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Your Opinion: The “Controversy” of Birthday Party Thank-you Cards

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My daughter Hadley turned five last week. Since her birthday fell on Memorial Day this year, we had two parties: one a week early for friends and a family BBQ on the holiday.

Because I didn’t have anything better to do than plan two birthday parties.

Hadley has been asking for a dog for three years. And for three years, we have been telling her, “Not until everyone is potty trained.” One of the only good things about our son 2-year-old son Bode’s aversion to the toilet is we do not need to cash in on getting a dog. Yet.

My husband Jamie’s sister approached us about another option: she wanted to buy Hadley a fish tank and some goldfish for her birthday and we agreed. She was beyond ecstatic and named them “Tad, Rad and Cad.”

Not to be mistaken with the names of her first three boyfriends.

Even funnier was when my sweet, quiet dad suggested the names “Joe, Moe and Hoe.”

Hadley received some really great presents from family and friends and each was welcomed with excitement and gratitude. But I was not prepared for the backlash I received on Facebook last week when I flippantly posted the following status update:

Do I REALLY need to send “thank you” cards to all of Haddie’s peeps from her birthday? It’s not that I’m ungrateful. I’m just lazy.

Now, that is only partially true. I was lazy but I also very busy. In years past, I have sent thank yous out of obligation. But this year, many of the kids we invited to the party are school chums and I don’t have their last names, let alone their addresses. I really had no way of contacting them because school was out for the summer. Plus, the majority of birthday presents we give are not acknowledged with a thank-you card, nor am I put out if I do not receive one.

Many of my friends commiserated with me and a few burned me at the stake. Here are a few of the responses I received:

“Everyone I know sends a thank-you card for the birthday gifts their kids receive at their party.”

“We always write down what people give my kids, but we never seem to get farther than that…Maybe next year.”

“I don’t think birthdays warrant thank-you cards, I took your kid off your hands for 2 full hours, fed him, entertained him and sent him home happy and full of sugar. Really I feel like you should be thanking me….”

I laughed at the latter comment because I just returned home from a friend’s huge pool party and BBQ for the entire neighborhood in honor of her child’s birthday. Afterward, I felt like I should be the one sending her a thank-you card.

I don’t know about you but I never sent out birthday thank-you cards out when I was a kid. Social etiquette dictated that I do so for my wedding gifts and baby showers and these days, I do it if someone has gone above and beyond to help me with something. My thank yous are always sincere and unexpected.

But should I be sending them more regularly? I have friends who are like clockwork. If I do anything for them, I can always count on a thank-you note. A nice gesture? Sure. But I have to admit I sometimes roll my eyes because I feel like it is done out of obligation, not sincerity.

And so I am curious to hear your take on the whole thing. Do you send out thank-you cards after birthday parties? Do you expect to receive them? What camp do you fall in? I hereby promise to implement whatever the majority rules!

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Comments
  • comment avatar Brillig June 1, 2009

    I fall in the “are you kidding me?” camp. I never expect thank you cards when my kids take presents to a party. Thank you cards, to me, are for weddings or those times that someone really goes out of their way for you, like when someone brings you dinner if you’re sick or whatever. Call me lazy, old-fashioned, or just socially inept, but I see no reason for routine thank-you cards. It takes the specialness out of receiving a heartfelt thanks, IMHO.

    http://www.twas-brillig.com/

  • comment avatar JoAnn, The Casual Perfectionist http://thecasualperfectionist.com June 1, 2009

    Well, since you asked…

    I *always* send a Thank You for a gift. And, it’s a “real” Thank You, not an email one. It’s just how I was raised, and I would feel odd not sending it. Obligation to a “rule” that is slowly dieing? Perhaps…but it’s a part of who I am. And, my Thank You Notes are always sincere, thankyouverymuch. ;)

    As soon as I (or my daughter or husband) receives a gift, I put a Do Thank You Notes item in my To Do List.

    That being said, I make it relatively easy on myself. For Claire’s birthday parties, I usually take at least one group photo of the kids and then use that in a Thank You Photo Card. If I have time, I write a personal note on a sticky note on the back of it. It’s a neat memento of the party and fulfills my need to send a Thank You.

    For the Christmas Holiday, I take a photo of her and use that as the Thank You Photo Card.

