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How to Write the Perfect Thanksgiving Message to Colleagues

Updated on August 12, 2022Professionals

Sure, Thanksgiving is about feasting, but let’s not forget its other main theme: gratitude.

This is the perfect time to show your appreciation for the awesome people in your life—especially those patient folks you spend your days working alongside!

Consider taking a few minutes this holiday season to write your favorite coworkers a Thanksgiving message letting them know how much you appreciate them.

1 Know your audience

How do you and your coworkers usually communicate? Do you chat it up on Slack? Text on the reg? Email like it’s 1999?

If GIF-offs with your office BFF are the norm, writing a ten-page essay extolling his or her excellence might seem a little odd. Sending a fun note with a GIF or meme via your normal communication channel will be the better plan.

On the other hand, if a relationship with a colleague is more formal, a thoughtful email or handwritten note may be well received.

2 Make it personal

The perfect Thanksgiving message will highlight something specific you appreciate about your colleague. We all struggle with imposter syndrome, so it can mean a lot to someone to know they really are seen and valued!

Let them know how their sunny (or sour!) disposition helps you get through the day, how their fashion style is an inspiration, or how their copywriting skills are wondrous to behold.

Thank them for ruthlessly keeping meetings as short as possible, for having your back in office politics, or for their amazing work on the last team project.

3 Short and sweet: How to write a quick Thanksgiving note

Want to send a quick thank you note to your colleague? Make it funny, sweet, or encouraging (whatever the recipient will enjoy the most) and send via the usual channel (email, Slack, text, Facebook, etc.).

BONUS: Include a GIF or meme they’ll find entertaining, or a photo of a fun office memory together.

Here are some examples of quick Thanksgiving notes:

Linda, thanks for always having my back, telling it like it is, and sharing your secret stash of snacks with me. Office mates forever!

Is it too much to say “you keep me sane”? Thanks for being an incredible colleague and human being!

Thanks for always shaking things up. Here’s to another year of office shenanigans!

It’s safe to say we’ve been through a lot together. : ) Thanks for always knowing how to put things into perspective (and for having way more chill than me). I’m so thankful to have you on my team!

It’s been a crazy year, but you’ve risen to the challenge with aplomb! We could not have pulled off the product rebrand without your expertise—I feel truly lucky to work with you. Thanks again for going above and beyond!

4 Formal and heartfelt: How to write a Thanksgiving message

A more formal message may be appropriate for a superior, a subordinate, or someone who seriously came through for you. You can email this type of message or preferably handwrite it in a card.

Here are some examples of how to structure a thank you message:

Dear [Name],

This year has been a wild ride, and I want to let you know just how much I appreciate your work on [project or tasks]. You’ve done an incredible job, and your support has been a huge part of our success. I’m so thankful to have you as a teammate and look forward to working with you in the new year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

[Your Name]

Dear [Name],

Since Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to say “thank you,” I want to let you know how much your guidance and support has meant to me this year. I truly appreciate how you’ve taken the time to invest in me, and how your encouragement has helped me grow into my new role. Thank you for being an amazing mentor.

Happy Thanksgiving!

[Your Name]

Other fun ways to thank your colleagues

  • Bring goodies: Show your appreciation by bringing in treats your crew will love (donuts, cupcakes, fruit kebabs, bacon).
  • Make a thank you wall: Decorate a whiteboard or wall in your office and invite your coworkers to post their Thanksgiving messages using sticky notes.
  • Treat them: If a coworker really came through for you this year, take them out to lunch (or coffee, or drinks, or ice cream!).

Out-of-office message: Thank everyone, colleagues and clients alike, by setting up a fun Thanksgiving-themed auto-responder.

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