I've been spending time with a true southern lady recently, and she's reminded me of the importance of sending thank you notes. However it can often be challenging to come up with quality content to fill a card. I've found that asking good questions to generate ideas can make this process simple for the sender and meaningful for the recipient. It only takes a few minutes with this FREE printable!
WARNING: For those of you who like to fully complete a worksheet before you can move on, you will have TOO MUCH CONTENT if you answer every one of these questions before you write your note. Then you'll be writing a thank you thesis and not a thank you note. You only need to pick a few questions to answer and then get writing that thank you note.
5 Core Habits & 5 Common Topics for Thank You Notes
In Classical Conversations we learn about the 5 Core Habits: naming, attending, memorizing, expressing, and story telling. We also practice the 5 Common Topics: definition, comparison, relationship, circumstance and testimony. These tools are helpful in the invention process—coming up with what to say. Many people struggle with this. With the right tools however, this process becomes less daunting. Let me show you how.
Start With The Basics: Observation
The first questions seem obvious, but without naming what you're thankful for, the note would just not work! Taking a minute to simply attend to the gift adds substance to your note.
- What is it? A bean bag chair.
- What are some qualities of the gift? It is made of soft, tan fabric, and extremely comfortable to sit in.
- What did you notice about it first? I loved the color.
- What was your favorite part? I had so much fun filling it with the little white beans. That was crazy! They went everywhere!
Even if you just stopped there, you'd have plenty of content to fill a simple thank you note. A little gratitude goes a long way. Therefore be content when your young writers stop there.
Dig A Little Deeper: Explanation
Often times explanations are reserved only for defending oneself, but they offer deeper meaning when expressing gratitude. These questions will help to add substance to your note.
- How is this better than what you expected? I wasn't expecting such a big gift.
- What does this remind you of? The one I had when I was little.
- Why did you want/need this gift? I thought it would be fun to use in my clubhouse.
- How will your life change with this gift? It will give me a fun place to sit and read in my room.
- What was happening in your life that made this gift special? Right after I got the bean bag, we had 15 people sleeping at our house for five days. I slept comfortably in this bean bag because someone else was sleeping in my bed!
One of these explanations will go a long way to sharing your heart with someone who cared to give you a gift.
Expand On Your Thanks: Expression
Putting your gratitude into words can be difficult. It's easy to get stuck in the wording. A few sentence starters and story telling ideas will fill up your card quickly with thoughtful sentiments.
- I appreciate how much thought you put into this gift.
- I loved the tiny bean bag chair you wrapped. It was so funny!
- I enjoyed getting to fill the bean bag myself.
- It really meant a lot because you know just what I like.
- I was so surprised that I slept in it so well.
- How will you use the gift? I look forward to sitting and reading in it and comfortably watching TV in it.
- How does the gift impact your life? I love how easy it is to move around which makes it nice to have a comfortable place to sit anywhere I want to go.
- What was special about this gift? It was exactly what I was hoping it would be.
- How did it encourage you? I was so encouraged by how much thought you put into making this gift special for me.
- What do others say about this gift? Everyone who has tried it out thinks it is super comfy.
FREE Printable Guide for Thank You Notes
If you'd like to have a handy guide to walk you and your family through writing meaningful thank you's, grab this printable and some sticky notes. Pick three to five questions to answer and jot down the ideas on the post-it.
Have fun writing thank you notes!
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.