    One year, when Claire was just learning how to color, I got out a box of my cheapie Thank You Cards that I keep on hand, and she made a personalized picture (scribble) for her relatives on each one. I wrote a short note inside, and we were done.

    To be honest, I’m the kind of person who is irked by not receiving a Thank You Card, but the situations vary. For example, I NEVER get Thank Yous from my nephews for presents. EVER. I don’t get to see them open the gifts, so a little something would be nice. (Plus, my sister – their mom – was raised in the same house I was! Slacker. Heh.)

    IF we’re AT the party, and the child thanks us in person, my feelings aren’t so hurt if I don’t receive a Thank You. But, come to think of it, that rarely happens. Almost all my friends are in the Thank You Card Boat.

    On the other hand, I don’t give gifts to get a Thank You. But, getting a Thank You makes me feel warm and fuzzy, too.

    Great topic, Amber! I can’t wait to see the other comments! :)

  • comment avatar Amber June 1, 2009

    You see, this is why I’m glad I wrote about this. I had NO IDEA some people felt so strongly about it. Keep the comments coming!

  • comment avatar Amateur Steph June 1, 2009

    I appreciate a spoken thank you. Cards are okay, and I try to send them to people who send gifts that they don’t get to see opened, but sometimes I write the card and it sits on my table until it is way past due and I feel awful. I’m going to mostly stick with calling people to tell them thank you.

    Besides, I like to pretend I’m avoiding cards for altruistic reasons. Like I’m saving the earth or something.

  • comment avatar alex June 1, 2009

    I’d like to say that my aversion to thank you cards has always been the “green” in me, but it was not how i was raised. We did it for 1st Communion or Confirmation and the weddings, showers, etc….
    Maybe it was just at the events “God was watching” that my mom went militant with the thank you cards.

    My husband is very good about sending thank you cards and it is natural to him…so I have a feeling that I will have to carry on that tradition with my kids.

    Long story short-I say:
    if you said thank you in person and you don’t have their address, really, what can you do?

  • comment avatar Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts June 1, 2009

    I have never sent out thanks you’s for birthday gifts. I’m not sure if I was right or not in not doing so but that’s how I roll.

    I so miss being a kid and getting birthday gifts. Being an old biddy is sure not as much fun when it comes to birthdays I tell ya.

    http://www.thedivasthoughts.com

  • comment avatar Tea and Bonbons June 1, 2009

    I think if you have time to plan and execute a birthday party, you certainly have time to write a few thank-you notes. And it doesn’t have to be complicated — there are even fill in the blank ones. It’s a great way to teach kids gratefulness and respect. We had one huge party last summer and I knew I wouldn’t remember all the kids’ names and I didn’t have all their addresses, so when the parents dropped off their kids, I had them write their addresses on the envelopes.

    I stopped expecting thank-yous because we rarely get them, but it still irks me. Half the time, my kid barely knows the birthday kid, and I feel like they were invited more as a provider of presents than as a friend. When a party has the appearance of a present-grab, it really turns me off. When we do get a thank-you, I tend to think that is a friend worth having.

    To me, it’s a matter of common courtesy and teaches the birthday child good social habits and a little bit about gratitude.

  • comment avatar Lori in Denver June 1, 2009

    Brillig expressed my thoughts on the matter.

    I guess I’m in the social klutz camp, but the TYs for a kids party feel obligatory.

    I don’t do obligatory well.

    I CAN see the value of teaching a child to send TYs, though. But I haven’t done it. ‘Cause I’m a social klutz.

  • comment avatar Laura Moffitt June 1, 2009

    Honestly I rarely send out thank you cards. I am honestly a bit uncomfortable when people send me thank you cards for random things because then I feel like “Do I need to thank them for the thank you card? Or at least bring it up?” I never feel left out; it’s a waste of paper that I am just going to throw away.

