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Old 07-08-2018, 07:09 AM   #1
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Default Are Thank you notes becoming obsolete?

Has anyone else heard that Thank You notes are becoming obsolete? Considering our love of paper crafting - does anyone else find this as disturbing as I do? I am not sure how this became so acceptable, but I am hearing it more and more. The popular thought is if guests are told “Thank you” at the party, shower or whatever event - that’s enough - no need to send thank you notes as well. Call me “old school” but I think that is not only lazy - but rude and selfish. If guests take time from their lives to spend money, and time shopping AND attending the event for a person - a thank you note from the recipient should not be too much to do. Many times I include a handmade set of thank you notes as a part of my gift. I am now wondering if this is appropriate or not. I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:46 AM   #2
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Sadly in my experience, yes. I'm not even sure my husband's nephew received his wedding gift last year - have to assume so as we bought from their Amazon wedding registry and the tracking showed the two parcels delivered to the groom's sister as requested, but we didn't hear anything. I wouldn't mind not receiving a written and posted note these days, I'd be happy with an email or text message or phone call, which is usually what my own nephews and nieces do (even if they're pushed into it by my brother .

Personally I do still send a good number of written thank-you cards each year as well as emails. I do think it's important to acknowledge a gift - call me old school too.
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:37 AM   #3
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So sad! I am wondering if the “gift recipients” experienced what we have as gift “givers” - (not receiving SOME type of thank you) could change this disturbing trend. I guess we just have to lead by example.
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:56 PM   #4
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I find it disturbing because it is a major lapse in etiquette; the fact that I am a paper crafter is irrelevant.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beye123 View Post
So sad! I am wondering if the “gift recipients” experienced what we have as gift “givers” - (not receiving SOME type of thank you) could change this disturbing trend. I guess we just have to lead by example.
Years ago when my godchildren and niece and nephew were still in college and I didn't receive thank you notes for the card and checks I sent, I stopped sending them the next year. All of a sudden I started getting notes and phone calls asking how I was and why they didn't receive their usual birthday and Christmas checks. I told each of them that I knew their parents taught them to send thank you's for any gifts received and that they were old enough to send them on their own without their parents reminding them. All of them sent apologies and I get thank you notes all the time from them and their children for any gifts sent.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:36 AM   #6
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Fun fact... the reaction if I do send a thank-you card
Just like ...what....?!???? and somehow they think they have to send a thank you card for the thank you card.... really funny sometimes!
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:45 AM   #7
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I attended a bridal shower in December and the wedding in January. This was my daughter's best friend. I have not received a thank you from either one. I doubt I'll see one. I think it rude not to send thank yous for something this 'big'. There doesn't seem to be much etiquette AT ALL anymore.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:16 PM   #8
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There are two parts to this, IMO. Parents are not teaching or enforcing the “thank you” but many expect gifts just because (insert occasion or reason here). I’m not sure a lot of people see it as something special when they receive a gift; they expect it as part of the celebration. This is true for many adults of all ages.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:10 PM   #9
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I just came across this thread. I've been wondering about this also. I was disappointed when after helping with bridal shower, rehearsal dinner decorations, and gifts I sent that not one thank you was sent out. Then when the babies came, still no thank you's. I still ask my son if he called my dad and sister when they've sent him gifts. He does call to say thank you. I don't need to ask as he always does, but I feel that is still so very important. I send out thank you cards to all my customers when they place orders. I even send out thank you cards to hosts of dinner gatherings. I've been told by the recipients who appreciative they are when they receive a card from me. I'm in the business of card making after all and I need to set a good example. Of course, I totally enjoy the card making process too!!! LOL I just wish this hadn't gotten lost in everyone's oh so busy lives.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:52 PM   #10
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I knitted a lovely little dress and bonnet - and also made a card that took MANY hours - for my husband’s niece when she had a baby. Not a word. Nada. Also never heard from my niece, nor my nephew, thanking me for my wedding gifts. I remember when I got married 20 years ago - even for a very informal and small wedding like I had - it was very much part of the ritual to send thank you notes to guests and gift givers. My niece had a very large, expensive wedding - down to very fancy stationery - everything. But for the shawl I sent her to keep her warm on her wedding day (which she did wear at various points during the day) - 2200 crystal beads knitted in on cobweb yarn - and the cash gift - no thanks at all. I guess you just have to do these things and hope that at some time point they make a dint in other people’s lives and hearts. I remember my grandmother did so many things for me and I never really thanked her properly when I became an adult - never really appreciated her until after she was gone. By the way - when I see my nieces and nephews- they are all lovely, sweet, hardworking, responsible young people who I love dearly. So it goes.
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:02 PM   #11
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I strongly suspect it's generational.

