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Thank you cards (lighthearted-ish)

(44 Posts)
ChampagneTastes Thu 06-Aug-15 12:02:04

Inspired by a couple of threads in the last couple of days. I'm going to come right out and say it: thank you cards are a pain in the backside. Sending them is a hassle (particularly when you've just had a baby or something like that) and receiving them means that my mantelpiece is cluttered up for an indeterminate amount of time (when IS it socially acceptable to throw away a picture of someone's PFB?)

On top of this, it's the obligation that I object to. If someone chooses to send me a gift I assume they are doing that to bring me some happiness, not to demand my gratitude. I send gifts because it's a nice thing to do and it might make my friend smile. Getting annoyed about a lack of thanks rather undermines the kindness of the original gift.

So AIBU to say that it is inappropriate to expect thank you cards and to positively embrace "thanks" via text, email or phone-call or even get none at all?

I feel similarly about Christmas cards but that's a whole other thread.

Teapot101 Thu 06-Aug-15 12:04:05

YANBU hate sending, hate receiving (as makes me feel guilty for not sending) The worst ones are thank you for dinner!

ChampagneTastes Thu 06-Aug-15 12:06:12

Oh God do people DO that? It's neverending. We'll end up sending cards to say thank you for cards soon.

AuntyMag10 Thu 06-Aug-15 12:10:08

Yanbu, I didn't grow up with the cards thing so I can't and won't be bothered by sending a card. What do people do with those cards, display them? That to me looks so untidy.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Thu 06-Aug-15 12:10:58

When my kids were younger and received presents they always said thank you in person or I'd phone up and say thanks to the sender.

As they've got older the same process applies only now they phone themselves to say thank you.

I don't do Christmas cards at all.

AuntyMag10 Thu 06-Aug-15 12:13:23

^ SanDiego we also grew up with calling the person to say thank you. I do it now as well. I would much rather get a call/ text rather than a card that I know I'm going to throw away after I read it.

FreiasBathtub Thu 06-Aug-15 12:14:15

Oh God, I've found my people! LOATHE them. Obviously far too cowardly to admit this in real life, especially to prime culprits of mother and mother-in-law ("darling, I don't mean to nag but Great Aunty Susan was just wondering if you got her babygros as she hasn't had a card yet" - no she doesn't because they arrived last week, I have a 3 week old baby and a very long to do list and I'VE NEVER EVEN MET GREAT AUNTY SUSAN let alone have her address which of course she has not included anywhere with the 3 pack of babygros for a 3 year old child!!). So thank you for giving me this safe space to vent.

queenofthemountains Thu 06-Aug-15 12:14:48

I never sent Thank you cards as a child, it was something my mum (not my Dad) couldn't be bothered to organise 3 children to do. I now delegate Thank you cards to my husband as I organise everything else and as a result they never get done. I get the kids to say Thank you on the day or on the phone later if we remember.

I always say to parents at parties and people we give gifts to that I don't want a Thank you card and not to bother.

kissmethere Thu 06-Aug-15 12:16:34

Oh wow yes it makes me rage. I'd rather phone or text to say thank you. I do make effort if older relatives have sent dcs gifts as it's the only way to communicate with some of them. My dm is always maki gays write them still and it drives me mental.

LilacWine7 Thu 06-Aug-15 12:16:40

I don't mind sending cards, actually I think it's a nice thing to do. If someone has bothered to post me a gift, the least I can do is post a thank you card to show my appreciation. A text or email just isn't the same. Many older people like to receive a hand-written card and it takes a couple of minutes max to write it and address the envelope.

I only send them for gifts through the post though, or gifts DH's relatives have given to him to give to me. Many of his relatives have sent beautifully packaged baby gifts and I feel this level of care and thoughtfulness warrants a nice card in return.

Never heard of sending thank you cards for dinner though!

ChampagneTastes Thu 06-Aug-15 12:17:04

FreiasBathtub - you have all my sympathy. I've been guilted into them since we had our DS and I was about to start getting him to do them (he's 3, it's about time he started earning his keep) when I decided no, I will not pass on this ridiculous ritual to him. It can die with me.

FreiasBathtub Thu 06-Aug-15 12:17:40

I should add that I'm very grateful for the presents, and certainly don't expect thank you cards when I give things to people on similar occasions. In fact I have a thank you card amnesty with some of my friends and we always text/email to say thanks.

ChampagneTastes Thu 06-Aug-15 12:21:18

I think that the best way to say thank you is to use and appreciate the gift.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Thu 06-Aug-15 12:22:42

I think my mother tried to make to write a thank you card once. It's an absolute waste of time and paper, unless the person needing to be thanked cannot be in person, through phone, email or even dropping a text. As long as the 'thank you' has been said, and said with a good degree of sincerity, then the social norms have been done. People who whine that they 'have not recieved a thank you card', even when they have been thanked, really, really, really need to get a grip.

I don't do Christmas cards either. I do send birthday cards, but usually only for people I'm close to, with a blank or basic inside so I can write a proper personal message (hate those vomit inducing poems that every sodding Clinton card seems to have these days!)

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Thu 06-Aug-15 12:32:34

I have only sent thank you cards a handful of times.. most recently it was to the ICU staff that went above and beyond with the level of care. Not just looking after the medical side, but also thought about me as a person, and did little things like plait my hair, paint my nails, shave my legs and moisturizing my scars. Not in their job description at all, but they did it to brighten up my day. I couldn't thank them in person at the time as I couldn't talk due to the tracheostomy. So once I was able to I popped in with cards and chocolates for them.
I don't do thank you cards for gifts unless I won't see them face to face, I much rather say thank you in person.