  • comment avatar Holly June 1, 2009

    I don’t know. I’m in the camp of, do whatever you feel like and everyone else can kiss your butt. Ummm, thank you cards are cool, but then again, when you get them for anything and everything, they become, a little less sincere. I never received thank you cards when I was younger, but yeah, it does feel a little more common and even urged now. I’m with the others that said, keep it simple, fill in the blank, or blame it on the ‘green’, no address, no biggie. If I don’t get a thank you card, my feelings are not hurt, even slightly, and the ones that I do get are read and then thrown away.

    http://whatwasisayingagain1018.blogspot.com/

  • comment avatar DSmith June 1, 2009

    Alright, maybe it’s a southern thing….or maybe it’s the fact that I had to schlep through Walmart on a Sunday afternoon with 25,000 other people who waited until Sunday afternoon to hit their local Walmart, to then sort through a bunch of crap trying to find the “perfect gift” for one of my child’s “acquaintances” to then go home and wrap the gift, get my kiddo to write the card, to then schlep him to the B-day party that is usually at one of those Bouncy House deals that couldn’t be further from my house, to only realize that I forgot the damn gift and have to apologize profusely and then trek home and get the gift and bring it back before the “said birthday child” opens gifts-HELL YES, I WANT A THANK YOU NOTE! But hey, maybe that’s just my Southern charm coming through.

  • comment avatar lisa June 1, 2009

    I don’t see thank you cards as obligatory and certainly not insincere, but rather an acknowledgment of appreciation. I send thank you notes, and I intend to include my children in it more as they are old enough to understand.
    So far, my daughter has always received ty notes from the party’s she has attended. I suppose it would depend on the circumstances as to how I would feel if we didn’t. It irritates me that I don’t always receive them from my nieces and nephews. As someone said above, I mail gifts, so I don’t even feel certain that they were received sometimes. But if we attend a party, watch the gift be opened (actually, none of our friends open the gifts at the party), have a sense it is appreciated-I might be ok, without the follow up.
    As I think of it, a lot of our friends are moving away from presents altogether, which I think is a good thing.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson June 1, 2009

    Some of you bring up a good point re: the green factor. If we’re looking to express our appreciation, why is a phone call or an email not viewed as acceptable vs. writing a card people just throw away? Do we need to change the paradigm of how we express our thanks?

  • comment avatar Lisa June 1, 2009

    I just had a birthday party for my youngest. My husband asked if I was writing everything down. Nope. None of the kids give each other thank-yous. None. She said thank you to everyone at the party. I don’t expect them from the kids whose party she attends, either.

    However, every single relative who sends a gift does get a thank you for every occassion. No arguments…just do it. And those I expect in return as well.

  • comment avatar JoAnn, The Casual Perfectionist http://thecasualperfectionist.com June 1, 2009

    Ha! Nice, try…Amber! ;) Just kidding. I would say that a card sent as a Thank You not only shows appreciation (which is never a bad thing), it helps the economy (stamp buying – postal service jobs). It’s no more non-green than the gift-wrap, decorations, etc.

    Actually, I’m surprised that so many people are against a simple Thank You note.

    I gotta go. There are some kids on my lawn. Where’s my cane?

  • comment avatar Tea and Bonbons June 1, 2009

    Lisa above just reminded me how lately I have noticed a trend of presents not even being opened at the party! What is up with that?! You invite kids you hardly know for the express purpose of bringing a present (and don’t try to bs me — they’re five, not 45, and parties are all about presents, not “celebrating with me”), and then you don’t even open the presents in front of your guests?!?! That, on top of no thank-you note, is just incredibly rude, selfish and ungrateful. It’s getting so bad that my kids are now starting to attend only parties of kids they are truly friends with.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson June 1, 2009

    Thanks for your feedback, everyone. I really appreciate everyone’s perspective.

    Honestly, I just think people are waaaaay too sensitive! For many of the parties my kids go to, the parents drop hundreds of dollars to throw it and provide a fun experience for everyone.

    For the party I attended on Saturday, they did not open gifts. I thought nothing of it. The entertainment, games and food lasted the duration of the allocated time. I don’t know if opening gifts had originally been in the plan but by the end, we were just ready to leave. I had no idea this would even fall under the “not socially acceptable” category. That’s why I’m glad I opened up this discussion!

