Wednesday, May 28, 2008

No, THANK YOU!

Let me begin this rant by pointing out that I am a GRITS. Girl Raised In The South. Although my family background is diverse, I was definitely brought up with a lot of traditional southern values. One of these in particular is writing thank you notes. You could say that in many situations, I'm kind of a stickler about it. Here's a couple of examples for your amusement.

Scenario 1: Hubby's good friend from high school is FINALLY getting married. He graciously sends us an invite, but we can't attend due to the infant in our house, and the fact that the wedding site is 10 hours from our home. So, I feverishly comb all the "popular" wedding registry sites and finally locate some lovely barware for the happy couple's new home. I purchase it and have it shipped to their home, a couple of weeks prior to the big day. According to the shippers website, they received the package. However, I wouldn't know because it's been over 3 years now, and no thank you note.

Scenario 2: Hubby's step-sister is getting married at a site within reasonable driving distance of our home. We pack up the, now 2 kids, and the wedding gift and head for the hills. I received an invite to a shower for this girl, which so tactfully showed all sites that the registries resided, so I didn't have to do much investigating thankfully. We arrive and walk (for what seemed like miles in the most uncomfortable shoes EVER) and are horrified delighted to find that the affair is an outdoor event. Nothing like nuptials in 105 degree, 100% humidity, Tennessee August heat. After melting faster than the candles enjoying the redneck quirky ceremony, we head indoors (thank god) for the buffet reception. We head home soon thereafter and wonder if she's enjoying the gift that we left on the gift table for them (last August). Know why we're wondering...yep, no thank you note.

Scenario 3: Hubby's cousin sends us a high school graduation invite. The thought of attending this event with about 1,000 other people, just isn't our idea of a good time, plus we had scheduling conflicts. So, I head down to the Hallmark and pick out a delightfully witty card to mail him. I enclose a check for a nice sum of money and wish him well. I hope he spent the money wisely, because the check cleared our bank account. I also hope he used part of it to purchase a stamp for the thank you card that we have yet to receive.

I realize that with the digital age, letter writing has become a bit of a lost art. However, there's no excuse for not picking up a phone, sending a text, or drafting an email just to say "Thanks, I really appreciate you thinking of me/us!" So, for those out there that I might have been remiss in thanking for a gift that I (or any member of my household) received in the past several years, this is for you. THANK YOU from the bottom of my forgetful little heart!

92 comments:

Connordog said...

I feel the same way! That's why I hate sending expensive gifts to my DH's family. NEVER a thank you. NEVER NEVER NEVER

Angela said...

And the congregation said, AMEN!!! I still don't know if my cousin receieved the Le Creuset Grill Pan we sent her for her wedding in NOVEMBER.

Sigh.

Angie said...

Steph,
I have just about decided that if it's present for anyone associated with hubby, then forget it! What, were these people raised in a barn? So annoying!

Angie said...

Angela,
Thanks! I knew I was preachin' to the converted. And I really hope all these people who have been so negligent in their etiquette somehow find their way to this entry. Nothing like a subtle hint, right?

Rhea said...

I guess I'm a GRITS too! We take our thank-you notes very seriously around here. It's just common decency though, to let someone (who took time and energy to do something nice for you) know that you appreciate the gift. And, like you said, it's so easy with a quick email or text message or something. My mom made me write emails for my brithday, Christmas and graduation...I hated doing it. But I did it, and people appreciated it. :o)

Michelle said...

I am SO with you on this. And I'm really petty in that I hate the thank you cards that say simply "thank you so much for x. We love it." Can you show a little less thought (ooo I am crabby today!)? My mom taught me to write in depth thank yous which take longer but I hope are appreciated. First you thank them for the time and hope they had fun or express regret that they couldn't join you. Then you thank them for the item and discuss exactly how it is or will be used. Then a nice close. It's at least six sentences in my mom's eyes... and I'm slowly teaching the wee ones. Of course by the time they grow up, they'll be the only ones who write them at all!

