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Tag Archives: how to write

How to write a love note

April 29, 2013 | 5 Comments

Most of us are past the heart-doodling and dreamy-new-last-name-writing in our Trapper Keepers. But once you fall in love, or have been there for a while, there’s no reason to quit with the love notes. Here are a few thoughts on how to write a love note.How to write a love note

1. Choose the right card.
If you’ve only been dating for two weeks, it might be too soon to go super mushy. If you’ve been together for a long time, you can choose cards that express how much you’ve grown together, how thankful you are for the other, and it can even be cute to send cards you might’ve chosen way back when. (I mean, who doesn’t want to hear “I like you” after years of being together?)

2. Use their name or a nickname.
Maybe this seems like a “duh” statement, but leaving out the personal touch of their name means this card could’ve been written to anyone.

Thank you for the way you love me

3. Say why you love them.
“I love you because you walk the dog in the rain.” “I love you because you make the best hot chocolate.” “I think you’re cute.” This can be as simple as one sentence, or you can base your whole note around a list of reasons why you love them.

4. Say thanks.
What’s something they’ve done for you that really made you feel special? Does he work two jobs to take care of you and your family? Does she always lay out the right tie before your big meeting? Does he bring you Starbucks after a long day? Nothing wrong with a little thanks.

Love has caffeine

5. Dream about the future.
Maybe you can’t WAIT to get married in a month. Maybe you hope to be just like his cute parents someday. Maybe you just went out but you can’t wait to see her again. What’s something you look forward to as you grow together?

6. Sign it.
That name thing again. Own up to everything you just said!

Obviously there are lots of different types of love notes and there’s no one right way to do it. Maybe your note is just one sentence. Maybe your note is a novel. Maybe your note is a list. Maybe your note is a tease. Do what feels right for you and say what you need to say.

And do it often.

One card isn't enough to say everything


This concludes our how-to series for National Letter Writing Month. Time to get writing!

How to write a thank you note
What to write in a sympathy card
How to write a love note

What to write in a sympathy card

April 23, 2013 | 5 Comments

No one likes writing sympathy cards. It’s a sad time. And it’s hard to know what to say. You want the recipient to know you’re sorry and that you’re there for them, but it’s a fine line between a sweet note overstepping your bounds.

Before you write anything, it’s important to pick the right vessel for your message. Personally, anything that’s really flowery and says “sympathy” on the front makes me cringe. You don’t need a lot of words for this card. Let’s let the inside do the talking. Use something simple, or even a blank card with a nice image on the front will work.What to write in a sympathy card

What to write in a sympathy card:

– I’m so sorry.
– I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your grandmother.
– I know I don’t have all the right words to say, but I want you to know I’m here if you need me.
– You’re in my thoughts and prayers.
– I’m praying for you.
– I love you.
– We’re praying for peace and comfort for your family.
– May God comfort you with his peace and strength.
– My heart goes out to you.

If you have a fond memory of the person who has passed, it’s ok to include it. If it’s a funny memory, use your best judgment on whether or not it’s appropriate to include it in your note.

If you’re in a place to offer help and feel comfortable doing it, then you should. Offer to bring dinner, watch the kids, rake the leaves while they focus on their family. Be specific, though, on what you’re willing to do. Just saying “let me know if there’s anything I can do to help” can seem insincere.

rain notecard

What NOT to write:

– I know how you feel.
– He’s in a better place now.
– Feel better soon.
– It was just her time.
– Time heals all wounds.
– It’s part of God’s plan.

I asked a few friends for their thoughts on what they’d like to see in a sympathy card, whether they were the writer or the recipient…

“I think our gut reaction is to give hope. But I HATED IT when people said (well-intentioned) things like, “all things work together for the good of those who love God.” That’s true, but all I thought was … how about you not trivialize my emotion and my hurt? I think that hope is offensive in the very beginning, hope is important, but it comes AFTER comfort. In the beginning, if you offer hope to a hurting person, it seems to them like you aren’t really seeing their hurt. I’ve found “I’m sorry,” “I love you,” and “Can I help?” are NEVER EVER bad.”
— Kate Conner, kateelizabethconner.com

hope after comfort

“Best advice ever from one of our son’s NICU nurses in the middle of his diagnosis: take time to grieve. Even though he was alive, we had to grieve the loss of the “healthy baby” we thought we were getting.” — Kelli Hays, eatprayreadlove.com

“In death, saying kind things about the person who is gone is very nice to read in the card. Fond memories of the person, and “I’m sorry for your loss” were very meaningful to me. Nowadays, just the fact that people took the time to send a card, is a step above and beyond in my opinion (especially for our generation).” — Amy Hudson, creativekidsnacks.com

“Simple is key. Does anyone read those paragraphs on sympathy cards? When my father-in-law died this past year, my eye went straight to the personal note.”
— Rebecca Barth, She Shares Ministries

“After my brother’s accident we were getting cards and food and sweets and gifts and hugs and even toilet paper. But the only thing that really stuck out was a letter I received from one of the brothers in my hubs’ fraternity. ‘Life is too short, too unfair, and we don’t even get to know what will happen next. Sometimes we are handed great sorrow out of nowhere, for no reason. And life seems a bit dimmer – maybe a cloud is no longer beautiful, or a favorite song is ruined. Even delicious cupcakes might seem pointless. But the world goes on, stubbornly unaffected by its latest painful maneuvers. The sun still rises at the same time, and we are dragged along with it, whether we are willing to face the day or not… It is this randomness that gives us life. We wake up in the morning not knowing what the day will bring, and while some days bring us tragedy, other days bring us great accomplishments, joy, friendship, love- all of the things that make us beautiful, that make us human.” The letter goes on to encourage me to look ahead at the things I can celebrate.'”
— Aleks Slocum, aslocumstory.com

Do you have any go-to tips for writing sympathy cards? What would you like to hear if you had to receive one?


