Focus on the other person. First, find their address, and write it out yourself on the envelope. Where are they living? What did they go through to give you this gift? When is the last time you did something like that for them?
Think beyond material gifts. What about the person who serves you coffee every day? What about the doctor who saved your life, the Good Samaritan who found your wallet, the teacher who takes an interest in your child, the special friend who listens to you, the person who loves you.
Mention the gift itself, hopefully in a positive tone, so they know you got it, and are not confusing them with someone else.
Write a sentence or two explaining how the gift is changing or simply improving your life.
If the gift isn't right for you, don't ask where the gift was purchased so you can exchange it. You can get value out of any gift, if only by donating to charity.
Think of ways you failed to thank the person in the past and remind the recipient how important a friend they are.
Don't make jokes unless you know the recipient has a good sense of humor, and you are sure they will get the joke in the way that it was intended.
Keep the thank you short and simple on a 3" x 5" note card, minus fancy frills. That way, there's no room for anything except your gratitude. Replace thank-you e-mails with handwritten notes. With a handwritten note, a piece of you will be in the same room with the person to whom you write.
Write a first draft, perhaps in a spreadsheet. Not only will you benefit from the second draft, but you will always have a list of the most generous people in your life, and the reasons why you should be thankful for them... In any language ~
Thank you in Afrikaans (South Africa)
Thank you in Arabic (Middle East)
Thank you in Cantonese (Southeast Asia – Hong Kong)
Do je (daw-dyeh)
Thank you in Croatian (Europe – Croatia)
Thank you in Czech (Central Europe)
Thank you in Danish (Europe – Denmark)
Thank you in Estonian (Estonia - Europe)
Thank you in Fijian (Pacific Islands)
Thank you in Filipino (East Asia – The Philippines)
Thank you in Finnish (Europe – Finland)
Thank you in French (Europe-France, Africa, North America, Canada)
Thank you in German (Europe – Germany)
Thank you in Greek (Europe - Greece)
Thank you in Hawaiian (Pacific Islands – Hawaii)
Thank you in Hebrew (Western Asia – Israel)
Thank you in Hindi (Southern Asia, India)
Thank you in Indonesian (East Asia – Indonesia)
Terima Kasih (t’ree-ma kas-seh)
Thank you in Italian (Europe – Italy)
Thank you in Japanese (East Asia – Japan)
Thank you in Korean (East Asia - Korea)
Kamsa hamnida (kam-sa-ham-nee-da)
Thank you in Latin (Ancient Europe)
Thank you in Lithuanian (Central Europe – Lithuania)
Thank you in Mandarin (China and Taiwan)
Xie xie (syeh-syeh)
Thank you in Norwegian (Europe – Norway)
Thank you in Paraguay (South America)
Thank you in Polish (Central Europe – Poland)
Thank you in Portuguese
Thank You in Serbian
Thank you in Romanian (Asia – Russia)
Thank you in Spanish
Thank you in Swahili (Africa)
Thank you in Swedish (Europe – Sweden)
Thank you in Thai (Southeast Asia – Thailand)
Khop Khun Krab (kowp-koom krahp-khak)
Thank you in Vietnamese (Southeast Asia – Vietnam)
Ca’m on (Kam ooen)
Thank you in Wolof (West Africa – Senegal, Gambia)
Thank you in Welsh (Europe – British Isles)
Thank you in Yiddish (Europe, North America, New York)
A (shaynem) dank.
Thank you in Zimbabwean (Africa – Zimbab we)
Maita Henyu (Mah-ee’tah Heh’-nyoo)