And yep, no thank you from the woman I was MOH for either the shower, engagement party or wedding gift. *sigh*

Angie said...

Rhea: I totally agree. I mean, how lazy and unappreciative must you be if you can't even muster up a "TY" on a text message these days! I so appreciate thank you's, but the hand written notes hold an especially special place in my heart.

Michelle: I'm like you and tend to write several sentences. I despise those "fill in the blanks" thank you cards that you can buy now. I mean, for a kids bday party gift, I probably wouldn't care, but I damn well better never receive one of those for a wedding, engagement or baby gift. Tactless. And lazy.

Tiffany said...

This is such a great post. I sent my niece a pair of COACH, yes, COACH sunglasses for her graduation... no thank you... until I told my MIL... the note arrived within a week.

She won't be receiving any more gifts from me. Period.

Colleen said...

I agree with you 100%! I am the same way.

Enjoy your SITS Spotlight! I will be back for more.

wehave9 said...

Hey...I'm a GRITS too! I totally agree with you and even if they can't spell good...I still want a thank you!

Missy said...

Congrats on being the SITS it-girl today! Some of us were already aware of your fabulousness! (:
This is a great post. I loooove to give thoughtful gifts (ie do my hmwk, find out what they reeeealy want, make sure it is perfect) so it is especially bothersome when no thank you arrives.
My mom had me trained to have out the construction paper for thank you notes as a kid before I was even done unwrapping the gift!
If you send any of these folks gifts again, you should enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope and blank thank you note.

Mekhismom said...

Well, I appreciate that you are from the South but manners are universal and the people that you mention in this post are just TACKY! I completely agree that sending Thank you notes/smoke signals/carrier pigeons is the right thing to do. It really raises my ire when people don't do this. Ingrates!

Heather said...

I'm a yankee girl, not a GRITS, but I totally agree on the thank you note issue. My mom raised her daughters right, but alas, I'm ashamed to admit that my youngest sister never sends thank you notes! That includes for her all the various showers and actual events such as her wedding (Sept. '01), birth of her first child (Mar. '05) and birth of her second child (Mar. '07). My poor mom has gotten many a phone call asking if Sis ever got the gift. She dies a little of embarrassment each time.

My five year old knows we always write thank-yous. For her birthday this past May, she even drew pictures of each present on the appropriate note. That's my girl! :D

Cheers from a SITSta!

Caroline said...

Girl...yes! It is a dying form of appreciation. But one I still do. In fact, I just wrote some the other day for birthday presents I had received. I did a post in June about thank you notes (for the thousandth time - thank you), but i don't know how to link it. I think its just good manners all around, unless you can't send one because you don't know who the gift is from.

Kathi said...

Amen sister!
I'm right there with you.

Mrs4444 said...

I agree 100%! Especially today with so many easy ways to do the thanking, there's just no excuse.

Karol said...

I was raised this way also! I try to keep up with the thank you's as best as I can! But for a wedding or graduation?!? They are practically manditory!!


(congrats on the feature!)

Tiff said...

Ooooh BIG pet peeve. I mean, really it is not that hard to write a thank you!

Happy SITS day!

wendy said...

Congrats on the SITS feature! Manners *should be* universal. Unfortunately, they are not.

Nik said...

GRITS girl too - who also reside in that lovely TN heat and humidity. Although, my oldest has been feeding the TN football gods by sweating it out every day from 6-8, we do like it here. I'm a Tennetexean with a splash of Georgia peach.

Now - said oldest - and I have gone round and round to get him to write a thank you note. (I've secretly already sent a little snippet via email) A friend of my dad's sent oldest some fishing books (yeah - we have some of that redneck flair running in the veins) and I'm about to take away fishing privies unless we get that hand drawn thank you note to her.

I do like your thoughts though - THANKS A TON to everyone...sorry if we missed sending ya'll a thank you!

EmBee said...

AMEN Sister!
Quite frankly, a text message or e-mail wouldn't do it for me either.
There's nothing like a good ol' fashioned note in the mail to stand out against all the junk mail and bills.
:-)

Melanie said...

