
To really crack them up send a message-filled egg from Little Okins. Go with one of the suggested messages or request something custom. I recommend offering to help your gifter defend against zombies. Now, that’s gratitude.
Make it About You
Well, sort of make it about you. Gifters, especially those living far away, don’t always get a chance to observe you enjoying their gift. So show them how much you love it. When you send your thank you note include a few photos of yourself voguing in your awesome new cashmere sweater or your baking misadventures inspired by the Kitchen Aide from your grandparents. Or assemble a small photo book with pictures of your goodies on a tour of your town. “This is my Kindle keeping me company on the subway… chilling with me on a park bench… making my daily latte more enjoyable…”
Make it About the Giver
No matter how much or little someone has offered you, make sure he knows that the real prize is him!
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
— Thornton Wilder
Friends are treasures worth celebrating. Turn your thanks into a party by stuffing your card with confetti. Instead of sending a card, present her with a blue ribbon (as in the prize, not the beer) or a medal. For the record, I’d prefer a tiara.
Doesn’t just thinking about all the great givers in your life and how to thank them make you tingle? Yeah, that’s how it feels when your heart fills up.
Photo credits: Minted, Little Okins, ArtifactUprising, and Sweetambs.