What To Write When Giving a Gift? (What About If It Is Money?)

We spend so long looking for the perfect gift that we sometimes forget to think about what to say or what to write to the gift receiver.

Of course, the right thing to say will depend on the person and your relationship to them.

Are they your:

  • Friend?
  • Your boss?
  • A family member?
  • A colleague? 
  • A teacher?

When giving a gift, write something that is personal to you, with the proper greeting, and an appropriate sign-off. 

Here are a few helpful tips for writing the perfect gift message, for general gifts and money! 

How do you write a gift note?

It’s sometimes tough to get inspiration on how to ‘sell’ a birthday gift to the people you care about.

Gifts aren’t everyday things – and the messages you write are just as important as what you’re wrapping up. Keep reading this article to learn all about it.

Reference the occasion 

The first step to writing a good gift message is to relay the reason for the gift giving, i.e…

  • to recognize whether it is a sympathy card
  • a holiday card
  • a happy anniversary card
  • or just a token of your love and appreciation for loved ones

It could also be more formal, for example, a gift card to a colleague, boss, or staff member, thanking them for their help or congratulating them on a life event.

You do not have to be too imaginative about this bit, a simple “Happy Birthday”, or “Congratulations ” will suffice.

It is a nice way of referencing the occasion for the person receiving the gift to keep and treasure, or to deal with accordingly.

It can be the important first or last line of your missive, and gives a reason for the gift giving as well as marks the occasion. 

Greet them accordingly 

How you start the greeting and finish it off is essential to writing a good gift message. For example, if you are addressing your boss you should not start with “Dearest”, or “To my”, as these are far too personal for a formal gift.

In the same way, you may not choose to address family members or close friends with just “Sir” or “Madam”. This will obviously come off as cold and will not suit a close friendship. 

You should greet the gift receiver much in the same manner that you greet each other regularly. For example, for close friends and family, using nicknames is a nice personal touch to add to a gift note. 

However, anything professional should remain professional, so be careful not to call your boss by their office nickname! 

greet someone while giving gift

Reference the gift 

Referencing the item in the gift message is a nice nod to the gift itself, and can be a sort of clue for the gift receiver.

You could mention why you bought it for them, why it may make you think of them, where you found it, etc. 

Of course, when referencing the gift it is important to not give too much away by revealing what is inside, as that will automatically ruin the surprise! 

You shall also refrain from referencing the price as mentioning how much a gift costs is in poor taste in any setting. 

However, referencing the gift inside based on its origin or your idea will help the gift receiver to associate the gift to a particular memory, thus making the gift that much more impactful.   

Make it personal  

Finally, whether you are writing to your boss or your closest friend, you should make the gift card personal. 

A professional gift that is made more personal will help you to stick out among co-workers, and will show your colleague, staff member or boss exactly what you think of them, and how you appreciate them. 

For a loved one, it too will show them how meaningful your relationship with them is to you, and how you value them. 

In both cases, it will make the gift receiver feel that more special, and will set you apart from the others. 

In order to make it personal, you could reference a particular memory with regard to the present, use an expression that the two of you know, or simply sign it in a way that only you would.

For example, “From your favourite sister / co-worker / employee / etc.”. 

Find out more about why personalized gifts are the best.

What to write when giving money as a gift card? 

Gift cards are likely to be perfect for someone in a formal or informal setting, however, forgetting to write a message, or writing the wrong thing can make a perfectly good gift seem impersonal. 

If you have bought a gift card for someone, then the chances are that you have bought one specific to them, i.e. it could be for their favorite shop, for their favorite online entertainment, or something more general such as Amazon.

Either way, you will have hopefully done it with something more specific for your gift receiver in mind, while wanting to give them the freedom to choose what exactly they wish to spend the money on with a gift card.

In that case, the best thing for you to do is to reference the reason that you thought that gift card would be the best option for them.

Perhaps they once spoke to you about their favorite shop, or a wish list that they have on their favorite site, or something that they have always wanted to try.

Either way, you should reference this in a message, showing them that their present has been thought through and the gift card bought for them with their best wishes at heart.

For example, you could write on the gift card box, “In the hopes that you check a few things off of your wish list with this”, or “For your future shopping spree at (store’s name)”, etc.

Ever thought about whether you can buy a gift card using a personal check? Find out now!


So, whether you are writing to a loved one or a professional acquaintance, you will hopefully feel more relaxed now about how to address them and your present properly.

The main thing to remember is to not worry about it, you are giving them a present, and the best thing that gift givers can do is to help make the occasion as special for them as possible by remaining true to your relationship, the event, and yourself. 

Whether it’s cash or other gift ideas, for the holiday season, occasions between partners or a sharing of presents in formal situations, the way you write to your gift recipient really does mean a lot.

Learn amazing ways to give money as a gift…

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