I agree with many of the others -GRITS or Yankee, it's more in the way you were raised and the values that you hold.

Feliz said...

Well, these posts are proof that the thank you note is NOT a dying breed! Unless all of the "no thank you note" people are just too ashamed of themselves to comment. And they should be! As for your second example (the wedding gift from last August), don't you have a year to send thank you notes after the wedding? I think I read that somewhere. That means they have AT LEAST 3 more days to send one. Be watching your mailbox!

Susan said...

Yeah, that drives me crazy too. Another thing that drives me crazy and I find them many people don't do anymore is RSVP. Again, in the age of technology how hard can it be to find some medium to reply as whether you are coming or not. Ugh!!!

Lula! said...

PREACH IT, girl. This is such a pet peeve of mine. And it's the reason I have monogrammed stationery--that makes the thank yous more fun and personal. Even my 2 small girls have notecards with thier names on them--OH YES, they do. I was brought up right.

You rock...loved this!

At Home Redesigns said...

Well said! The worst is when you're not even sure they ever received the gift...

Sarah said...

Oh my goodness, this is my worst vice! I have a serious problem sending thank you notes! I always get them written but then don't have stamps/envelopes or the addresses to send them to. Since I graduated from college I've been stepping up my game though, I'm getting much better!

Melissa said...

Oh, you struck a chord with me, girl! We just had several students graduate and gave them each a little something (for us it was a big something considering we had to do it for 4 graduates). The girls were very courteous and prompt with thank yous. The boys, on the other hand, one has yet to respond and the other had his little 11 year old sister write the thank you card and he just signed them. I guess he was too busy spending all that "hard-earned" money to write his thoughtful thanks....
Congrats on your big day! Bask in the love!!!!!!!!!!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Not sending a thank you is inconsiderate and rude. I'm flexible, it doesn't have to be a handwritten card, and e-mail is fine, but please ACKNOWLEDGE what the gift was (another pet peeve of mine) and offer thanks. Just LET the giver know that you received the gift and you know it was from them.

Shannon said...

You will be glad to know that I am raising my girls right! they will be true GRITS!!!! I have written thank-yous for every birthday gift they've received... now they are getting old enough to either help or write the note themselves.

I hope you are enjoying your SITS day!!!!! :)

PhatMom said...

They could have at LEAST sent an email! HELLO?? Anyone ever heard of the internet? E-cards are free?!?! Some people are dumb. We traveled to Costa Rica to sit through a 2 1/2hr Catholic Costa Rican wedding all in Latin American Spanish, brought the happy couple American money for their trip to Mexico and STILL got an email thanking us, a call AND a hand delivered card before we even got on the plane to leave! It MUST be Americans! :)

Oh, congrats on being featured!

Kelly said...

Good choice on your SITS day...go forth and teach...the ads on the right for the thank you notes is a nice touch also :)

Finding Normal said...

I'm not a GRITS, but I do believe in the thank you note! I must be in the minority because I rarely receive one. They take 5 minutes to write, but save you from a lifetime of bad thoughts by your gift givers. Karma!

About said...

Congrates on being rtecognized!

My husband won't write "Thanks yous"! It drives me batty so I end up writing his too!
What is up with that!

Party of 5 said...

Thats why I am glad I don't get invited anywehre. LOL. I'd be ticked too if I spent that kind of time and money and never knew if they liked it at least. This is also why my kids always verbally tell people Thank you for thier gifts at thier parties (we don't get many things outside of actually being with the person)

Cara Starr said...

i go back and forth between being very good about thank you notes, and other times being very bad about it. My little sister, NEVER sent TY notes after her wedding a few years ago. She kept telling me that etiquette dictates you have up to a year to do them. i don't think Martha would consider that a very good thing.

angie said...

I'm so with you on this one, and I especially loved the part about you hope he spent some of the money on a stamp. :)

Ronnica said...

We could be friends. I've always been good about getting out thank you notes, but it's getting harder and harder to get them out in a timely fashion!

