Handwritten Thank You Notes Still Matter

We all want to make our high school graduate’s celebration memorable. Many times, all the effort goes into the party planning, with not enough attention to the art of the handwritten thank you note. If your grad can learn to write meaningful thank you notes now, they will stand out from the crowd in the future.

First, mark the occasion with a lasting impression through a custom graduation announcement to truly express your grad’s style. If a party is part of their graduation plans, it is a nice touch to customize the invites to match the graduation announcements. The graduate should hand address the envelopes, though custom return address labels are fine.

Soon the gifts come rolling in, and a detailed inventory of who gave what is essential. Now comes the hard part. Time to send the matching custom thank you notes. No shortcuts here. Graduation is one of those events that requires a thoughtful and handwritten thank you note.

The best thank you notes acknowledge a gift and tell what you’re going to do with it, or why you like it. Then, most importantly, they end with some type of personal connection. For example, if Aunt Nancy made a point of traveling by plane to attend the event that should be the primary focus of the note. The gift should also be acknowledged, but the relative’s presence is the true focus in this case. In general, the more specific the note, the more personal it will feel. The formality of the note should match the recipient.

Graduation is one of those occasions that is marked with quite a few cash gifts from friends and relatives. It is not necessary for the graduate to specifically thank loved ones for the exact amount in the thank you note. Instead, it is acceptable to express thankfulness to the person for their generosity or explain how the money is going to be used.

There are no hard and fast rules on the length of thank you notes. A few paragraphs are a good rule of thumb. If the thank note is too short, it will feel like a form letter. However, if it’s too long and gushy, it will not feel genuine. For some people this is the hardest part. It can take a while to get the right words on paper so encourage your graduate to pace themselves. A few well written thank you notes a day is much better than many hastily handwritten ones in a marathon session.

One last tip on handwritten thank you notes. Telling a personal story or anecdote the recipient can relate to is always a great way to engage them. Chances are your graduate knows their thank you note recipient on a personal level. If that person has had an impact on their life now is the time to say so. In this digital age of one-line tweets and abbreviated texts, the handwritten thank you note will always be appreciated as a heartfelt gesture.