Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to start thinking of everything and everyone you’ve been grateful for this year. You’ve no doubt met and gotten to know a wide variety of people who’ve had an impact on your life. Well, this is the time of year to let people know just how much they mean to you. If you’re looking for a fun and interesting way to say thanks (aside from the standard phone call or text message), try sending out “fan mail.”
Normally reserved for celebrities, fan mail is the perfect way to tell someone how special he or she is this year. Here are a few tips for showing your admiration through a letter:
Make a list
You don’t want to forget any important people when writing your fan letters, so create a list. This lineup can include anyone you want, from friends and family to members of the community you feel deserve some recognition. If you have a lot of people you want to thank, then set a goal to write one or two letters a day until Thanksgiving. You’ll methodically work through your messages without feeling overwhelmed or getting a hand cramp.
Put some thought into your fan letters. Reflect on the past year, and consider whether there was a moment when the person you’re writing to made your day or did you a big favor. Bringing this up in your message will show your appreciation and let that person know you haven’t forgotten his or her generosity. People like to know they’re making a difference, and you have the ability to at least let them know they’ve had an impact on you.
Choose your materials
Make your message more meaningful by putting some effort into the materials you use. For instance, you could go with neat thank you cards or give the paper more character with personalized stationery. These options are better than regular paper because they’ll show that you put some thought and effort into collecting beautiful cards.
You should also think about the writing utensil you want to use. Pencil can smudge, as can pens with heavy ink flow. Invest in a good writing instrument for this task so you don’t have to worry about the letters looking blotchy or messy. No matter what pen you end up using, you should also allow your message to sit without touching it for at least 15 minutes. This will ensure the ink is dry so you don’t accidentally smear any of the letters when handling the stationery.
Take your time on each card you write. Messy or illegible handwriting will seem rushed and poorly thought out. A note probably won’t take more than 10 minutes to write, so be patient and sit down at a desk where there are no distractions. This way, you can get through the task quickly and efficiently while really focusing on your script and your message.
Avoid asking for favors
The point of your letter is to thank a person for something he or she has done in the last year, not to ask for a favor. This might be easy to avoid when writing to friends and family, but if you’re sending a message to a member of the community you admire, you may be tempted to ask for something in return. Don’t fall into this trap because it will make your letter seem insincere.
However, you can note your contact information at the end of your letter in case that person would like to thank you for your message. This could eventually lead to more discussions, but you should leave that up to your recipient and not expect anything in return.
Keep it short
Expressing your gratitude for a person does not need to take up several pages of stationery. People are busy, especially during the holiday season, so keep your note short, sweet and to the point. If someone responds to your letter, you can reply with a longer correspondence, but for your fan mail, keep it inside one card or piece of stationery.