am i the "mad one" for expecting a thank you card???

(51 Posts)
taytotayto Sun 01-Apr-12 21:08:32

i dont have birthday parties for my children but thats another story but i do allow them to attend parties if they get invited. i always make sure they take a present but having attended about 10 in the last two years ive only ever received one thank you note.
so......are the presents im giving crap? or is it now the norm that no one sends thank you cards any more. what annoys me is these people think they are so much better than me (dont ask) and yet ive always made my children send thank you notes when they get family gifts. im now thinking of stopping my children from going to any more parties but my husband says they shouldnt miss out because of the parents. or should i send them with their hands hanging???

QIelf Sun 01-Apr-12 21:25:08

thank you cards are rare, especially for school parties

you might not like it but it's churlish to stop your children going to parties, not to mention rude to the birthday child

your dh is right

Coconutty Sun 01-Apr-12 21:26:04

You are the mad one.


TrinityRhino Sun 01-Apr-12 21:26:45

You're the mad one

Journey Sun 01-Apr-12 21:34:08

Thank you notes are the norm at my DCs school. I'd probably say 90% of the parties my DCs have been to we've got a thank you note.

defineme Sun 01-Apr-12 21:36:15

You obviously hate the people in your area/parents from school, but I wouldn't punish your kids by stopping them going to parties.
I think it's nice when I receive a thank you, but don't care if I don't. I certainly don't take it as a judgement on the hastily bought colouring book/lego thing I've bought. The only people I'd be surprised about would be my friends and then it's usually a text or face to face.
I'm sure there are bigger issues in your life to be cross about and I would save your energy for those.
You're obviously full of anger about the people you're talking about, I have no idea if that's justified or not,but I do know that's it's not good for your well being and the people you love if you are and that you need to find some way of moving on/letting go.

Greeata Sun 01-Apr-12 21:39:19

Didn't the children say thank you when your dc gave them the gift?

JasperJohns Sun 01-Apr-12 21:41:28

I make mine do thank you cards but I have just found 2 that ds wrote out 2 weeks ago languishing in his school bag.

I couldn't care less if he gets one or not, following a party - having said that, I'd say he almost always gets one.

Stopping your kids going to parties over this would be bonkers. And mean.

freeforall Sun 01-Apr-12 21:48:39

Thank you cards are for people you haven't "said" thank you to. So DS1 thanked Granny when she handed him her present, no card, DSis sent hers (via Amazon, excellent gift service BTW) so he needs to send her a card.

At his party he thanked the children when they gave him the gifts, so no notes.

Sounds like you want to be annoyed with these people TBH

catsareevil Sun 01-Apr-12 21:51:45

Thank you cards are normal at my DDs school, maybe it depends on where you live?

exoticfruits Sun 01-Apr-12 21:54:59

You are the mad one!
It is much nicer to have small parties-unwrap the present in front of the giver and say thank you.
If you have one of these large scale ones, where they go in a black bag to be opened later, do you really want one that the mother has done on the computer 'Dear Lucy, thank for x, I will enjoy playing with it. I hope that you enjoyed my party. love Anna?
If you are lucky Anna has signed her name but she hasn't a clue who gave what and Lucy thinks the whole thing boring and doesn't bother to read it! Or do you want poor Anna to hand write 29 letters plus the ones to her relations?

fishyfairy Sun 01-Apr-12 21:56:32

I'm always a little disappointed when I don't receive a thank you card, but accept that it's the way things are going these days <old gimmer emoticon>

I think that it would be sad for your DC to miss out on parties, but you could do a good passive-aggressive attack of sending thank yous for having the children to the party thus highlighting that they haven't sent thank yous for the gifts if you're that bothered.

Eggrules Sun 01-Apr-12 21:57:16

LO says thank you to birthday child at the end of the party. Present is a thank you for the invitation. I text a thank you for the party invitation and present to the parent.

Maybe it's rude of you to attend but never host parties?

Send thank you cards for people don't give presents in person.

exoticfruits Sun 01-Apr-12 22:01:09

Just say thank you at the time.

taytotayto Mon 02-Apr-12 10:38:41

very honest answers which i admire ...... can i ask as parents do you expect a minimum spend on presents from parents. would you be annoyed if your child got cheap present. i suppose what im trying to say is do you expect people to bring presents to a birthday party and if so do you mind how much they spend. ive always spent about £10 per party but my friends think this is too much to spend on a child we only see at nursery.

taytotayto Mon 02-Apr-12 10:41:18

to be honest id perfer not to go but i feel i cant win. if i dont go im selfish then im selfish if i do go so what am i to do. please advise eggrules.