I wasn't obligated to write thank you notes as a child - though spoken thanks when gifts were given in person was the norm - and I can probably count on one hand the number of 'Thank You' notes I've done in my life. For those younger than I, who grew up never knowing a world without internet, e-mail, and instant access to both people and information, it's probably even less of a thing.

I'd feel awkward getting a thank you note these days. I guess it just feels like another obligation, and I'd rather people not feel indebted to me? If I really care about how someone reacts to a gift I'll make sure to give it in person or ask them about it later. For me, the joy is in the act of gifting, not in the accolades from the recipient. Anonymous and surprise gifts for no particular reason are my favourites.
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Old 07-26-2018, 04:34 PM   #12
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I made my children write thank you notes. My daughter still writes them, my sons do not. When my oldest son graduated from high school, he received many nice gifts and some gifts of money, too. He was procrastinating writing his thank you notes. His money gifts laid in a basket and his gifts laid in a laundry baskets in his room and he wasn't allowed to use them or deposit money until thank you's were written. After one week, he came home from work to find his dinner plate turned upside down with 10 blank thank you notes on the top. While the rest of the family started eating, he wrote 10 thank you notes. This continued each night at dinnertime for 7 days. (We have a very large family and lots of friends). There was a lot of kidding and laughter going on during dinner. The two younger siblings wrote their graduation thank you notes quickly when it was their turn as they did not want to write them during dinner. We have Sunday dinner each Sunday and everyone comes and sometimes we laugh about the thank you note story. Their favorite late night comedian....Jimmy Fallon and The Thank You Notes Segment. My oldest has forgiven me.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:53 AM   #13
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It is sad that you would feel awkward receiving a thank you for a gift. I am with others who feel that if a gift is given the least the recepient could do is Thank the giver of said gift.

I sent a shower gift to a family member out of state. Had it mailed directly to them from the store. I never received a thank you so do not even know if it was received. Just my opinion but feel that this is inappropriate. I guess in this day and age things are different but no phone call, text or card is not correct manners (which are greatly lacking in our world today).
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Old 08-01-2018, 12:10 AM   #14
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Such a curious topic

I'm old fashioned - taught all 4 of my children to write a thank you note, put a stamp on it and mail it. Texting was NOT an option unless it was a classmate/church friend and then they sent a note to the mom or dad.


My kids are now 23, 21, 19 and 13 and are still sending thank you notes. My daughter just had a shower with 101 guests and her/her dh sat at the table one Saturday afternoon and hand wrote each and every thank you card and mailed them. I was smiling from ear to ear.


On the flip side, I can't remember except once - a Bah Mitzvah - when they have gotten one in return ... Not from birthdays, parties, weddings, even relatives.


I think in the day and age when you can 'e-vite' and with the rising cost of postage, cards/supplies, it happens less. And that's okay, if you can't afford it, as many can't. But we err on the side of caution (and manners) and folks can always call and say it instead ♥
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Old 08-01-2018, 12:19 PM   #15
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I write thank you notes all the time!


I have volunteered at a local hospital for 24 years now and am the chairman of the "community outreach" committee. We just helped host a 50-person Bingo event to benefit our Hospice department. I wrote thank you notes to every committee member/volunteer who helped with the event.

We'll be doing our "Santa" events in December - one event for hospital staff, visitors, patients and their families and then another event held for special needs kids and their families. Last year after those two events, I wrote over 75 thank you notes to all the volunteers who helped.