  • comment avatar Kassie Bunting June 1, 2009

    When my daughter had a bday party that included her friends from preschool, I made her write the thank you notes. And when she gets a gift from her grandparents who live on the other side of the country, she calls them and thanks them. Sometimes I’ll make her write them a thank you. And if we receive a gift for no particular reason, I send a thank you. I did it for the wedding & bridal showers & baby showers. I am not offended in the slightest if I don’t get one. It would be hypocritical if I did… since I hardly ever send them. Isn’t that what the goody bag is for at the end of the party? Thanks for coming, thanks for the gift… or am I wrong? Tea and Bonbons brings up an interesting point… not opening a present at a party, I think is kind of weird… it has only happened to us twice and both times occurred at very large parties. So I can see how it would be boring to sit and watch the kid open a ton bazillion presents, but in those cases, I would think it nice for them to at least send a thank you. But let’s be honest, I don’t really care if I get one or not. There are much more important things to worry about. :)

  • comment avatar JBB June 1, 2009

    I do not think one needs to send out thank you cards for birthday presents received. I do not understand how a card that is usually thrown in the garbage within days of recieving is better than the heartfelt thank you delivered in person at the time of the event. Including weddings and showers of any kind. I’m usually so exhausted at the end of any event (and broke), the last thing I want to do is spend the next several days writing and sending out thank you cards. I kind of think the fun, food and decorations I provided is my way of saying…thank you for coming and enjoying this occasion with us. I would be ok doing away with thank you cards and leaving it to the personal touch of just saying…thank you very much for coming we really appreciate it.

  • comment avatar Suzanne B (Crunchy green Mom) June 1, 2009

    Huh… I had no idea people felt so strongly on this.

    I don’t send Thank you cards.

    *I am from the South.

    *My mother raised me to send Thank You cards.

    I went on an Autism walk this weekend. The family was amazing in welcoming me and my kids into the fold, I had never met any of them. I sent a Thank you text to the mother of the child with autism. I got a mass e-mail Thank you for attending.
    I was more thankful at their warm welcome.. I didn’t need a written thank you, getting it was nice, but not necessary.

    Want to thank me for giving your child a present? How about I just invite you to my kids party and you return the favor? That is the best I can ask for.

    I am a busy mom of six… you took a kid off my hands for an afternoon. YEE HAW! I love you like my own mother at this point….. I got their room clean/cleaned out a closet/took a nap… SOMETHING!…

    I commend people who do it… don’t get ticked because I don’t… we aren’t all the same person… thank goodness!

    ~Mom who will give you the thumbs up for a good party, maybe even an e-mail thanking you for a good time!~

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson June 1, 2009

    LOVE Suzanne’s feedback:

    “I commend people who do it… don’t get ticked because I don’t… we aren’t all the same person… thank goodness!”

  • comment avatar Mama Bird June 1, 2009

    I guess I just can’t “not” send thank you cards, for fear I will appear ungrateful. Don’t like doing them, but I make myself. Rather than make me rethink it, after reading this thread I am more convinced that I will need to continue to write them because you never know which camp your friends will fall into!

    I would be happy to receive an email as a form of thanks, or perhaps an e-card. I hate throwing thank you cards in the trash. Seems like such a waste.

    How does everyone feel about receiving e-cards as thank you’s?

    http://www.mamabirdsblog.com

  • comment avatar Valerie June 1, 2009

    I was raised to provide thank you notes to show appreciation for the thoughtfulness shown by the provider of the gift. Maybe I am old-fashioned (and also from the South), but I’ve always provided TYs on behalf of my children and as they’ve gotten older, I’ve made them become more involved in the process – “signing” their names by scribbling, printing later on when they were old enough and in the future, I will have them write the whole thing.

    I also involve them in the TY writing process by asking them to tell me what they like the most about their present so I can include that in the note (for example: when my 4 yo daughter received a stuffed dog recently, she loved that it was purple because that is her current favorite color). That way, the note is personal and sincere and it teaches her the value of graciousness and I emphasize the generosity of the gift giver. I want her to know that she is not entitled to any of these items and she should always take the time to thank the giver.

  • comment avatar Kimberly June 1, 2009

    I would definitely not expect a thank you card for a birthday present, but I DO love a verbal thank you every once in awhile.

  • comment avatar JoAnn, The Casual Perfectionist http://thecasualperfectionist.com June 1, 2009

    Mama Bird, I’d take an e-card over no card, but I still prefer the old school simple snail mail Thank You card.

    But, that’s just me…obviously. :)

  • comment avatar Krissy June 1, 2009

    Hmmm – not sure where I fall on this one. I do make my children do thank yous. It depends on their age. Youngest just signs his name (or scribbles something), middle one writes with me and older one is on her own. I also make my older step-daughters do thank yous for the gifts they receive, which is money and checks since they’ve reached that precious teenage phase. Motivation for them is they don’t get the money until they send a thank you.