JasperJohns Mon 02-Apr-12 10:52:33

I spend about £10, maybe a bit more. I would never expect a minimum spend, however and of course, would not be annoyed! My ds has a friend who always gives something like a cake he has made; I think it's really lovely and thoughtful.

For our y5 children we have been having collections for a couple of years. So one parent will collect £10 each from all the others. This is v popular with the kids and parents alike as it's easier and the child gets to choose something decent.

They're the norm here too but I wouldn't take it personally.

MerryMarigold Mon 02-Apr-12 10:56:13

I don't expect a Thankyou. If I get one, it's nice. I think when kids get older they tend to write them themselves ie. one little boy we went to his 5th and got no thankyou, but for his 6th he wrote everyone a proper note as he could write by then (he's a Sept bday). I usually spend 5-10 pounds (less for lesser known friends/big party and more for a special friend/ small party, only a few friends).

taytotayto Mon 02-Apr-12 10:57:37

for the record i honestly dont hate anyone defineme. im just mad and expect too much from people. end of!!!!

Noqontrol Mon 02-Apr-12 17:37:02

I don't send thank you cards, but then again I generally make it clear that i don't expect people to bring presents either unless they really want to. I don't care if someone sends a thank you note after the event, thanks at the time is good enough and it saves some trees too.

taytotayto Tue 03-Apr-12 12:25:34

why so quiet defineme.......know all know all.

shineypenny Tue 03-Apr-12 12:34:10

Thank you cards are the norm where we are. It doesn't have to be a chore. We normally knock something up on the computer which includes a photo of all the children taken at the party, a little thank you note, print them off and then the only writing involved is signing them. The dcs love making them, they are learning ict skills and also the good manners that if someone has gone to the effort to buy you a gift, you should make an effort to say thank you.

shineypenny Tue 03-Apr-12 12:40:45

I do not expect a child to bring a present at all. Some families simply cannot afford it. The dc invite their friends because they want them to share their party, not because they expect a gift. I would be horrified to think a child turned down an invitation because they couldn't afford a gift. We have had children come to dcs parties in the past with just a card and it is not a problem and dcs did not ask me why there was no gift, they are just happy to have their friend at their party.

crustyonion Tue 03-Apr-12 12:45:13

I don't expect a card, but I do expect a thank you. I have friends with 2 DDs and I have bought both a birthday present every year. Some presents have been given at their parties (big party, present opened later) and they or their parents said thank you when it was handed over. The last two were posted, and there wasn't so much as a text. I actually texted the friend to ask if it arrived and got "yes it did" back. I got a bit grumpy then. The present was something they suggested I buy, so not an unsuitable gift. hmm

molly3478 Tue 03-Apr-12 12:54:53

I have never known anyone that spends a tenner on childrens birthday parties as I think that would be seen as extravagent. However we do thank you cards and I have often recieved them back from parties. If we dont then it wouldnt bother me at all because they say thank you at the time.

catsareevil Tue 03-Apr-12 13:25:35

£10-15 is what we spend on presents for childrens parties, and what others seem to spend too.

taytotayto Tue 03-Apr-12 13:34:12

shineypenny and crustyonion you are on my wave length. it makes me sad to think that presents are EXPECTED. who was the sad person on her that said a present is your thank you for being invited. i didnt really want to say it on here but the reason i dont have birthday parites for my children is because i wanted to put no presents please on the invitations but my husband wouldnt allow me to do that so i said fine we will only have family parties then. i hate the thought of a little one not going simply because a present was required. i think you should invite a child because you want them there not for what they will bring. my children get family gifts and gifts from my husband and i.
what is wrong with society today that we feel we can take take take and not spend an hour writing a thank you note, especially when you were quick enough to take the gift in the first place. i feel sorry for children who have parents who cant take the time to teach them good manners.

dexterthecat Tue 03-Apr-12 13:56:47

We do send thank-you cards here but to be honest I think they're a complete waste of money and really don't see the need. As everyone else has said usually everyone says their 'thank-you's' at the party so it does appear a bit of overkill.

Having said that there is a recent trend (we are past the whole class party stage) of the host sending out a personalised 'thank-you card' with a picture of the party invitees which is nice.

achica Tue 03-Apr-12 14:22:23

Oh my goodness OP!!! How sad. You won't let your children have a party with their friends because some nameless child wouldn't be able to go because a present was required!!!! Some of my happiest memories are of my children enjoying themselves at their birthday parties with their friends. Family parties just really aren't the same.

And your husband, 'Won't allow you' to put 'No presents' on the invites. Has there been a time warp??? Have we suddenly slipped back into the Victorian era??? Just as well you do as you are told by your husband as it would be really unfair for your children to miss out being with their friends just because of your mad ideas.

CalmingMiranda Tue 03-Apr-12 14:48:02

tayto, you seem to make some very radical decisions based on small upsets. So you are prepared to prevent your child going to parties because you are not prepared to invite them back and it all hinges on thank you notes?