I just bought the stamp set "One Big Meaning" from someone here on SCS. I'll be using one of those stamps to make my thank you notes for the December events coming up


It's the right thing to do - to thank someone for a gift, a helping hand, etc. Doesn't always have to be a card but since most of us here LOVE making cards, it's often how we convey our thanks Plus everyone loves getting a handmade card!
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:30 PM   #16
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We had a phonecall last night from a friend's son...it was his 18th birthday and I've been sending him a card and present every year as he (and his sisters) have no extended family in Ireland. Other years it's always been his mother who would say thank you to me, but Pierre rang last night and wanted to thank both of us personally. I reckon that presents stop after 18, mind you, but it was really nice to get that call.
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:37 AM   #17
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I love receiving thank you notes, all notes, any notes. It gives me that "you are thought of" feeling. I think it is good for the heart and soul and so I will continue to send handwritten notes to people I think need a pick-me-up or a thank you. Thank you for this thread.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:01 PM   #18
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What do you do with them afterwards though? That's always my major quandary with cards, notes and the like. I have a hard time justifying spending a lot of effort on something that is going to end up becoming trash for the recipient, or that they might feel obligated to keep because it's handmade instead of store-bought.

I still make cards and tags - out of my scraps so I don't feel as wasteful - but that thought is never far from my mind.
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Old 08-04-2018, 03:24 AM   #19
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I make because I enjoy making. What people do with them on receipt is up to them - that's how I see it. The only time I ever felt sad was when my FIL, with dementia, tore apart a card I'd made for my MIL while in hospital and which she had wanted to keep. But since he was upcycling (or rather downcycling!!) it into a note to write to someone else on, I saw the funny side of it. He pulled off all my carefully rolled felt roses.
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:48 AM   #20
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We have quite a large family. None of whom live close. It was decided early on by the entire familythat birthday and Christmas presents were not expected - just too many nephews and nieces. However,an acknowledgement and gift card was sent when they graduated from high school- if they sent out an announcement. Theyall learned very quickly that another gift would not be forthcoming for theiruniversity graduation if they had not sent a thank you note for the high schoolcommencement. It takes effort on the part of the gift giver to send that gift -and card - and a thank you note in return should not be too much to ask. People today seem to think only ofthemselves, and seem surprised when their children are self-centered,too. Very sad.
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:32 PM   #21
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I think handmade cards are like fireworks. They are beautiful, they are enjoyed and they can be gone. But I keep mine in a box to be enjoyed over and over again. And when I can no longer enjoy them....they can be gone.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:20 AM   #22
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first of all I belong to the over 55 club and have to disagree with this being “generational”.

I base this on the following. I also teach in Canada and belong to a group in the south of the U.S. where I also teach over the winter.

In both cases whenever I ask if they are interested in making Thank You notes they unanimously say “no”! I only had one person here say she only seldom sends them.

The biggest requests are for Birthday and Sympathy cards. Even tho many give gift cards not as much enthusiasm for this....... but wine tags “oh yes” lol.

I have the joy of creating the card not worrying about after.

Things like wedding gifts or teaching young people to reciprocate is still a good thing. My grandsons always call to thank for any type of card. That is still appreciated even if it’s a “ have a nice Day” Card.

I guess I sort expect it of young children .....how long to make a phone call to say “thank you” for whatever. BUT I did cut off two 12 year old nephew and neice who could not be bothered to pick up the phone. ...and I was much younger then lol

Don’t get me started on people who send e cards or emails for Christmas......I might really get into a rant😤
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:09 PM   #23
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I wish more parents would teach the importance of a simple "thank you". Not only sending a thank you note but also saying thank you.

I taught our daughter the importance of thank you notes when she was growing up. And, that thank you notes aren't just for thanking someone for a gift, you also thank people when they do something special or go above and beyond. I didn't realize how many thank you notes she sent until we cleaned out my parents and in-laws homes after their deaths. One set of grandparents had a draw full and the other set of grandparents had a box full. I am happy that she is now teaching her kids the importance of sending thank you notes.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:49 PM   #24
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I had to smile when I read the title of this post, because just last night I read on-line that, due to texting, greeting cards are so last century.

