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Thank you notes or any form of response...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Do your children write thank you notes or call or email their gift-givers???  If not, why not???

 

We sent gifts to my best friend's two children (son, 14 and daughter 20).  BF & I agreed, years ago, that gifts were exchanged for the kids only.  The family lives 3,000 miles away.

 

Our son and her son are great friends and play online games together and talk on the phone a lot. 

 

Our ds and her ds talked on the phone the day after Christmas and her ds says how much he likes his gifts (tells this to our ds).  He always calls and says thank you, for anything we send.  Our son does the same. 

 

When I got on the phone to talk to BF, she  tells me how much her daughter liked the gift we sent.  Daughter does not talk on the phone. 

 

Her daughter has never acknowledged any gift we have sent.  It is really annoying.  When I have asked BF if her daughter received a birthday gift or graduation gift, she replies she did and liked them (and then she says thanks for thinking of her daughter).  But, the girl has never had the courtesy to say or write anything.  Gifts have been things she wanted (I asked her mom) or large-denomination gift cards from Amazon or B&N, in the $75 - $100 range (when she reached high school /  went to college). 

 

I looked past it when she was a child, but she is now, most certainly, old enough to send her own responses.

 

Yes, the arguments will be said that it is about the giving, not the acknowledging.  But, unless I ask, I have no way of knowing that the gift was even received!  And, I have spent the time (and the money - gift+shipping) to try and find something she likes/wants/needs or giving her gift cards so she can get exactly what she wants).  So, yeah, I DO want an acknowledgement AND a thanks.

 

 I accept that emails are now deemed correct ("etiquettely-speaking!"), so responding in even that form is so easy, yet ignored by so many.   

 

I was brought up that one always acknowledges and thanks people for their courtesy in thinking of me and for taking the time to shop and send / give me a gift, for whatever occasion.  We've brought up ds to always say thank you and write a note.  Is that so weird or wrong???

 

I've decided that no more gifts will be in the offing for this girl.  Her age makes it easier as she'll be 21 on her next birthday and gifts have always been for the children.  We'll send a birthday card  and no gift and leave it at that.  I will tell her mom why, if she asks. 

 

Manners have, it would seem, gone down the toilet...............

post #2 of 19

I didn't grow up with any concept of thank you notes, except for weddings. They just weren't something that was done in my circle of friends and family. However, some form of acknowledgement/thank you was considered to be absolutely necessary. It could be in person, a phone call, email (we didn't have that option, of course) - whatever - but it had to be something. I think ignoring a gift is beyond rude...and I think it's actually even worse when the gift is shipped or ordered long distance. As you say, the giver has paid money (and possibly time, if they're shipping something hand crafted), put thought into the gift, and they deserve to at least know it was received.

post #3 of 19

Christmas-nothing. Whatever.

Birthday- Phone calls for sure. Perhaps cards if there was a party.

Big occasions (graduation, shower and the like) a MUST.  If you can't commit to sending the TY, you can return the gif you ingrate! lol (speaking of my own kids of course ;) ) Even for DS's kindy graduation I had him send thank you's (grandmas- pushovers to buy the kid crap!)  On and when we were raising money for a fundraiser we sent thank you's as well that DS (age 6) signed.

 


I do have a BIG issue with not saying thanks.  I am still waiting (along with a friend) for a wedding gift TY from about 10+ years ago (not really but we still joke about it!). I also have issues with people I gave big things to through other people to deliver and they never said thanks. It's just rude to not acknowledge those kinds of things.

post #4 of 19

i understand that ... my pet peeve is ... MIL who won't acknowledge to me when i have taken the time to print and send photos of her grand children ....

 

on the other hand, it much depends on each parent's choice for their children ... i mean, you thing it's important so you make sure your children do it ... now, the choice to stress this action as important .... is your friend's to make for her own children.... you can be irritated about her choice .... but it's her choice ...

post #5 of 19
My kids always wrote thank you notes... even before they could write, I'd let them scribble on a card and add my own note. My 17 year old son just handed me a note to send to his aunt last night for a holiday gift.