In my circles the generally understood prinicple is that if you give a present to someone face to face you say thank you to them, there and then. If something arrives in the post you send a thank you note.

And you will ban all children's parties in case someone can't afford a present? Let people decide how to handle this themselves - My DS has a friend from an extremely poor family who came as refugees. As a present they brought a T shirt (not new, an outgrown one from their family) which they had decorated specifically for my DS. How sad had I decided not to hold a party in case they couldn't afford a present. Another not-rich family have brought a small plate of home made sweet treats. And we would be just as happy if someone came without bringing a present - no-one should ever expect a present, and my DC know that.

Relax, concentrate on how kind and friendly people are and how much pleasure your children get from having friends. In the end that is what counts, not rigidly sticking to your own expectations of etiquette.

freeforall Tue 03-Apr-12 14:57:05

OMG, to deny your children any parties in case a child can't afford a present?

Round here I'd say gifts are usually c. £5-£8, always less than £10. Now my boys are a bit older more often than not it's £5 in a card. We had one boy arrive without a gift at DS1's party last week. None of the other children noticed, and TBH I'm not even sure DS1 did, but he would have noticed if his friend wasn't there. When they were younger one family always sent something that I knew came from the pound shop - it really didn't matter.

newpup Tue 03-Apr-12 14:57:16

My Dds have always sent thank you notes and have always received them from friends. It is definately the done thing here to send thank you notes for a gift.

Noqontrol Tue 03-Apr-12 20:47:42

Op, I think you're mad.

OP, I suggest you need to unwind a bit.
Whilst I'm concerned that your DH seems to tell you what to do, he's right.

PuppyMonkey Tue 03-Apr-12 21:02:21

Never understand about the MN obsession with thank you cards. Like we still live in Victorian times and cards are the only form of communication. grin

exoticfruits Tue 03-Apr-12 22:07:02

I think it is nice for people who really appreciate them-like granny, but I can't see the point after a party when the DC could be thanked in person.

taytotayto Wed 04-Apr-12 09:56:36

its not an obsession with thank you cards all im saying is you people are quick enough to waste the paper on the invitation when you know your going to get a present for your over spoilt children then your so lazy you cant be bothered to take the time to send a thank you note when theres nothing in it for you. it must be a class thing....yes thats its.
and while im on it if i did hold a party i would do it for my children not for the pleasure i would get like some of you have said on here. and also for the record my husband does tell me what to do and if i agree i do it if not i wont and he is the same with me. we then discuss the issue and come to a compromise. if anyone could be bothered to read a few lines up you would see ive written we have FAMILY yes i said Family parties so for the record my children dont go without. plus they have manners which is more than can be said for some of you on here.

freeforall Wed 04-Apr-12 10:10:15

If you think people "waste paper" on the invitations just to get a present you are mad. The cost per child is always more than the value of the gifts received ime

As far as manners are concerned, I think it's very easy to feel all worthy by sending a quickly scribbled thank you note, a heartfelt face to face thank you surely has just as much if not more value and there's certainly no need for both.

What do your children think? I know mine like the birthday tea we have with GPs, but they're nowhere near as excited about that as at the prospect of having their friends to a party tea.

CalmingMiranda Wed 04-Apr-12 10:47:52

'you people'.


Noqontrol Wed 04-Apr-12 14:50:27

Goodness me, that is very rude op. I spent months planning my dd's 4 th birthday party. She'd had a hard year because her dad had been in hospital and I wanted her and her friends to have a really special day. Apart from the expense of hiring the hall and getting an entertainer and buying enough decent food for 27 kids, plus party bags that myself and dd had spent many evenings putting together, there is also the sheer effort of getting up at 5am in the morning to make a huge amount of sandwiches so they are fresh on the day, plus making cakes, fruit salad and blowing up balloons. Plus making tea and coffee for all the parents at the party and cleaning the mess up in the hall afterwards. I did the majority of this by myself and the parents and children who attended had a fantastic time and still talk about it now. I requested no presents but people still chose to bring them anyway. I didnt have a party so my dd could get lots of presents, i did it because i wanted to create a really magical day for them all. But because I didn't send thank you cards after that I'm suddenly a rude person? Isn't the amount of effort I put in to make sure everyone had a wonderful day plus verbal thanks for coming not thank you enough? I think you sound thoughtless yourself and you have no idea how much effort goes in to organising a good party. Perhaps if you had ever organised a big party for your child and knew the amount of effort and expense that goes into it, you wouldn't be so quick to judge others for not writing their thanks on a piece of paper and sending it to you.