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Thu 06-Aug-15 12:32:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hygge Thu 06-Aug-15 12:36:00

I'm not bothered about thank you cards but if it's something I've had to post I would at least like to have acknowledgement that the present has arrived safely. I don't care what form that acknowledgement takes, text message, Facebook message, phone call, card, message passed on through someone else, it doesn't matter. I just like to know things have arrived.

We have family who live at the other side of the world who never ever say if they've received parcels and presents.

That's all I really want to know, did the thing I bought and posted actually arrive?

They are very active on Facebook, so even a quick Facebook PM or comment to say they'd received it would do. I always send them a message to say something is on the way, and then I feel awkward later on if I have to ask them if it arrived or not.

We ended up just putting money in their UK bank account instead of posting presents, and sending them a message to say "we've put some money in the bank ready for X's birthday/for the kids for christmas" and never get a reply to that either.

If they send anything to DS I always send a quick message to say it's arrived (usually it's a moon pig card with a voucher in it) and then another message when he's used the voucher to say "thanks, he bought X with the voucher today" just so they know their present hasn't gone astray.

FurtherSupport Thu 06-Aug-15 12:41:42

I do make my DC send cards - because they need all the writing practise they can get!

I think saying thank you is important but I don't understand those who think a card shows a bit more effort/gratitude. It's much easier to send a card than risk phoning an elderly relative grin

5Foot5 Thu 06-Aug-15 12:48:07

So AIBU to say that it is inappropriate to expect thank you cards and to positively embrace "thanks" via text, email or phone-call or even get none at all?

YANBU until the last six words. I think it is perfectly fine to send thanks via any of these other means. In fact, if anything, a phone call is probably nicer than a card because it can at least lead to a cosy chart and possibly takes more effort than writing on a card and sticking it in the post.

However, I take issue with not thanking at all. I genuinely don't send presents in order to receive thanks. But I still think it is a bit ungrateful when people don't make any acknowledgment of a present. Not even a quick text "Thanks for the lovely present". How much effort involded in that?

kissmethere Thu 06-Aug-15 13:51:54

My dm would also lie about relatives asking for a thank you(not a good trait in my dm) . I would always thank people when I saw them or phoned but dm has this bloody thing about cards.

SirPercyPilkington Thu 06-Aug-15 14:01:35

YANBU. I really hate writing TY cards.
I tried to get all of the email adresses of DH's family so I could do Mermaid's goddaughter's mum does - send a wee catch up and a photo. MIL disapproved of this idea and so gave me the email adresses - but she just made them up so a bunch of strangers got photos of DS in his new Christmas gear.
I am back to pen and paper but it is an arse of a job since I have no clue who these people are! I know they most likely enjoy receiving the card so will just complain to you guys and myself,

FinallyHere Thu 06-Aug-15 14:11:00

It is lovely to hear, from a phone call, txt, email or whatever, that a present has actually arrived.

I hated having to send thank you letters as a child, but loved receiving them from my niece and nephew. In the very early days, my sister had them scribble on a piece of paper, to which she added the words. As they got older, they did more and more themselves. I've kept every one as they are a lovely record of their growing up. I'd like to think that it wasn't too much trouble for her, either.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Thu 06-Aug-15 14:12:53

I'm afraid I'm one who says Yes to 'Thank You' cards. If someone has bothered to take the time and trouble to send you something, then he very least you can do is to say Thank You for it

Freias - I'VE NEVER EVEN MET GREAT AUNTY SUSAN let alone have her address which of course she has not included anywhere with the 3 pack of babygros

Many of us have had new babies - I personally always managed to thank everyone for the gifts they gave/sent. Your 'Great Aunty Susan' may have found it an enormous struggle to send a gift. But she did, even though she's never met you. What a kind lady, to be met only with derision. It would not be too difficult to find out her address from your Mum or Dad, for instance.

passmethewineplease Thu 06-Aug-15 14:15:30

YANBU I have no idea why a thanks has to be written to be valid. Thanks is thanks no matter how it's delivered!

Sootgremlin Thu 06-Aug-15 14:31:44

I agree to an extent. I think it's silly if you have the opportunity to say thank you in person or over the phone to then feel obligated to send a card as well. Sometimes I've handed over a bottle of wine to a relative and received a hug and thanks, to find a handwritten exposition on the enjoyments of wine has beaten me home. I find it a little irritating because I then wonder if that is expected when I would just say 'thank you' and leave it at that.

I received some clothes for the children from an elderly relation who lives a distance away, so I sent a lovely thank you card saying how much they were liked, and included a photo of the children wearing them. A few days later I receive a thank you card for the photos and another item for the children. So I've had to write 'buy cards, stamps, print photos for x' right underneath where I had just crossed it out. It's all wonderful of course, and appreciated, but it will be on my mind again until I do it and where does it end?? Nice stationery just encourages people grin

But. I do think that a gift needs to be acknowledged, so if the best way to reply is in kind, ie through the post, to someone you won't be seeing, then that is where a written note comes in.

However, a new baby is one of the situations where I would not expect to receive thanks in a hurry, and if I never did I would benevolently assume 'too much on plate' and not think particularly ill of them, as you never know what a new mother may be dealing with. I did send proper printed thank yous for both of mine as it was also a nice way of sending photos and details of the new baby out.

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