Man, I'm in a heap of trouble with a pile of stamps, dies and cardstock to get rid of if that's the case.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:40 AM   #25
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My kids don't send cards to other people except for me because they know I expect it. That is they send birthday, Mother's Day and Christmas cards. Their thank yous to me are by phone or email. The Facebook era has changed things drastically. That is where I get birthday greetings from nieces and nephews and a few friends. I have to like that because otherwise I wouldn't hear from them at all.

I often use the fronts of handmade cards I receive as bookmarks. That way I get to enjoy them over and over.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:44 AM   #26
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It's not only thank you notes. No manners are being taught anymore. My grandson was here a while back and had to be told to take his elbows off the table while he was eating and to sit up straight. And to hold doors open for the person behind him. I have a rule when I receive a gift. I can't even touch it (even to put it away) until I write a thank you note.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:21 AM   #27
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My mom never taught us to send thank you notes, and I really have to force myself to do this and forget most of the time, or I write them and think I've sent them and find them months or years later -- when we moved from Idaho to Texas, I found 8 wedding thank yous sitting in a drawer, stamped and ready to go. We had been married 9 years. The others got mailed, but not these.

My mom always made us make a thank you phone call. I'm pretty sure it's because we could literally pay for either food or postage stamps. I'm trying to get my kids started young so they don't struggle with it.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:03 AM   #28
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Growing up my Mom would print out a simple thank you for us to copy. It got us in the habit of writing thank yous.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:35 AM   #29
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A lot of nursing homes and senior residences take used card fronts to recycle into new cards.
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:18 AM   #30
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I, too, think it is rude not to thank someone for a gift. The general rule at our home is, no thank you, no gift the next time. We don't mind either a phone call, email, written or any other kind so long as it comes in a timely fashion. Our daughter's family is always on top of these thank yous, our son's not so much. It is all in the training at home. A friend once said that the cards I make are beautiful, but what is she supposed to do with them after she has read them? With tongue in cheek I gave her a few suggestions - wallpaper the walls with them, use them to start a fire, cover the signature and reuse them, make gift tags out of them, or tear them into little pieces and make a puzzle out of them. You get the idea. I enjoy making cards and sending them and will continue. It is much cheaper than therapy!
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:30 AM   #31
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I think in this day and age of email, texting, and Facebook, that cards in general are becoming obsolete. So much easier to text someone "happy birthday" than send a card. Which makes me sad. And why I keep sending cards- I know how much I appreciate getting a card in the mail (LOTS of people sent me a card for my recent 50th).
As to "thank yous", I agree with whoever said manners in general are becoming obsolete. I taught my children to write thank you notes. So they certainly did them for high school graduation gifts, and my son wrote thank yous to people who donated to his Eagle Scout project. I don't know if that will continue as they grow older, but they at least know to say "thank you" if nothing else.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:38 AM   #32
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Maybe this is just generational, but I'm a Southerner originally and it was made very clear to us growing up that you wrote a thank-you note for anything you received as a gift, whether it was $5 or an expensive present. I don't often write thank-yous to those who've hosted me for dinner or a stay-over visit anymore, because people just seem to be bewildered by those now, but I'm effusive with face-to-face thanks in those situations.


I have a friend who never let her children play with any gift until they'd written a thank-you note for it - good way to get the point across! My parents didn't do that, but I'll be writing thank-you notes (usually in a hand-made card) until I die. There's just no excuse for not thanking people for gifts or acts of thoughfulness.
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:28 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by LemurLover View Post
Maybe this is just generational, but I'm a Southerner originally and it was made very clear to us growing up that you wrote a thank-you note for anything you received as a gift, whether it was $5 or an expensive present. I don't often write thank-yous to those who've hosted me for dinner or a stay-over visit anymore, because people just seem to be bewildered by those now, but I'm effusive with face-to-face thanks in those situations.


