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Drafting Graduation Thank-You Messages

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 6/8/2011

Learning what to say on graduation thank-you cards takes a bit of finesse. Many generous friends and family members have stepped forward and offered material gifts, money and words of wisdom. Acknowledging them individually in graduation thank-yous is a must.

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    The Art Behind the Graduation Thank-You

    Wondering what to write in graduation thank-you cards when you receive money or gifts? Friends, family members and even casual acquaintances memorialize a graduation with thoughtful tokens and cookie-cutter approaches to thanking them are inappropriate. Unlike other events when gifts may be an afterthought, a graduation inspires gift givers to think long and hard about the graduate’s needs, wants and the best items that will prepare him for the next steps in his life -- especially in cases of high school or college graduations. Learning what to say on thank-you cards in the aftermath of a graduation is easy.

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    Examples of Graduation Thank-Yous

    Ideas for crafting graduation thank-you cards should steer you away from the pre-inscribed cards that are for sale at the grocery store. Instead, head for the note paper section or opt for blank cards with attractive cover designs. Next, personalize the message of the cards in keeping with the gift received.

    Money Gifts

    “Thank you so much for your generous gift! The $___ is sure to come in handy. I intend to use it for ______ (travel, college tuition, household odds and ends…). It means a lot to me that you encouraged me over the years and the financial support at graduation was a wonderful surprise!"

    Books

    “Thank you so much for sharing words of wisdom with me. Over the years, you have had a profound impact on my life and I am eager to read what ____ wrote. Since you value his writings so much, I know that I am sure to appreciate them as well.”

    Gifts You May Not Have Liked

    “Thank you for remembering me on my graduation day! It means a lot to me that you not only wished me well on that special day but also sent __________ to encourage me. You are very thoughtful and I am very grateful.”

    A Personal Visit

    In times that money is tight, some friends or family members may not be able to offer monetary gifts or any presents at all. They may spend available funds just to travel to your graduation ceremony or offer you a homemade coupon for something they can provide. Writing cards in appreciation of graduation gifts such as these is a must!

    “Thank you for not only sending a card but coming in person to encourage me! It meant so much to me to see you on my special day. Thank you also for the coupon to _____. I will make good use of it sooner than you think! This was one of the most personal and thoughtful gifts I have received, and I am deeply grateful to you for it.”

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    What to Say When In a Hurry?

    The free graduation thank-you cards ideas noted above take a bit of time to draft and put on paper. If you are facing a whirlwind of parties, family gatherings and subsequent moving to your new school or for a job, it makes sense that time is sparse.

    In times such as these it is acceptable to streamline the thank-you process a bit. For example, if you have a Judeo-Christian faith, you may consider imprinting thank you cards with Old Testament Bible verses. Opting for already inscribed, pre-printed cards is another timesaving method of nevertheless expressing your gratitude for thoughtful friends and family members.

    Source: Author's personal experience