MomMega: mothersmilkblog.com said...

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I really think that people are just too lazy to have good manners. So sad really. You can bet my son will ALWAYS write thank you notes as long as he lives under my roof!

Molly said...

Congrats on being a Saucy blog!

I totally agree with you on this one and even though I hated it as a child when my mom forced us to write thank you notes to everyone, it has remained with me to this day. I went to a wedding last September and didn't get a thank you card until April of this year. Irritated the crap out of me.

Ms. J. to you! said...

I no longer send gifts to people who do not send thank you notes. For birthdays, holidays etc. I just send them a card wishing them happy birthday in the card I say something like since I never heard whether you enjoyed the last gift I sent you, I decided to do things simple this year by sending a card and wishing you a happy XYZ. I know it is a bit tacky to actually say that but the first offense of not sending the TY note is worse.

Swirl Girl said...

I totally agree that Thank You's are a tradition that is sadly slipping away.

Email and phone calls just don't cut it in my book.

Even my 4 nd 8 year old send real live thank you notes on cards that are purchased or better yet, hand made!

ugagirl30 said...

We have to strive fervently to not let the art of thank you notes die! Long live the thanks!!

jennifer said...

On behalf of the rude folks out there (I stink)....

THANKS!!

I really do stink and I am a Southern girl too.

Great *make me squirm uncomfortably* post! I need to make a few phone calls.

Jen

Kat said...

I send thank you notes - the girls send thank you notes. I don't understand people who don't acknowledge a gift. Michael's family does not see the value in it. And I just hate to even ask the question - did you get "x" with the card I sent?

Rhea said...

I'm all for thank-you notes. I was forced to write them as a kid, so my kids are forced to write them also. Manners are important!

Kind of the whole, treating people like you want to be treated thing. lol

Congrats ony your SITS day!!

Becky :) said...

Glad I caught your site on SITS!! Hope you are having a wonderful day. What caught me out of all of this, is that you said that in this digital age. You are so right!! What's wrong with sending a thank you email if you don't want to write them out. AT LEAST SEND A THANK YOU!!! :-)
Now I'm off to read more. THANK YOU for sharing. :-)

Me said...

I am ashamed to admit that I only finshed and mailed half of my thank you notes for wedding gifts--6 years ago.

Elizabeth said...

Glad I caught your site via SITS! This is so true! I was raised to write thank-you notes if you did not open the gift in front of the person. If you open in front of them and say thanks at the time, such as a birthday party or Christmas, that was OK. My sister is raising her kids to write thank you's for everything, which is a little excessive, especially with the rising cost of postage, but I guess it's better than not teaching them to do it. She also makes them do it properly, telling how they will use the $ or how they are enjoying the toy, or where they have worn the clothes, etc.
The worst thank you note I ever received was from an English teacher. Almost a year after the wedding, "Thank you for the thoughtful gift."
That was it!

Belle said...

Congrats on your SITS day! I too am a GRITS...a southern belle through and through...and all of the steel magnolias who raised me had hard and fast rules for thanking people appropriately for anything and everything under the sun. Unfortunately, some people didn't get a proper raising...

Amy said...

Congrats on being featured on SITS today.

I agree with you here, and my mom was always funny about that too. If someone didn't send a thank you she was not too happy.

Stephanie said...

Grit or not, a Thank You is a must! I agree. Even if one is not a writer there are too many ways in this world to give someone a thank you. Great post, great blog and congrats!!!!!!

sassy stephanie said...

I'm WRITE there with ya. I even get knocked by my husband for writing notes of thanks for gifts I receive as a thank you. EX: thank you gift from a teacher for my room mommin' abilities.

Crazy Momma said...

Oh man, you totally reminded me that I don't think my step son ever sent out the thank you notes I made him buy for his HS graduation...sonuvabiscuit!

Just say Julie said...

Ok Ok, I am totally guilty of neglecting to send thank you notes for wedding gifts. I started out with such good intentions, but somewhere along the line just ran out of steam. So, with that being said, tomorrow I will hunt down some cute cards and resume thank yous for our now 3 year old gifts. I know, my mom would be so ashamed (which is why I made sure to do all her friends first)...