    My take on it is if someone gives you something, you should appreciate that and show your appreciation. That said, I don’t think they need to always be formally written. The goal for me is to teach my children appreciation and sincerety and thank yous are a great way to do that!

  • comment avatar Patti Jo Medina June 1, 2009

    I don’t think you can lose by adapting an attitude of gratitude and teaching your children gratitude.

    Thomas S. Monson-
    If ingratitude be numbered among the serious
    sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.

    (“An Attitude of Gratitude,” Ensign, May 1992, 54)

    That having been said…I’m haven’t always been that great at sending thank you’s but am making a conscious effort to do so because Heavenly Father has been taking care of and providing for my family through the service and gifts of others.

  • comment avatar Kristine June 1, 2009

    I was taught to send thank you cards…actually by my stepmom who was horrified that my own mother never taught me! Come to think of it my own mother never taught me much at all about social manners, and I’ve always been nervous that I’m going to break one and hurt someone’s feelings. Maybe that’s why they are important to me? I admit, I do like getting them. It helps you know that the person got it, and appreciated it.

    Also, come to think of it, gift giving is my “Love Language” so maybe that’s why I like being thanked for gifts, or why they mean so much to me when I (or my kids) get them? I always have the kiddos sit down with me and help me write them, and depending on the age they can apply stamps, scribble their name, etc.

    Also I know that the other mom had to drag their kids to the store and buy a gift, dig around in her house and find wrapping paper that wasn’t cut in too strange of a shape, then remember she needed a card and go back to the store. Then remember the kids name and write it on the card. Then spend 2 hours looking for the invitation so she could remember where the party was. I mean, not like that’s how I act in the hours leading up to a party or anything. ;)

    http://thefamilyfoodie.blogspot.com/

  • comment avatar Laura aka LaLaGirl June 1, 2009

    I don’t send them, or expect them in return. Actually, I’d prefer if we didn’t even get GIFTS at parties – the gift is the party itself, as far as I’m concerned. I’d much rather have someone reach out to me and just have a conversation than send me a thank you note in the mail. LaLaGirl.org

  • comment avatar Kagey June 1, 2009

    Our circle of friends seems to err on the side of sending TYs. My in-laws even send us TYs for birthday gifts or holiday presents. Having said that, my TYs are always late. I tell myself I’ll get them out in a week, but it’s always closer to a month.

    I never feel like one is necessary if we saw them open it and got a “thank you” in person. I never feel slighted if I didn’t get one — unless it was mailed and I never learn whether or not they got it!

  • comment avatar Esther June 1, 2009

    This is probably the most helpful blog post I have read in a while. I have sent out birthday thank you cards out of obligation for year. The practice has always annoyed me. It is so good to hear that I’m not the only one. This year I missed doing it for my daughters #5, for some of the same reasons as you. The guilt has been driving me crazy…..well not any more baby! Thanks for the freedom :)

  • comment avatar Rosey Pollen June 1, 2009

    We are in the ” send em” out camp, just seems like a good teaching moment for my kids. My mom-in law is so cute, she sends thank-you notes for the thank- you cards my kids send her.

  • comment avatar Erin June 1, 2009

    At my daughter’s 5th birthday party we stated and MEANT *no gifts!* – We really considered the kids simply showing up and having fun together to be the ideal situation. From the attendees’ perspective: No running to the store, struggling to find something, writing a card, watching a half an hour of present opening…And from ours: No having to deal with huge amounts of new plastic and toys that may not be played with – or may be choking hazards to little brothers .

    That said, 3 out of 14 families bought presents.

    This made it uncomfortable for ME and for the people who listened (thank you!). It also required me to think about this very issue. We didn’t open presents at the party; we sent thank you notes. The present our daughter liked best? A drawing given to her by a classmate – she thanked her on the spot and guarded that paper all day.

    BEST BONUS EVER – Never once heard at the party “ohhh, there’s so-and-so, I wonder what she brought me”!?!

  • comment avatar One Mom's Opinion June 1, 2009

    Testy subject.

    I occasionally receive a thank you for gifts that I send, and I stink at writing and mailing thank you’s myself promptly.