I have a friend who never let her children play with any gift until they'd written a thank-you note for it - good way to get the point across! My parents didn't do that, but I'll be writing thank-you notes (usually in a hand-made card) until I die. There's just no excuse for not thanking people for gifts or acts of thoughfulness.
Here's what puzzles me, though. It was my mother who always made sure we wrote our thank-yous every Christmas and birthday. Hey, I can still remember the ZIP and post codes from long-dead relatives in Canada and the UK going back forty years! So why are my half-brother and sister, whom I am sure got the same training we did, so bad that I stopped sending my half-brother Christmas gifts a few years back and make a donation to a relevant charity instead - because I never knew if what I had mailed had even arrived. It's not just in the family background/childhood upbringing. He occasionally (but not always) responds to the e-cards I now send on his birthday.
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:24 AM   #34
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I know this song. This is long

I am sorry to be hearing all these stories. I find it appalling, esp with big money events like weddings-esp when she had stationary made!! (which means she had to opt OUT of thank yous bc of course they asked) Hand knit 2200 crystals? Sorry I would so not put up with that. Hand knit for baby? OH Heck NO.

Absolutely I send thank you cards or notes. I also agree people are funny. I say thank you and Have a good day all the time when someone holds a door for me and they seem surprised but happy and say you're welcome and good day back to me. But then again, I also will smile at people I notice are looking at me while walking down the sidewalk.

I have 2 stories to share
1) my DH's family for years were big into what I call the money events (bat matsvahs, sweet 16s, weddings, etc etc) which I have grown to dislike bc I find most of the time the event itself is lost and I dont think turning 16 in the western world is an accomplishment and we dont do debutantes anymore, so seriously? And the MONEY spent...they could pay for college.

ANYWAY-sorry birdwalk there-
I got annoyed with a particular family who are big "Chicken counters"...I did x for you so you BETTER do x for me...we were going to events and their daughters could not be bothered to come around to the tables and say thanks for coming. I don't expect them to hang out. They are teens. But come on.

So the next one came along and when I didnt RSVP on the dime I got a call from the mother (some 2-3 weeks before the RSVP Deadline) "
mom: The girls would like to know if you guys are coming?"
me: "Why?"
((Silence))
mom: "I dont understand. They want to have their family around them...."
me: "Really? Because they dont come around and greet us and say thanks for coming. I dont expect teens to hang out with the old folks but they dont seem to give a damn if we are there or not" .
mom: "That isnt true! They do care! Are you coming?"
((silence))
me: "I guess so"

You bet your behind those girls came to the table to say thank you after that.... I don't think their mom likes me anymore but I don't really care. In her defense they did host a number of holiday dinners for the family which was very nice. They are not evil...just needed a tweek.

2) Just to prove I am equal opportunity...
My beloved peer cousin has a daughter who now has 2 DDs.
So I start the usual gifting sequence (I give kids till they are 18 like Sabrina^^) After the first year when I got a fabulous hand written letter which I in turn said made me happy...radio silence begins.

Now, I don't put up with not hearing if you got a box. Just say "box is here-thanks!" in an email. I have sent you an email with the track number so you can. JUST HIT REPLY. Everyday stories of stolen boxes...you can send a proper thank you later. So I will hound you to tell me. Aside from the rudeness I dont have money to be wasting by not knowing a box did not arrive.

We hit stage two-no thanks for gifts (across the country so I send holiday and BD together as they are within weeks) Uh huh.

And then last year we hit stage 3-I email all the mommies-what size is the kid wearing now? ALL OF THEM answer me in 24 hours. Except this cousin. Please don't start with the busy working mom-they ALL are. I wait a good week with no problem. I don't expect you to answer in 10 mins.

After two years of my having to hound her**...I early warning'ed her mom that I was getting POed. The following year we had a repeat so, I told her mother it is over. She makes it too hard to give her kids. Bad enough she never told me the first DD would NOT wear dresses and let me keep sending them for 3 years wasting money etc.....but I am done now. I am not going to fight with someone who cant be bothered to be considerate of someone trying to do nice things for their kids, I don't care if they are family or not. I only waited that long bc I was loathe to make the kids pay for the sins of the mother but there comes a point when I have to consider my own mental health and not chew my cud over this stuff which I will....meanwhile the mom is super nice and says thank you more than once over time as the girls use the stuff.