Dana said...

I'm not the best about thank you notes...I at least make a phone call or send off an email though. I'm doing my best to teach my boys to send thank you notes....I think it's going well....

Mama Dawg said...

Hi, came via SITS.

I'm a GRIT as well and I would NEVER, EVER, EVER think of not sending a thank you note. I actually send a thank you note to my buyers of my products at etsy in each package.

Z's Mom said...

Hmmmm....I guess I'm a GRIM? Girl raised in the Midwest? Anyway, I totally agree with you on the thank you notes....oh, its so irritating. Its making me become a not so cheerful of a giver!!!

Christie said...

Amen. I agree...Not only do I send Thank You's for everything but I make my children do it too. I want them to have a habit of gratitude.

Hairline Fracture said...

My mama raised me right (I'm a Girl Still in the South) because I always send thank you notes unless I opened a gift in the presence of a close family member and said thank you right then.

I did lose the addresses of some of the wedding invitees who sent presents and my MIL said she couldn't get the addresses again, so I gave up. 11 years later, I still feel guilty.

Bonnie said...

I agree with you in part. In my opinion, thank you cards are a must for weddings, births, and graduations. I do not personally feel I must write out thank you cards for Christmas and birthday gifts, unless it was mailed from afar and then I send an e-mail thank you or call. I do not "expect" them or get mad when I don't receive them, however. You never know the circumstances behind it. If I wonder whether someone got something I sent, I just ask. I have only had one occasion where I mailed a wedding gift and truly wondered if it was received.

Jess said...

Ahh yes I know those little thank you notes, I too was raised similar. Sorry you guys never got those three notes. THANK YOU for writing this post and being featured on SITS, and I will be adding your button to my sidebar so I can see those Monday Morning Eye Candy treats. HAHAHAHA :) LOL

Creative Junkie said...

ITA 100%. Although I wonder, in this day and age, is a thank you email sufficient? I've always sent out written ones myself but nowadays, most of our invites come via evite or something similar, so I'm wondering if a corresponding thank you via email is acceptable.

mrsmouthy said...

Um, I'd just like to thank you now for anything I might have forgotten to thank you for. Thanks! And sorry it took so long to get this to you. :)

dddiva said...

Sing it SITSta.
I think it is not only thank you cards though, it is lack of manners in general.
Hehe luckily for me it is so ingrained in my kids heads that the mini diva was thanking the dang oral surgeon and his staff even though she woke up during the procedure.

Kaza said...

Okay, so this explains why my SIL is nutty with the card sending for absolutely every occasion (of course including thank you notes). She was a GRITS too. Me, I'm a GWMTTS (girl who moved to the South), and am now a GSITIH (girl sweltering in this infernal heat). They're unpronounceable, so I don't think they'll stick. Anyway, maybe you can help me figure out this part of the country, 'cause y'all are a bit odd to this Cali native (and I'm an oddball to all of you, no doubt!).

Lori said...

And on a related note, I hate the invitations that are not really invitations at all but gift requests. Like, for the step-cousin-in-law's graduation 300 miles away. Sing it SITSta!

Wep said...

So true. I just spent the weekend with my husband childhood friend and his fiance and you will be pleased to know the thank you note went out in this mornings mail :)

Laurel said...

Oh my Mother wouldn't let us have anything our aunts and uncles sent before we handed over the TY card to her to send! I will always have a little Mommy on my shoulder saying "Did you write the TY note?".. Haaaa!

sippycupsandblackberries said...

Lol - I hear my mother's voice in this post. Then again I hear it every time I have to write a thank you. This is kind of what I think. If they are someone you talk to - you can get away with a thank you in person (as in thanks for the b-day present, michael loved it). A phone call or email will work too - usually. I do understand that you get caught up in life and such - but you have to acknowledge it somehow..

