Sending cards to our troops

Sending cards to troops

In honor of Armed Forces Day this Saturday, we wanted to do something special for our troops. So we printed up some special “Thank You” stationery, formed a plan and got our whole company involved in writing thank you cards to our troops.

Did you know letters are the #1 thing that U.S. troops request? A simple thank-you note can reassure them and lift their spirits.

Sending letters to troops

If you’d like to send a card or a letter to our troops, there are many ways to do so. If a friend or family member has been deployed, ask them if they can give you a roster so you can write letters to specific troops.

But if not, there are lots of resources. Try going through a service like A Million Thanks. You can send as many letters as you like, and they’ll take care of addressing them for you. We were fortunate enough to get a roster from employees whose loved ones were stationed overseas, so we got to address each card.

If you’re not sure quite what to write, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few examples and tips to get you started:

Dear __________,

It’s hard to know how to thank someone who has sacrificed so much for our country, but I will do my best. Thank you for having the courage to stand up and defend our freedom. Thank you for all the things you have given up in order to be where you are today. I want you to know that there are millions of civilians who are proud of you and deeply thankful for everything you do. I am praying that you will come home safely and your family will be comforted while you are away. May you be blessed in all you do.

Sincerely,

_______________

Dear Service Member,

I wanted to take a moment and let you know how much your service is appreciated. Even though you are far away, you are in our hearts and prayers every day. I thank you for being brave, selfless, strong and courageous enough to help preserve all the freedoms we enjoy every day. May your tour go by quickly and may you arrive safely back home with your loved ones.

With deep gratitude,

_______________

Dear Service Member,

Thank you for the sacrifices you make daily to protect America and our freedom. We care, and we want you to know that we stand behind you. Thank you for your dedication and the sacrifices that you and your family have made on my behalf.

Many thanks,

_______________

A few more tips:

  • Thank the troops for their service and for the freedoms they secure for us.
  • Encourage them by letting them know that we support them.
  • Don’t address the card “Dear Soldier” unless you know the person is a soldier. Troops like Marines do not refer to themselves as soldiers.
  • Be creative – draw a picture, use decorative stationery or print pictures in your letter. (Many services like A Million Thanks don’t allow inserts, so photos need to be printed on the letter itself.)
  • Include your name and address, or email address – many servicemen like to write back.

How to write graduation thank you notes

How to write graduation thank you notes

Don't get discouraged! It's easy to write thank you notes.

Pictured above: Graduation Caps Folded Notes from Expressionery.com.

Graduation season is quickly approaching and while you might be dreaming of tossing out your pen and papers, think again. Along with the graduation ceremony come graduation parties, and along with graduation parties come graduation gifts, and along with graduation gifts come THANK YOU NOTES!

In our technology-infused society, the handwritten thank you note is becoming more rare. The good news about this is, that makes it really easy to leave a good impression on your friends and family when you write one! You never know when that may come in handy later!

I graduated from college and got married all in the same week. (In case you needed further proof that I can multitask!) Because of this, I received some especially generous wedding gifts from my church family, who had all known my family for many years. I took my time and wrote out each thank you by hand on cards that I had designed myself.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I found out later that one of the ladies had pulled my mother aside to tell her how much she appreciated the card. Not only had I written the note by hand, I’d told her what I was going to use her generous gift card for – new clothes. This made her feel that I truly appreciated the gift.

I’m not trying to toot my own horn here – there’s a reason I’m telling you all this. Not long after graduation, I found myself needing a reference for a job I was applying for. Being a new graduate, I didn’t have many people who could do that for me. But as soon as I put the word out, that lady’s husband (who had known my family for years, but didn’t know me all that well) wrote one of the best letters of recommendation I have ever received. I still carry his recommendation on my LinkedIn profile.

Writing your graduation thank you notes

Don’t feel pressured or worried that you’re going to say the wrong thing. As long as you write honestly and from the heart, there’s really no wrong way to write a thank you note. I probably only spent two minutes writing and addressing that one card, but as they say, it’s the thought that counts.

