It’s hard to believe that 2014 is already upon us and another holiday season has come and gone. Hopefully you all had a chance to reconnect with loved ones before the end of last year. If you’re like us here at Paperblanks®, the holidays tend to bring out the best in your gift-giving nature but the January blahs can leave you feeling a wee bit let down. The reality of new year’s resolutions following a holiday binge doesn’t necessarily set the brightest tone for a new year, but we have a surprising way to beat the blues.

The best pick-me-up this time of year is actually a fairly selfless act, but one that all too often gets forgotten in the bustle of returning to work and school. Now that all the gifts have been opened and enjoyed (or, returned and exchanged), it’s time to remember the true meaning of the gift-giving season and give thanks to those who had you in mind this past month. So get out your pens and stationary sets, because it’s thank-you note writing time!

Marilyn Monroe Teaches Us to be Sincere Without Going Overboard

A thank-you note should be sincere, which is as much about being genuinely thankful for the gift as it is not over-exaggerating your gratitude.
Via: Letters of Note

Barack Obama Proves the Value of Practicing Your Handwriting…

Handwriting a thank you is a small but meaningful part of showing your gratitude for someone else taking time out of their day to do something nice for you. Above is an example of why a handwritten note always seems more sincere. Below is an (intentionally) hilarious example of what happens when you make the bare minimum amount of effort at personalisation.
Via: Letters of Note

…and Dan Rowan and Dick Martin Show Us When Not to Bother

This is why it’s better to just not even pretend you’re not sending a form letter.
Via: Letters of Note

Roald Dahl Demonstrates Heartfelt Gratitude by Getting Specific

It’s important not just to be specific about whom you are thanking and for what you are thankful, but to be specific about how you will appreciate the gift.
Via: Letters of Note

Don’t Like the Present? Focus on Something, Anything That You Do Like

I want to thank you for coming to the wedding Friday. I’m not sure if it’s the first wedding you have been to, but for your next wedding … people give envelopes. I lost out on $200 covering you and your dates plate … and got Fluffy whip and sour patch kids in return. Just a heads-up for the future.

It’s safe to say that the newlyweds who received a food basket as a wedding present were not impressed by the low-cost gift. According to a saga that played out in local and then national newspapers last summer, a real wedding war was sparked after the bride demanded to see a receipt for the misguided gift at a lavish wedding. Wedding gift-giving etiquette aside, is it ever appropriate to write an un-thank-you letter?

No. If you don’t love a gift or don’t feel that the person spent enough money on it, there’s no excuse for behaving like a spoiled child. Graciously thank the gift-giver for thinking of you (remember, nobody has to give a gift – no matter the occasion) and focus instead on what you did like about the experience. Thank them for anything, even the thought that went into choosing the colour of the ribbon used to wrap the present, if you absolutely cannot say something nice about the gift itself. If you only focus on the expected presents you want to receive on a specific occasion, you won’t enjoy the event itself. So keep your spirits up and send out thankful thoughts and you’ll warm up even the coldest of months (and hearts!).

No matter what you are thanking someone for, the effect should be the same. That person should feel that you genuinely appreciated the gesture and the time they took to focus on you (and in turn, they should get a sense that you are thinking solely of them for a moment). If you focus on putting sincere, specific thoughts into your thank-you note you will absolutely succeed in making someone’s day.

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