I am a big believer in thank you notes. (My sister would joke that their importance is discussed in the Book of Jules, and she would be right if such a book existed) Thank yous do not have to be fancy or long and flowery. Simply thank the person who gave you the gift, and do so sincerely. That is all that matters.
Perhaps most importantly, send a personalized note. Do not use a generic message, or use a card that has been printed off the computer 50 times with the exact same sentiment. It's pretty simple when you think about it : mention the gift and the giver, actually say "Thank you" and explain how you'll use the gift. Also, try not to repeat yourself. No need to say thank you in each paragraph and sign off "Thanks again" They get the point :)
A sample of how I structure my notes is below. It's not particularly original, but it fits all my criteria above. I find that when I keep it simple, it's much more likely to get done! The thought of writing 25 unique thank you notes would send Emily Post herself for the rum bottle. Knowing you have a template you can follow while you knock these babies out makes it seem attainable, and keeps the rum bottle full(er). No one is literally going to 'compare notes.' If it follows the same structure, a note can easily be personalized with a sentence or two.
Thank You TrifectaI - Appreciate the people (if possible, before you appreciate the item)
II- Highlight a personal detail. This is not a photocopied note, even though I use the same format!
III- Thank them, and specify how you will use the gift
Dear Bill and Linda,
(I) Our wedding made us realize not just how lucky we are to have each other, but also how fortunate we are to have such loving family and friends. We are so glad that you were able to come to our wedding and be a part of our special day. (II) It makes us laugh to see you dancing up a storm (Linda wearing heels, of course!) in our wedding photos.
(III) Thank you so much for the Kitchen Aid Mixer. You know how much we love to cook and bake, so it will definitely be used frequently.
Love, Michael & Jules
Here's another example if that's not your style... or if you want to mix and match!
Dear Bill and Linda,
(III) What a beautiful vase! Right now it's doing a great job showing off a bouquet of daisies. You know that Michael and I always keep fresh flowers in our kitchen, so it will be used regularly.
(II) We were both sorry that you couldn't come to the wedding, but I know your Mediterranean Cruise was fantastic. We plan on being in Chicago this Christmas and would love to see you and hear about your travels.
(I) Again, thank you for the vase and lovely note you sent.
Love from both of us,