Did you know April is National Letter Writing Month? I’m doing a short series on Tuesdays for the rest of the month on how to write a few of the notes we’re most unsure how to write.

How to write a thank you note
What to write in a sympathy card
How to write a love note

How to write a thank you note

April 16, 2013 | 4 Comments

Did you know April is National Letter Writing Month? I’ll be doing a short series on Tuesdays for the rest of the month on how to write a few of the notes we’re most unsure how to write.

How to write a thank you note
What to write in a sympathy card
How to write a love note

How to write a thank you note

So let’s start with how to write a thank you note for a gift or something nice someone did for you.

1. Choose the right piece of stationery.
Do you like flowers? Do you like clean and simple? Guys, maybe something more masculine? Use a card that’s appropriate for you, the recipient, and the occasion. Something formal is out of place if you’re thanking a friend for watching your dog this weekend.

2. Address it to them.
Use their name inside your note. That way they know this was specially crafted for them.

3. Say thanks. (Duh.)
Thanks so much for your generous birthday gift! Thank you for dog-sitting Fido this weekend.
(Expert tip: If you’re writing a thank-you note for a monetary gift or a gift card, don’t say “thanks for the money.” Say “thanks for your generous gift.” You can clarify in the next part.)

You're sweet thank you card

4. Tell ‘em why you love it.
What are you going to do with the gift? Will it look great in the kitchen? Will you use it to decorate the kitchen? What are/were you able to accomplish because of their generosity? “These new sneakers actually MAKE me want to run in the mornings!” “We had a wonderful, relaxing vacation knowing Fido was in good hands.”

4. Look forward to time together.
Acknowledge that they are a part of your life. Say “let’s have dinner soon,” or “can’t wait to see you at grandma’s birthday party.” If it’s not likely you’ll see them anytime soon, maybe you can refer to the occasion of the gift. “I had a great birthday and even though we’re far apart, you were part of it!”

5. Thanks x2.
Say thanks again. (Literally, “Thanks again for your gift.”) It won’t hurt.

6. Sign it.
Love, all the best, always, whatever works best for you. And your name, of course.

Thank you card

7. The biggest, most important thing about writing a thank you note is …


People love receiving them. It doesn’t have to be a Shakespearean sonnet or the most beautiful thing you’ve ever written. Just a few lines to say thanks, that you thought enough of their generosity to take a few minutes of your day to write a handwritten note. Just do it.

Don’t forget to check back next week for how to write a sympathy card.

What to write in a Christmas card besides your name

December 6, 2012 | 4 Comments

What to write in a Christmas card besides your name

We’ve all been there. You’ve already picked out the perfect Christmas cards to send this year. They say exactly what you want them to say. What can you possibly add besides your name that will a) add value and b) not take up too much of your time? Here are a few suggestions…

1. Tie in a holiday memory

Maybe you moved into a new house and got to decorate it for the first time. “We’ve had so much fun decorating our new place for Christmas. Wish you were here to share it!” Maybe this is the first year your kiddo was big enough to help with the cookies. “It’s been amazing to watch Tommy grow. This year he even helped with the cookies, and even though the kitchen looked like the North Pole when we were done, we both had a blast. Hope your Christmas is sweet!” Maybe that Christmas ornament Aunt Sally gave you 20 years ago always makes you think of her when you pull it out. “I put the ornament you gave us all those years ago on the tree last night. It always makes me think of you.” All of these things are great to write into your card and make its recipient feel like they get to be a part of your celebration, even if they can’t be nearby for the holiday.

Gift Tree Christmas Card by Red Letter Paper Co

2. Say thank you

You definitely want to say thank you if they’ve sent a gift. But what I really mean is thank them for being part of your life. Say thanks for their influence. Say thanks for their prayers this year. Say thanks for staying in touch. Say thanks for sending a Christmas card when everything revolves around the Internet. Say thanks for always making you laugh. You get the picture.

Comfort and Joy Christmas Card by Red Letter Paper Co

3. Hope and wish

Send them good tidings for Christmas and the new year: Wishing we could be together at Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season. Wishing you a blessed year ahead. Hope we can be together again soon.

If you never know what to put in your Christmas cards, I hope these ideas will help you write heartfelt messages this year. If you’re a pro, what are some things you usually write inside your cards?

We sent out a fourth idea to our newsletter subscribers on what to write inside your Christmas cards. If you’d like exclusive info like this (and a discount just for signing up!), CLICK HERE!

And if you’re worried about your Christmas card recipients being able to read your note, check out these five ways to quickly improve your handwriting.