Graduation thank yous

Get inspired to write great thank you notes with cool stationery and accessories!

First, pick out a set of cards that suit your style. There’s no rule that says graduation thank you’s have to be formal – it’s all up to you. If you’re not the type to design your own cards, you can still get a custom look with personalized thank you notes.

Print your name or a simple “Thank you” message on the front of anything from formal embossed cards to casual, cartoon-style illustrations. You might even want to get a couple of different sets and send more formal notes to certain relatives and more casual notes to your friends. (Just don’t make the mistake of pre-printing the thank you message that goes inside – taking the time to write your cards by hand will mean so much more.)

Now that you’ve got your notecards, grab a few pens. Gel pens are great because they don’t skip like those cheap pens you wrote your term paper with. Black is the most formal color; others like blue, green and burgundy can add a more warm or casual feel. Choose based on your own style and how you want the recipient to feel when they open the envelope.

Graduation thank you note wording

And now, for thank you note etiquette 101. Just kidding – there are only a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • The greeting – “Dear” is often a good word – it’s polite, yet friendly.
  • The message – Thank the person for coming to your party and/or graduation, if they attended. They took time out of their busy schedule to be there and support you. Then, mention the gift (even if you didn’t really like it) and thank them for it. Never say you’re going to return or exchange it. If you received money or gift cards, tell them what you plan to use the money for. (Just don’t tell them if you blew it on an Xbox 360.) If you can’t think of much to say about the gift itself, talk about your summer plans – how you can’t wait to start your summer job or start your college classes.
  • The closing – this is where you have a lot of freedom. If you want your note to feel formal, “Sincerely” is a classic. For a more casual tone, you can try “Thanks again,” for relatives you can use “With love” or for a really formal (business contact style) tone you could use “Best regards.”

Graduation thank you card examples

Here are a few examples to get you started:

To a teacher:

Dear Ms. Williams,

I can’t believe I’m graduating! I am so excited, and I wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I have appreciated your help over the past few years. You’ve been so patient, and you inspired me to decide upon a communications major.

Thank you for coming to my party and for all your words of wisdom over the years. I will always remember you as one of my best teachers.

Thanks again,

Elaine

To a friend:

Dear Jennie,

Wow, I can’t believe graduation is finally here. It feels like just yesterday we were freshmen! I wanted to thank you for your friendship over the years and let you know how much I’m going to miss you.

Thank you for coming to my party. You really didn’t have to get me a gift – your friendship is enough! – but I am so excited to put the beautiful lamp you got me in my new room. It will remind me of you every time I turn it on.

Your friend,

Elaine

To a relative:

Dear Uncle Joe and Aunt Susan,

Thank you for flying all the way from San Diego for my graduation! It was great having you there. Thank you, too, for the generous gift. I was going to take my old backpack on my trip this summer, but now I can get a new one with wheels and the works. It should make traveling much more comfortable!

Love,

Elaine

Sending your notes

And now for the last step – actually sending the cards! It’s easiest to address each envelope as you write your notes – that way, you don’t end up putting the wrong card in the wrong envelope. Then, stamp or stick your return address on the back flap – this saves a ton of time and makes the envelope look nicer too. Finally, put on a stamp and stick a batch in the mailbox.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to write all your thank you notes in one sitting, or even mail them all out together. It’s often easier to send out a batch here and there until you have them all done. Just keep a running list of all the cards you need to write so you don’t forget whether or not you sent someone’s card!

And now that you’ve completed thank you note writing 101 … it’s time for a pop quiz! Just kidding. Toss that cap in the air (but keep your stationery close by). It’s time to celebrate!

Personalized Kids’ Stationery

Personalized kids stationery

Do you remember the last time you got a handwritten note in the mail? If you’re like me, it’s been awhile, and you got excited when you saw your name written by hand on a pretty envelope in a huge stack of plain white envelopes barcoded by some impersonal printer.

It didn’t even matter how long the note was or how imperfect the handwriting was. What mattered was that someone took the time to pick out a card, write something just for you on it and then mail it with a good old-fashioned stamp.

