By Christine Murray, HRI Director

As children, many of us were taught to send thank you notes after we received gifts for our birthdays and holidays. When I was a kid, most of my notes followed a basic formula:

“Dear ____________,

Thank you for the ________________. I love it because ______________.

I love you and miss you and hope to see you soon.

Thank you again!

Love, Christine

Looking back on those notes, I’m a little embarrassed by how simple and formulaic they were, but mostly I’m thankful that my parents instilled in me a value for thanking people when they did something nice for me.

Life is so different today, with so many different ways to send thank you “notes” instead of actually handwriting them. Today, many “thank you” notes are written over email or even a quick text message. These aren’t bad ways to express thanks–In fact, they can allow you creative ways to use technology, such as sending a photo or video using the gift, which wouldn’t be as easy with a handwritten letter. These forms of technology aren’t just great for saying thanks for a gift, but also expressing other appreciations for the important people in your life.

But, have you ever stopped to think how much more of an impact a handwritten thank you note has in today’s high-tech world? Handwriting a note is still a pretty simple task, but in today’s world, it really stands out because of the extra effort it takes beyond communicating electronically.

Recently, I had the blessing of receiving a thoughtful handwritten note from a close friend. It came out of the blue–I hadn’t given her a gift or anything like that. She just wanted to say thanks for my friendship. That note probably took her a few minutes to write, but it truly made my week. I will keep it and treasure it forever.

If you write a personal note to thank someone for the impact they’ve had on your life, you’re almost guaranteed to make the other person’s day, and you’ll feel better for having spent a few minutes reflecting on your gratitude for what the other person means to you. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a pen, a piece of paper (even better if it’s nice stationary or a nice note card!), and get writing!

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