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To stop sending thank you letters

(26 Posts)
MummaB123 Mon 08-Feb-16 09:49:57

To cut a long story short, my FIL remarried years before I met him, and now has two other children. In the 11 years I have been around we have never once received a thank you letter for a single present we have given. My DH and I have differing opinions on this. I believe you should always send thank you letters for gifts, whereas he thinks it should only be if you are not able to say thank you in person.
Due to various issues, we do not see them anymore, and haven't now for 18 months. We have continued to send and receive gifts for their children and ours, and I still send thank you cards (the only contact we have other than birthday cards), but still, nothing from them. AIBU to now stop thanking them for the gifts for our children? It feels very rude to me, but I don't really feel it's fair that we are the only ones doing it!

Filmstar01 Mon 08-Feb-16 10:13:35

We always do thank you cards. I sent them to family members we were with over Christmas even though we said thank you in person. I think we are unusual these days for sending them but I think it's nice. I get phone calls from older people because they appreciate the gesture. It does irritate me that some people don't even text or phone to say thank you for gifts we've given them. I've started to decrease the value of gifts where I can predict we will get no thanks. I know it's about the giving and not the receiving but it's just rude and we aren't made of money.

acasualobserver Mon 08-Feb-16 10:18:13

I think you should carry on doing what you believe to be the right thing. You dislike their rudeness - don't respond by being rude yourself.

DoJo Mon 08-Feb-16 11:05:18

If you were seeing them in person you would say thank-you wouldn't you? Even if they didn't? In which case I think you should go ahead and carry on with what you were doing.

GloGirl Mon 08-Feb-16 11:08:09

I think you say thank you in person so you don't need to send a card.

leelu66 Mon 08-Feb-16 11:51:33

YANBU. I would stop sending the cards. If they appreciated them, they would reciprocate.

YakTriangle Mon 08-Feb-16 11:59:16

I agree with your DH - always say thank you, but only by card if you can't do it in person.

Sparklingbrook Mon 08-Feb-16 12:00:41

If you are sending presents because you don't see them anymore are the presents getting there?

WorraLiberty Mon 08-Feb-16 12:01:49

I think it's OTT to say thank you in person and send a card, why would you?

I think nowadays most people send a text if they haven't thanked in person.

What2 Mon 08-Feb-16 12:07:06

I really don't think it matters. - Send them if you want to but don't bother if you don't want to. Most people don't send thank you cards. I used to get the kids to send them but now I rarely send them and I consider myself to be polite. It's your DHs family so why don't you 'step back' and leave it all up to him.

Sparklingbrook Mon 08-Feb-16 12:08:37

Thank You cards are useful to receive because you know the gift has arrived when sent in the post.

I often send stuff 'signed for' so that I will know it got there in case the recipient doesn't bother with a thank you.

Filmstar01 Mon 08-Feb-16 13:03:05

I verbalised it and sent cards to say thank you for gifts but also for their hospitality to my family which I was really very grateful for.

MummaB123 Mon 08-Feb-16 15:18:12

SparklingBrook, I can only assume they have arrived as we have no other way of knowing, but I would hope that in the last 18 months not all of them would have been lost! That is a good idea about recorded delivery though.
Thanks for all the responses. It's interesting to hear other people's opinions on it. It is something I was brought up to do, but as a lot of people have said, not everyone does it. I'm guessing it can't mean a lot to my in-laws, as they have never done it themselves, so it would make me think I won't bother, but as acasualobserver says, I find it rude so shouldn't be rude myself. I'll have to see how I feel next time we receive a gift, but this has given me some new angles to look at it from.

Hihohoho1 Mon 08-Feb-16 15:23:52

I don't see the point in you all sending gifts if you don't see each other anyway. Why doesn't your dh see his dad?

Surely that's the main issue not sending cards?

BeakyAndBun Mon 08-Feb-16 15:40:54

I think it's a really nice gesture to send a hand-written card or letter if someone has spent their time and money buying you a gift. I'll admit as an adult I no longer do, because I fell out of doing it and started buying people gifts myself. But for a child, I think it is polite to take that short amount of time to write to someone. It reminds them that presents aren't an entitlement and to be grateful for what they have and the people who have given them things. I also know how much my older relatives in particular like receiving cards and that in itself is a nice reason to send them I think!

BeakyAndBun Mon 08-Feb-16 15:43:34

Posted too soon! In your case, I think it's a shame you don't receive cards in return but I still think your DCs sending cards is the polite thing to do!

MummaB123 Mon 08-Feb-16 16:07:02

Hiho, the gifts are only for the children on both sides. We don't see them for various historical reasons, but mainly due to a complete lack of interest in any of us (including our DC). Hence I doubt there is any appreciation for us sending cards, but it seems odd not to. I know in the situation that might seem strange, but I struggle to not acknowledge gifts! Obviously that isn't reciprocated though.
Beckyandbun, my thoughts exactly!

BackforGood Mon 08-Feb-16 16:12:47

tbh, if I weren't involved with the family, I wouldn't send birthday gifts either. Why not have a word with your Sil/BiL and suggest you both stop. Gifts are supposed to be nice things for people you love, not an obligation because someone happens to be related to you in a certain way, even though you don't ever actually see them.

Scholes34 Mon 08-Feb-16 16:15:45

I recently sent three cheques - unexpected bursary awards of a few hundred pounds - to three young adults from the organisation I work for. I've had one thank you. I feel very pleased to have nominated that person for the bursary. I'm disappointed in the two others. Writing thank you cards is all about good manners and shouldn't matter if they're not reciprocated. I think you should continue with the thank you cards.

Hihohoho1 Mon 08-Feb-16 16:22:23

Well in that case I wouldn't be bothered sending gifts to children I didn't see and so don't really know.

Hihohoho1 Mon 08-Feb-16 16:24:45

I mean why would you all bother? There's no love lost or appreciation here from either side it sounds.

agree BackforGood

MummaB123 Mon 08-Feb-16 19:49:44

I get that it seems a bit weird. But they are half-brothers, so still very important. Without going into all that, it's obviously not them we have fallen out with.
Scholes, I would feel the same in that situation! That seems very ungrateful to me.
Hmm, not sure what I'll do, I feel a bit silly that it plays on my mind so much!

goodenoughmum88 Mon 08-Feb-16 23:26:28

I send thank you notes and get a bit hacked off at getting nothing in return from my in laws and their children, I mean at times I'm unsure if things have arrived (although there's always a comment if something hasn't!). I've stopped sending gifts to a cousin who is now 13 as they were never acknowledged and am not made of money. But maybe I'm
Just old fashioned!!!

Xmasbaby11 Mon 08-Feb-16 23:37:50

I always send thank you cards if I can't thank the sender in person.

But I wouldn't send presents to family that I deliberately never saw. How can you know what they like if you never see them?

CheshireDing Tue 09-Feb-16 01:52:43

I was going to say what Xmas said really, why bother sending presents to someone you don't know so don't know what they like? I know that wasn't your original question, sorry !

Honestly I would save your money. We have some lovely friends who started sending presents to DC1 so then I felt we needed to reciprocate - which I did for 3 Christmas's but then stopped this year as DC1 is now 4 and they have not done the 3 hour round trip once to our house to see her in 4 years, they always expect us to do it to them (well I am not anymore). Hence the presents they send her are for things she has not been interested in and twice we haven't even known who the characters were.

I would save your money and not worry about the rudeness of it, if they are not sending cards maybe they are trying to hint that they want the present swapping for people they don't see to stop too (and it's their subtle way of attempting this?)

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