I honestly stopped sending gifts to my niece and nephews on Dh's side because it was like sending money down a black hole. I never knew if it arrived or if they liked it.
post #6 of 19
In our family, the unspoken protocol is something like this:
--Christmas gifts exchanged in person: no TY note required. Maybe because everyone is giving and getting gifts, so it's sort of automatically reciprocated.
--Birthday gifts opened in person: I do make my kids wrote formal TY notes, and sometimes I write TY notes for these, but more often I tend to text the person when I use the item for the first time, letting them know how great it works and how much I appreciate it. When I give a bday gift in person, a spoken thank you right then is sufficient for me.
--Shower gifts opened in person: TY notes required.
--Any gift opened when not with the giver (like wedding gifts): TY notes required.
--Any gift that's been mailed: a thank you of some sort is required. I hate sending gifts and then wondering if they ever arrived! That happens to me with my nieces all the time -- a simple text would be fine with me, I just want to know that the gift arrived intact.
post #7 of 19

In my mind, a thank you note for any gift given in person is not necessary. You thank them in person when you open the gift. If you open it later, after they've left, then you need to write/email/call them to thank them. But I'd probably still send thank you notes if it is a more formal event. I sent them for my baby shower..

 

If a gift is shipped, for God's sake, let the person know that their package arrived! I'm still wondering about a package I sent about 5 years ago with gifts for about 10 people in it:-/ 

 

I tell my son if he doesn't thank people, they will be discouraged from continuing to give gifts. I don't think most people care whether they are thanked in person or with a note though I suppose a terse "TY" texted to me would annoy me if it was from anyone capable of expressing themselves better. I'd stop sending the 20 yo a gift in the OP's situation. 

post #8 of 19

In our house, if the gift-giver isn't present when you open the gift (and therefore, you can't say thank you in person) you better send a thank you or make a phone call.  The mom doesn't do this for the child (unless the child is too young or otherwise incapable).  

 

I agree that it is time to end the gifts to the dd.  I might extend one final gift for the 21st birthday.  

 

I wouldn't be snarky about the absence of thank yous.  I would let BF know that since this is the last milestone on the road to adulthood (her daughter can now drive, vote, and drink), that you will only be giving to the son in the future.  If you feel the need to talk about the thank yous, then perhaps just comment on how nice it is that the son always has made an effort to offer thanks.  I would continue to send cards. 

 

Amy

post #9 of 19

I grew up with a mom who always had us write a thank you.

I like my children to send TY cards but do not get upset if other people do not send them.  (Although I understand the frustration of not knowing whether mailed gifts were rec'd.)

 

My children send written thank you's if the gift isn't opened in front of the giver - e.g. for Xmas. 

For birthday's we do not open gifts at the party but even if we did they would send a written TY. 

I have them send Thank you's for other reasons:  e.g.  My daughter's GS troop went to see a play.  I drove, so I saw the play too.  The troop leader paid for the tickets and would not accept reimbursement. (Had I known they were $125 each we probably would not have gone.) Even though we said 'thank you' that evening, I had my daughter send a card.

 

To my mother, the children always send a TY even if she is there when they open the gift.  She gets angry if she doesn't receive a TY.  e.g.  She sends my children $5 in a card for holidays.  One time, my children were 7, we did not send TY's for their Halloween cards (actually the kids made them but I never mailed them) so my mom stopped sending them the $$ for a year.   I think it is crazy that she punished my 7yo's instead of discussing her irritation with me.  (but I guess that is another thread!)

post #10 of 19

Honestly, what you described wouldn't bother me at all. If I send my niece and nephew something and their mom lets me know that it got there and they liked it that's good enough for me. I do want to know that it arrived, but I give them something because I want to give them something not because I expect a thank you. If we give to the angel tree at the mall we do it because it feels good to give. We don't need a thanks.

 

That said, when my kids received gifts in the mail this year I did call and have the kids say thank you and dd2 sent thank you notes for all her birthday gifts. 

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98 View Post

Our son and her son are great friends and play online games together and talk on the phone a lot. 

Our ds and her ds talked on the phone the day after Christmas and her ds says how much he likes his gifts (tells this to our ds).  He always calls and says thank you, for anything we send.  Our son does the same. 

When I got on the phone to talk to BF, she  tells me how much her daughter liked the gift we sent.  Daughter does not talk on the phone.