    I strive to do better, but in the end, I feel their are bigger things to worry about.

    http://onemomsopinion.blogspot.com/

  • comment avatar Kristi June 2, 2009

    For my oldest child’s first birthday we requested no presents. He had plenty of toys, clothes, etc. and I knew there would be family members there who wouldn’t be able to afford a gift. We actually had people offended at us. That being said, the few presents given him that day were opened after the guests left, so as to not cause hurt feelings or embarassment.

    As for thank you’s to classmates you may not know, when we write them (which isn’t all that often) I send them to school with my son/daughter and let them pass them out. It seems like most of the parties they are invited to are simply to get lots of kids there with presents. And are parents REALLY comfortable dropping their kids off for 2 hours at someone’s house that they’ve never even met?

  • comment avatar Noelle June 2, 2009

    It is a dilemma. I am also lazy and busy, not a good combination on the thank you note front. But it really creeps me out to see a 6 year old, sitting in front of a huge pile of gifts from her 40 kid party (another thing I don’t get) , with someone sitting next to her writing down what each person gave her, like it’s her freakin wedding shower. Isn’t that going overboard? How are they going to top that next year when she turns 7? Writing all those thank you notes is going to take more than the total 2 hours the party lasted, and probably her strongest memory of the event will be about the things she got. They’re just things! Please don’t kill a tree by sending a thank you note for the $11 bratz doll my daughter picked out, which looks like a ho anyway.
    Sorry about the rant, I understand it’s important to teach kids to be gracious, but I think it’s also important to teach them proportion. For a very special gift (maybe the fish tank), I would be supportive of a thank you note. I have a neighbor who loves to get thank you notes, so I usually make an effort to send one to her. I understand wedding gifts, shower gifts, etc. But otherwise, I vote to skip it.

  • comment avatar Tonya June 2, 2009

    Wow, who knew this was such a hot topic.

    I say do whatever floats your boat. Everyone is different. We do thank you cards for birthday gifts because I think it’s a good way to teach my son a bit about being grateful and I do have him help me with them.

    I do not, however, get offended if I don’t get one. Everyone is different and that’s what makes the world go around. WAY more important things for me to get bent out of shape about.

  • comment avatar Mama Bird June 2, 2009

    Kristine,

    “Come to think of it my own mother never taught me much at all about social manners, and I’ve always been nervous that I’m going to break one and hurt someone’s feelings. Maybe that’s why they are important to me?”

    Are we secret sisters?! My mother never taught me social manner either! I think I’m nervous about always doing the right thing for the same reason. After knowing that for years I probably was offending people and didn’t know it, I have to make up for it now!

    I wonder if there is any connection between people attitudes about sending TYs and what their mothers taught them? Those that weren’t taught, do, and those that were taught, don’t?

    Amber, you should create a poll for this question just to keep track of all the yays and nays!

    http://www.mamabirdsblog.com

  • comment avatar JoAnn, The Casual Perfectionist http://thecasualperfectionist.com June 2, 2009

    Mama Bird,

    For what it’s worth, I’m the oldest of four. My mom taught us all to write Thank You Notes. Growing up, we HAD to. No questions.

    Now, I do them. My next sister in line doesn’t. The next one in line does, and my baby brother doesn’t.

    So, in my situation, it’s 50/50. Not sure that helps with your poll! LOL :)

  • comment avatar Chellie June 2, 2009

    First off, if people are so worried about the “green factor” then they will know to recycle the card. That shouldn’t even be an issue. Getting an email is impersonal – a hand written note, is thoughtful.

    We are all different and have our own opinions – I get what you are saying about getting thank-you after thank-you and then questioning it’s sincerity. However, I disagree. A thank you is a nice gesture regardless. Anyone that comes to the birthday party should get a thank you, no question about it. Yes, you have thrown the party and fed them and entertained them and probably even sent them home with party favors – however, they came with a gift to share a special time/day with you and they should be thanked for that.
    I’ll be honest, I don’t necessarily expect thank yous, but I do love to receive them. So go ahead and send me one, thanking me for leaving a comment.

  • comment avatar Suzanne B. (Crunchy Green Mom) June 2, 2009

    Noelle.. . you friggin’ crack me up. I detest Bratz dolls. Won’t allow them in my house… because of the “Ho” issue!

