Tips for the chronically Ill: Writing thank you notes


After a recent party, I had to tackle the task of writing thank you notes. I know I always like to receive thank you notes, since they brighten up a dreary day. Likewise, I am a grateful person and want to show appreciation for any gift or favor I receive, but there are times, due to fatigue, hand pain, or just plan lack of motivation when writing thank you notes can be a big, overwhelming task. The following tips have helped me and I hope they help you.

1. Get all your supplies ready.
This may seem obvious, but when trying to tackle a job you might not want to do, it is easy to make excuses when all your supplies aren’t right in front of you. Gather your pens, stamps, address book, note cards and anything else
you think you may need.
2. Print out address labels.
If you are able to, I think it is great to print out address labels. It may be a big task at first to enter all the addresses into your computer program, but when you do it once, then you never need to do it again. (Unless someone moves, of course.) I did this for my wedding, and now I have labels for Christmas, thank you notes, party invitations or anything else I need to send out.
This idea also works with your return address. I have bought a self inking stamper, but you can just print out labels for your own address as well.
3. Buy cards that are not blank.
You want to specifically look for thank you notes (or any other occasion card you are writing out) to not be blank. If you have any kind of fatigue issues or pain in your hands, it is best to find cards that say thank you, or a great quote etc. That way you are left less space to feel obligated to fill up with your own writing and beside cutting down on actually writing time, you also do not have to find all the right words for a long letter.
When I have found a set of cards that I’ve liked, either due to them being inexpensive, really cute or because I liked the wording, I’ve bought them in bulk.
4. Write a few at a time.
When facing any big job, it is best to break it down into smaller steps. I find that one night I may sit in front of the TV and relax, as I put stamps on all the cards. Then the next night, I use a self inking stamper to stamp them all with my return address. Break up the task into smaller steps and you will not feel so overwhelmed.
Hopefully these tips will help you the next time you are blessed enough to have someone to thank. Just remember not to put off the task of thank you notes, but if you do put it off…… it is never too late to say “Thank you”!

Article written by Christine Miserandino, © 2008

  • Kate Sousek

    Here’s another tip that works if you’re the honoree of a bridal shower or baby shower, the sort of thing where the guests expect to receive thank-you cards: Buy your thank-you cards in advance and ask guests to write their name and address on an envelope as they arrive at the party.

  • Great tips – thank you. Here’s some extra which help me in this situation:
    If you do an internet search on the phrase “printable thank you cards” lots of free options pop up. There are also ways to use card generating programs or programs like MS Word (Windows) or Pages (Mac) to create cards. I like printing cards because then they have a verse and picture that I really like – it’s so hard to find cards where I like the picture AND the sentiment inside! Printing your own is a lot cheaper than buying cards too, in most cases.
    If you’re using the create-your-own-card way, rather than just printing a downloaded card, you can add more words to go with the verse and then you just need to add a name and your signature. It’s less personal but for me it would be the difference between being able to do cards and no cards at all, so it’s worth it!
    Also, if I’m writing a thank you card for somebody who’s done something nice for me then they’re very probably going to be understanding about the lack of handwriting!