mum23girlys Wed 04-Apr-12 14:55:10

Don't take it personally. I was shocked when we moved here and noone sends thank you notes/cards. I've always done it and when my dtd's had their 5th birthday party I got them to write thank you cards for all their gifts before I realised it wasn't the norm. Was embarassing as lots of parents thanked me for the thank you cards when I met them in playground grin

defineme Thu 05-Apr-12 09:16:40

Sorry op, I failed to notice you'd responded directly to me. I think know it all is a bit harsh-you asked for people's opininons on a public forum and so I gave you mine and you said you appreciated honesty.
I spend £5 per present, but increase it if more than one of my kids are invited, so £15 if all three are.I spend that because it's what I can afford and it seems to buy a reasonable present if I shop carefully.
I would never expect a present, have sometimes had just a card, once nothing, often home made or second hand-all of whichh is fine because I did the party to make my kids happy, not so they'd get presents or a particular kind of present. I have worried when people have spent a lot of money, but then I reasoned that that must be what they're comfortable with and we do live in an area where we are one of the lower income families (despite being comfortable) so it makes sense.
I think family parties are lovely and if there are children in your extended family and you play party games then I don't see there's much difference. We always invite grandparents and so on to ours if it's appropriate- eg cousins came to lazerquest but grandparents didn't fancy it, all of them came to village hall one with entertainer.
I do think it's impolite to not say Thank you, but I don't think a card is the only way to say thank you-mine are face to face generally. I also think it's ridiculous to be offended, I wouldn't presume to know what goes on in other people's lives and I assume that saying thank you just falls off the end of people's list-it's not a personal insult.
I stand by my comment that you're angry with a lot of stuff and that must be tiring for you. I find exercise helps or charity work tends to put things in perspective. I imagine you'll feel angry with that comment too smile

Eggrules Thu 05-Apr-12 21:11:48

'to be honest id perfer not to go but i feel i cant win. if i dont go im selfish then im selfish if i do go so what am i to do. please advise eggrules.' In response to 'i dont have birthday parties for my children but thats another story but i do allow them to attend parties if they get invited', my comment was 'Maybe it's rude of you to attend but never host parties?'.

I did not use the word selfish. I extend an invitation with the best of intentions, but it is not a royal summons - you can say no. Hosting parties is expensive and requires a massive effort. If you never expect to host a party for any your children, then it may be considered rude or lazy (your word) of you to accept hospitality? It may be as rude, as not sending a hard copy thank you instead of a personal or virtual one (text/email). In this case manners rather than beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I do not expect hospitality to be reciprocated in a like for like fashion. I have my DS's friend for tea every few weeks and the invitation is never extended back. I think this is rude; an explanation or 1 turn to my 50 would be fine.

I send a present as a thank you for the invitation/party. I spend £10 and understand that this does not recoup the cost and effort made by the host. If my DS wants to go to the party he goes - I've always got other things I would rather be doing wink.

When hosting a children's party, I do not expect a present. It is lovely if people bring a present but it is unnecessary and I make this clear.

mumeeee Wed 02-May-12 00:19:21

My children are all in their 20's now. But when they were going to children's parties no one ever sent a thank you card.The birthday child would say thank you when they received the gift and that was enough for me and for other parents.

VictoriaBB Wed 24-Apr-13 13:53:57

Depends whether we are thanking for the gift or the party! 90% of the time we receive thank you cards for presents, and my children always send them. Do you thank the parents for the childrens party, like you would to an adult party though?...I think it's more text and email now which is a shame as there is something lovely about sending/receiving a card.
Someone sent me this one and I loved it so much I had to ask where she got contained a mini packet of seeds for the children too!

TheRealFellatio Wed 24-Apr-13 13:57:06

I think that if the parties have been quit large then it's a bit tedious to have to write thank you cards to everyone. they are quite an outdated idea imho. I have done it a few times, but it's not ever something I feel obliged to do, and I don't hound my children into doing it, either. I make sure they thank everyone sincerely either face to face at the point of acceptance, or on the phone later though.

TheRealFellatio Wed 24-Apr-13 14:01:08

grin I see this is going well then.

TheRealFellatio Wed 24-Apr-13 14:01:44

OP you are sounding a bit too angry and emotionally over-invested in this.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 24-Apr-13 14:02:17

Yes, you are the 'mad one'.

If you think any parent decides to go to the stress and bother and expense of a big party because they think the pay off in presents will compensate, you're bonkers. As you don't do parties for your children, you obviously have no idea how much work and stress can be involved in hosting one!

chocoluvva Wed 24-Apr-13 14:03:48

If you see the parents at the nursery and they mention the present and say thankyou then there's no need for a letter IMO.
Otherwise they should do a little thankyou note. My two are teens, but when they were at your DC's stage we were always giving and getting thank you letters.

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