I think it’s important to teach kids the value of writing handwritten notes. Later in life they’ll be better equipped to send thank-you notes after an interview. They might really enjoy writing if you start encouraging them to write early on. No matter how simple their first notes are, they’ll be bringing smiles to someone’s face.

It’s not hard, and it won’t even take too much of your time. It just requires a little planning. First decide who you want your kids to write to and what kind of stationery is appropriate – usually a folded note or a flat card works best. A big letter-size sheet of paper may seem awfully big to fill, while a note card lets your kids write a shorter message that fills up more of the card and feel like they’ve accomplished more.

Does your child have a special teacher who deserves a word of thanks? How about a grandma who lives far away? Think of a recipient first and then sit down with your kids to order some personalized kids’ stationery.

Choosing stationery is one of the most fun parts of the process, and if your kids have a say in it they are more likely to enjoy writing the note. Here are our top personalized kids stationery picks – each one can be personalized with your child’s name or a custom message:

Personalized kids stationery

How to write wedding thank you notes

Wedding thank you

Wedding thank you notes

When the time comes, it can be overwhelming to sit down and write all your thank you notes. Finding the time and the words is tough, but it doesn’t have to be. Now that all the wedding gifts are tucked away in their permanent place in your home, you can think about writing your notes.

First, think about the items you’ll need. Now that you’ve spent 6 months in “writing your last name 101″ class, it’s time to order personalized thank-you notes. Ordering personalized cards is the most fun part of the process. After all, it’s the first set of stationery that has your married name on it!

So, pick your favorite design, personalize it with your favorite font, and you’ve got yourself fun stationery that you and your friends and family will be excited about. Remember, there is no requirement that says it has to match your wedding theme, but it makes the wedding bliss last just a little bit longer.

You’ll also need your address book, postage stamps, your favorite writing pen, and your personalized address labels or stamps to address your envelopes. This will save you a lot of time. ;)

When will you find the time, you ask? Relax. Wedding etiquette says you have up to 3 months to send your thank you notes after you receive a wedding gift. So, plan to write 5-10 thank you notes per night. Or, if you want to get it out of the way, spend a weekend writing! Pick your favorite spot in the house, be it by the pool, in the living room, or in a luxurious bubble bath, and write away!

Writing your thank you notes

Finding the right words to express your gratitude is the next step. This can be the hardest part. Coming up with what to say is not always easy, especially if you weren’t thrilled about the gift you received. Just remember the basics: Greeting, Appreciation and Elaboration, Additional Thoughts, Regards.

The greeting

The greeting sets the tone for your thank you note and is the easiest part to write. Start with “Dear…” followed by the person’s name, and you’ve got yourself a solid greeting. If you don’t know the person well, use Miss, Mrs., or Mr., followed by the last name. It should look something like this:

Dear Aunt Suzie,
Dear Miss Jones,

Appreciation, Elaboration & Additional Thoughts

The best place to start is with “Thank You for the…” Tell the recipient how you intend to use the gift, or how often, or where it decorates your home best, depending on the gift. If you hated the gift and intend to return in (there’s typically always one), thank them for their kind thoughts using words such as “thoughtful, generous, kind,” etc. to convey your appreciation.

Don’t forget to thank your recipient for coming to the wedding if they attended. Keep in mind, they may have had to reschedule their own personal events and make travel arrangements to be there for you. Add any additional thoughts, such as when you might see them again. Now your note should look something like this:

Dear Aunt Suzie,

Thank you for the beautiful handmade quilt you gave us. We keep it on our couch to curl up under on cold evenings. I am so thankful you were able to join us at the wedding. I appreciate you traveling to be with us on our special day. We can’t wait to come see you at Thanksgiving.

Regards

Finally, it’s time to sign your note, using “sincerely” for those you may not know as well, or “love” for those you are really close to. Your handwritten signature adds the extra special touch you need to finish off your wedding thank you note.

Thank You etiquette

The finished thank you note