  • comment avatar ShanaM June 3, 2009

    I always send thank you notes. From the time Marissa was about 3 years old, she has written her thank yous herself (sometimes with prodding) but I have always tried to teach her that people don’t HAVE to do anything. They don’t have to come to your party, or give you a gift so they should be thanked when they do.
    I don’t neccessarily expect thank you cards myself but I always appreciate them.

  • comment avatar Head Nurse June 3, 2009

    Who needs a note?
    All gifts should be acknowledged with a note, unless the goodies were opened in front of the giver—then you have the chance to thank them in person. An important exception: many of an older generation expect a hand-written note. Providing them with one is an appropriate gesture of respect and consideration.

    This is from Emily Post- I remember reading it and saying- Hurray! I am not a big Thank you Card writer- but I am going to try to repent of that failing-

    Here is the link for the rest of the info:

    http://www.emilypost.com/everyday/thank_u_note_qna.htm

  • comment avatar Scooby June 3, 2009

    I don’t send or usually receive thank you cards as a rule but the big exception is when the gift is sent long-distance. If the gift comes thru the mail, I send thank yous to let the giver know that the gift was received & appreciated. And it irks me enormously to SEND a gift long distance and NOT receive a thank you card. How else can I tell if it was received? Unless they call but I usually have to call them.

  • comment avatar Jennifer June 3, 2009

    I think etiquette gurus would say that if you pesonally thank the giver for the gift at the time of receipt, then you’re not obligated to follow up with a written thank you note. I would think this is especially true with kids and birthdays. Along those lines–if I’m sending a gift to someone who is out of town, I do certainly expect a thank you note, since I’m not there to get thanked in person.

    I do try to get my kids to write thank yous, and I work on it myself, but nobody’s perfect. A grandmother in our life always calls me afterward to thank me for a lovely dinner, lunch, party, what-have-you, and I always wonder if I’m rude because I don’t do the same when we go to her house.

    As far as gifts: I think kids like to give and get gifts, and I think it’s an important thing–learning how to choose a gift your friend will like, rather than what you yourself would like. In the past, I’ve put a monetary limit, e.g., “Gifts not required, but if you must, you are not allowed to spend more than $4.78.” Our close friends get it. And I’m never opposed to a heartfelt, handmade something. Those are like gold.

  • comment avatar Guinevere Meadow June 5, 2009

    I always have the best INTENTIONS of writing a thank-you card. To me, the important thing is that the gift is somehow acknowledged- either in person, a phone call, an email. I don’t get my feelings hurt if I don’t receive thank-you cards, but when I DO get them, I have to admit it makes me happy!

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  • comment avatar Wondering June 30, 2009

    Is it necessary/appropriate for a grandchild to send a grandparent a thank you note for a birthday present which has been given in person and for which the grandchild gave a verbal “thank you”. My mother-in-law is insulted without such a card.

  • comment avatar Sara October 2, 2009

    I think a “Thank You” in person is much better than a card any day. My rule is this – If my child receives a gift from someone in person, whether it be at a Party or elsewhere,they better be giving a sincere “Thank you” including a smile, making eye contact and a hug (if appropriate). If the present is sent to them by mail or if the present giver is not there when the present is opened, we either make a phone call to thank them or send a Thank you card. I personally don’t get the warm & fuzzy feeling when I receive a Thank you card in the mail after a Birthday Party. I know these cards are being sent out in mass quantities to every child who attended the Party and the parent had to take a chunk of time out of their day to do this, not to mention postage is outrageously expensive these days. So, save a tree, money and time and just thank them in person :)

  • comment avatar Dee February 18, 2010

    I know I’m biased because I used to own a stationery company that made a ton of childrens’ thank you notes. I do think it is appropriate for your children to learn the art of gratitude at a very young age. That being said, a pre-printed thanks for the gift! with a scrawled name on the bottom is all that is needed. My boys are older and write thank you notes to coaches and teachers when appropriate. Yes, they need to be reminded, but it does make a difference in the long run. (My own friends keep yelling stop sending me thank you notes!) I can’t help it, it works for me!

  • comment avatar Kylee March 21, 2010

    was asked just today to address my own thank you note at a preschool birthday party…ugh…

    would rather not receive one than address my own.

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