The Immeasurable Gift of a Simple Thank-You Letter

As we get into the swing of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, people rack their brains, scour the web, and sometimes agonize over what gifts to buy for their family, friends, colleagues, and business associates. Although I’d wager you’ll not completely eliminate certain aspects of this pre-holiday preparation, I can suggest a new tradition that may make it easier for you to “buy” for at least three people on your list.pen and paper 2

How many descriptively, meaningful hand-written thank you notes have you received? Most people’s answers range from never to less than a handful. This year I hope to change that by suggesting a tradition I started in 2011 while on a Thanksgiving road trip.

That year I thought how memorable it would be if I started mailing handwritten thank-you notes to a few people who had the greatest impact on my life that year. These friends, family, associates, authors, or public figures could have performed a service, shifted a paradigm in my thinking, changed my life path, showed a kindness, or did something worthy of thoughtful recognition.

During a time when electronics rule, cursive is akin to hieroglyphics, and the depth of relationships is being sacrificed to accommodate width, the arrival of a handwritten thank-you note that describes the impact you had on someone’s life is guaranteed to be one of the greatest gifts anyone can receive. Why not start this tradition and make someone feel appreciated?

If this concept sounds intriguing, I would suggest this perfect gift is no further than the pen and paper sitting in your desk drawer. Spend some time reviewing the conversations and interactions you’ve had this past year and select 2-3 people that are worthy of a shout out of praise. Get into the details as you write those letters. Surprisingly, you may find that as you think of those people of influence, the gift you receive in return is one of gratitude.

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and consultant with an extensive background in leadership and business development. She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help organizations engage all their employees. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at

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