When you say the son always calls to say thank you, do you mean that he thanks your DS during the course of their regular conversations, or does he call YOU specifically to say thank you? If it's the former, I put that in about the same category as the daughter sending her thanks via her mom's regular conversations with you. (Both would be fine with me, and "count" as adequate thanks.)
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post


When you say the son always calls to say thank you, do you mean that he thanks your DS during the course of their regular conversations, or does he call YOU specifically to say thank you? If it's the former, I put that in about the same category as the daughter sending her thanks via her mom's regular conversations with you. (Both would be fine with me, and "count" as adequate thanks.)


Her son has done both.  Either way, HE is the one doing the thanking, not his Mom.

 

The daughter has never spoken with us regarding receipt of a gift, only through the "third party" of her Mom (and, even that has been a non-event, until I ask if she received the gift).  I do not "count" that as thanks. 

 

Our son has always sent his thanks for gifts. Before he could write, we took a photo of him with the gift (holding/using/wearing it) and had him make a thumbprint on the back of the photo. As soon as he could write his name, he signed underneath a picture he drew of a gift received. As he grew older, he began to write formal replies, describing his feelings on the gift or how he would be using a gift card or spending a gift of money. He says thank you in phone calls (directly to the giver), as well. His snail mail notes were written & mailed the day after Christmas.

 

When children are small, formal thank you's (notes, calls) can be overlooked.  But, this is a woman of 20.  I think she is more than old enough to get off her ass and dash off an email, write a snail mail note or make a quick phone call (even to interrupt a conversation between her Mom and myself to say a few words).  


And, yes, I do fault her Mom for not impressing upon her the importance of courtesy.  But, my job is not the upbringing of her children.    

 

I'm done sending her anything, other than a card, and even that will end after her 21st birthday.

post #13 of 19

If the gift is given in person, I make sure my boys say "thank you" to the giver then and there.

 

If it's a gift I received for them in the mail, I usually do a video of them opening it and make sure that they say thank you in the video, then I email it to the person.  This is usually just my stepmom, sister, or remote boss.

 

They're only 6 and 4 so I haven't made them write thank-you notes yet, but with the oldest I will start next year.

 

I stopped sending gifts to my stepsister's daughters years ago because they would never acknowledge what I did send.  My stepsister knows full well to send thank-you's and she hasn't enforced it with her girls.  And they're old enough to know to do it themselves now, so nope, no excuse.  No thank you, no gift after that.

post #14 of 19

When I was growing up, thank you notes were for showers, weddings, and graduation gifts.  That was it.  If a gift was sent from someone far away, you called and said thank you.  That was about it.

 

I hate writing thank you notes, it's really just a formality ( Dear You, Thank you for the ( ).  i will think of you when I ( ).  Thanks again, Me).  If I've already SAID thank you and my kid already SAID thank you, a note really seems like over kill.  God knows I don't expect one.  I hate to think of the new bride or new sleep-deprived mom spending hours banging out pointless thank you notes.

post #15 of 19

I didn't grow up doing it, but I do have my children do it.  It's normally just me writing a short "thank you" and my children doing a little drawing for it.  We don't do a lot of exchanging, though, so that helps.

post #16 of 19

Oh heck, I just realized that I forgot to buy Thank You cards today. Oops.  

 

I do make him give/send a Thank You card for birthday gifts but not Christmas gifts.  Not sure why.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaughterOfKali View Post
 

Oh heck, I just realized that I forgot to buy Thank You cards today. Oops.  

We rarely buy Thank you cards (Although I recently ordered some with their names on them.)  The kids like to make them.  For the Xmas thank you's they cut up Christmas cards we rec'd and used them to make thank you cards.

post #18 of 19
Huge thank you note giver! It actually irks me when people don't do them (I suppose since I grew up doing them). I write them out and let the kids scribble a drawing. My oldest is 5.5 y/o and loves writing so she can do her own for the most part.
post #19 of 19

We give thanks to everyone who's given us stuff, in person, on the phone or via email.  We thank for the kids before they were 8 or 9, now they're supposed to write their own email.  They don't like it much but it's just one of the things you gotta do.  I think email makes things so easy.  I'm anxious so I usually get them done asap, but our relatives can take up to a week or more to write a note to us.  There are people who just don't do it, though.  I'm not sure if my brother ever thanked anyone from his heart.  He's not evil, just doesn't have or bother with social skills.  *He hasn't done too well in life so far.

 

I only use thank you cards for really big gifts or some formal occasions. 

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