** did you get the box/what size clothes-NOT you didnt say thank you.

She said she was staying out of it which is fine with me. But I have not heard a peep out of the DD...and I HAVE to believe she had to ask her mom if she heard why nothing came since now it is a big box with 6 boxes inside to cover both girls and all things.
(shrug) I don't feel bad at all. In fact just the opposite. I am not angry about it anymore. It's done. In some ways she is like her mom-smart and clever...but in other ways she is NOT. She isn't anywhere near as kind etc. I know they are a FB crowd but I just don't accept that.

To end on a happy note-
A friend's DH of 60 years passed last week. So I touch base with her every couple days, don't want to helicopter her....and she told me last time she hated the thank you cards from the funeral home-thought they were tacky. She started rooting around and viola! She found some of the stationary I had made each of them and she is going to happily use that.

Made my heart smile.

So I say-keep those thank you gift sets going! People do use them if they have them and I think they promote good manners for thems as needs it!

Last edited by wavejumper; 08-08-2018 at 10:29 AM..
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:36 AM   #35
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I was pleasantly surprised to see so many responses to this subject! I always taught my children to thank anyone who gave them a gift or did something for them. Today I understand that young people won’t write notes but I expect an acknowledgement of some sort. On the subject of what people do with handmade cards that we spend lots of time on I make mine with a blank inside and write a note that I enclose. That way if they wish to use the card they can. I love texting and emails but I also love writing notes and letters to people I don’t see often. I have so many old letters from family dating back to the 1800s that have been wonderful to add to my ancestry scrapbooks...information that I would never have had. All those texts and emails will be gone. I’m 81 so maybe I look at things different. But I am very happy to see so many people are still teaching their children and grandchildren good habits.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:33 PM   #36
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My issue with this is that when you send a gift card, sometimes in a big amount as for a wedding, and you don’t hear back you wonder if they got it. I’ve started doing more e-cards for this reason. I like phone calls the best. My kids always phone to say thanks. A phone call that includes a thank you is a twofer for me.
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:15 PM   #37
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Another tale … A former co-worker got married a couple of years after I retired. I took a nice gift and handmade card to the shower, where the bride told all assembled that she really missed the handmade cards I used to give her at work, so I reinstated her on my card list. I sent a large nice gift for the wedding. A year later there was a baby shower, along with another nice gift and a handmade card from me. Three gifts (easily over $500 total) and no thank you notes – none! – even though the bride’s sister had designed and printed thank you notes as gifts at both showers. Guess who is back off my birthday card list. >

Our son is getting married this fall, and I told the bride I’d make her thank you notes for her shower and more for the wedding. She liked the idea! (I’ll probably add some postage stamps to the box to be sure they get sent!)>

I have seen several threads here and on other pages in the last year about people making 3”x3” little notes that they hand to random people – a barista, cashier, nurse, ticket agent, flight attendant, etc.. At least some people are thanking as they go along. >
Some do it and some don’t. >
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:33 PM   #38
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I find it disturbing because it is a major lapse in etiquette; the fact that I am a paper crafter is irrelevant.

I'm with you 100% on that!
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:52 PM   #39
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As I read this I wondered if sympathy cards are also going out of style. Both of my parents died within a year of each other and I didn't receive a single sympathy card from anyone despite hundreds of people attending the funerals. And these weren't young people but people in their 80's. The only card I thought I got turned out to be a rant that my sister and I were responsible for my mother's death (she died of stage 4 brain cancer) and that was sent by an 87-year-old friend of hers.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:23 PM   #40
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As I read this I wondered if sympathy cards are also going out of style. Both of my parents died within a year of each other and I didn't receive a single sympathy card from anyone despite hundreds of people attending the funerals. And these weren't young people but people in their 80's. The only card I thought I got turned out to be a rant that my sister and I were responsible for my mother's death (she died of stage 4 brain cancer) and that was sent by an 87-year-old friend of hers.
I hope that sender was a person who had some sort of dementia, otherwise the phrase horror of a human being comes to mind. It is odd about not receiving sympathy cards. Losing both parents in a year is ver painful. Sympathy cards are hard to compose but I think they mean so much. Perhaps some people think that going to the funeral takes the place of a card.
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