Hvala, Danke, Merci, Köszi, Grazie, Spasibo, Mahalo, Gracias, Thank you.

*Bosnian, French, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Hawaiian, Spanish, English. "'Thank you' in many languages"

I'm trying very hard to get my thank you notes before the holiday. I was going to buy card stock and stamp them, but my suggestion for a 28 hour day hasn't been approved yet, so I bought some simple blank thank you cards and have begun to address them. I have around 50 gift thank you's and maybe 20 "thanks for coming" thank you's. I needed some inspiration on what to write without sounding impersonal or cheesy and I found a great essay/advice column on Thank you etiquette. Here is a summary, for your viewing pleasure. This article was originally published at The Morning News.

"...I will also grudgingly tell you the hidden secret of thank-you notes: They improve the frequency and quality of the gifts you receive. People like being appreciated, and if they feel you actually notice the nice things they do for you, they’re more likely to give an encore performance.

1. Greet the Giver
Let them hear their ow name and see it in ink. No typing or pre-printed.

2. Express Your Gratitude
Avoid the "just writing" trap. You are not ‘just writing to say’ as in I am just writing to say; that's stating the obvious. Write as if whatever you say is happening in the moment.

Never directly mention money. All cash denominations become ‘your generosity’ or ‘your kindness.’ If you feel the giver overspent, the farthest you can go is appreciated: ‘Your generosity is appreciated,’ or ‘It is such an extravagant gift—your kindness is appreciated.’

If you’re writing to thank someone for an intangible (such as them putting you up at their place while you were in town for the weekend), first define what the intangible thing is, and then make the gift sound as attractive as possible. Don’t say: ‘Thanks for letting us crash at your place.’ Instead say: ‘Thank you for your hospitality.’ The point of writing the note is to create a simple expression of a heartfelt sentiment.

3. Discuss Use
Say something nice, but don't lie, find something positive.

4. Mention the Past, Allude to the Future
Fit the giver into your life.

5. Grace
Say thanks again.

6. Regards
Wrap it up.

A thank you is for thanking the giver. It isn't a life achievement newsletter.

Don't forget to mail it.

-Leslie Harpold, 1 October 2003

I think there is incredibly sound advice here. I was clueless what to write in each, but I actually feel a bit better now.