When the girls had their birthday and only two people RSVP'd I had a small blog rant about etiquette... namely, why don't people RSVP anymore? I was surprised by the number of comments from people who had similar experiences. Now there's a new lapse in etiquette which baffles me: the thank you note.
I am one of those people who tries very diligently to write thank you letters. After birthdays or Christmas, I try to have notes written and mailed within a week. It doesn't always happen in that time frame, but it gets done. The last few birthday parties the girls have gone to have resulted in zero thank yous. The parents had the children acknowledge the gifts as they opened them, but no thank yous were sent.
I realize that until the age of 8 (give or take a year) the burden of thank you notes falls to the parents. In our busy lives, it can be hard to set aside time to do this... but shouldn't it still be done?
These days I ask the girls to tell me something they like about their gift. Their responses can be quite comical, but I make sure to include them in the letter. At the end, they each write the first letter of their name. Previously, they would make a scribble... something to show they took part in the process. They've asked me several times why we're writing the letters. I explain to them that it's important to let people know how much their gifts meant to us.
I've actually read blogs from twin moms who said they shouldn't be expected to write thank yous after the birth of their babies. (If you're one of those moms, please know, I'm not calling you out or trying to start an argument). I get it. Having one newborn makes life crazy. Having two or more? Chaos. I kept a running list of all the gifts we received. The list had a spot where I then checked off whether I sent a note and when I sent it. It was extremely important to me to acknowledge each and every item we received. I didn't want anyone to think their gift was overlooked, lost in the shuffle or unappreciated. To this day, I still feel guilty about a gift we received. One day Hubby came home from work with a bag full of diapers in various sizes. There was no card, nothing. We both happened to work at the same TV station at the time and the bag was waiting for him at the receptionist's desk when he arrived. I have no idea who gave us those much appreciated diapers and I still wish that I could have thanked him/her. My guess is it was a viewer of the newscast I anchored who generously thought of my family. I just wish I could have said "thank you for thinking of us."
I've given wedding gifts that have gone unacknowledged. I once emailed a bride months after the wedding to make sure she received our gift. Her response? "Yes, thanks" (via email). Short, void of emotion... but at least she said thank you! (eventually)
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