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

GIRL.... I know what you mean! I just don't understand it. My momma taught me to write a thank you note. It is the right thing to do. So, I notice all of the No thank you writers came from hubby's side of the family. Hummmmmmm, interesting.

Veronica said...

You've said it. Thank yous are so important. I always send them, always have, but I never got to my Christmas cards last year-is that OK?;-)

Mamasphere said...

You better believe I send a thank you note for every single gift my family gets.

And if we don't get a thank you in return for a gift, then lesson learned- that person won't be getting another.

It may sound harsh, but obviously it didn't mean enough to them to show their appreciation, so I won't be wasting my time and money on them anymore.

Michelle said...

Ok, so I commented when you first posted this. I'll comment again. FEEL the love, Angie!

I'll have you know that at a local store this weekend, the owner gave Mister Man a Lil Kinz because "he had extras" (I think because we bought a bunch of stuff and he knows my husband because he's the PA announcer for hs BB and his son played BB and just felt like being nice). AND Mister Man is writing his very OWN thank you note. Not mommy writing it and him signing it. He has to write all the words. And we're dropping it off in person :) But I think we're the only ones left aside from you who believe in this.

Amy said...

OK OK OK OK.
I am 31 and WILL be writing my high school graduation Thank You notes this weekend! Thank you for shaming me into it!

ChristiS said...

reading this while blushing. I hate writing thank you notes. And I'm a GRITS girl too. Still hate it.

Casey's trio said...

Happy SITS day! I'm sure there has been a time or two when I have forgotten to write a thank you note and I vow to never do it again:)

Threeundertwo said...

I'm teaching my kids that a gift doesn't really belong to you until you write the thank-you for it.

Congratulations on SITS day!

notsosahm said...

Amen and amen. And I love what threeundertwo said. I'm going to stop what I'm doing and write that thank you note (that's been bugging me in my head) to the family that invited us over to dinner.

Your post scratches the surface at a deep problem in America (can't speak to other countries). We're raising "me me me" kids who are expected much in little time. Parents don't have the time any more to teach manners. We are trying our best to make sure our girls grow up standing apart from the crowds.

Karen said...

Courtesy and politeness are two concepts that are fast disappearing from today's society.

Great post!

BTW, Congrats on being SITS Queen for the day :-)

Melissa Lester said...

I think thank you notes are a courteous way to show your gratitude for something someone has done for you, but they also provide an opportunity to go beyond and let the person know how much you admire them or appreciate having them in your life.

Whenever my children complain about having to write thank you notes, I remind them that the people who got in their cars, drove to a store, chose a gift, paid for it, took it home, wrapped it, then got in their cars again to deliver it deserve to be thanked!

Thank you for reminding us how important this is!

Gina said...

Amen, SITSa!

Christine said...

Oh, I can so relate! My 18 yr. old daughter just graduated from High school in May. She finally sent thank you notes ("Mom, why do I have to send thank yous when I said thank you in person?")Of course, she only sent the notes because I bought them for her and gave her stamps! My younger two children are better about it, but that is probably because I make it part of their homeschool work (handwriting).

thotlady said...

My husband was raised well. He always, always sends a written thank you note. He is better than I am. He reminds me if too much time passes and I haven't sent the thank you out yet.

I did get a nice compliment from an attendee at my wedding. She was amazed that I got my thank you's out in two weeks.

WheresMyAngels said...

I need to hire an assistant to send out the cards for me!! sorry!! lol

Karen said...

OK- I'm feeling REALLY BAD right now. I am terrible about sending a thank you, although I will usually call to thank someone. I will make sure to stay on top of them now!

Judy Haley (coffeejitters) said...

after our wedding the gifts were transported to another location where they were opened. Somehow in transport a lot of the gifts ended up separated from their cards. After isolating out the gifts for which we were able to identify the giver, we still had 30+ cards for 15 gifts. It's been 4 years and I still live in fear that someone is angry about a missed thank you card. On the other hand I didn't want to send a note saying thank you for the gift if it turned out that they only sent a card.

Marla said...

there really is no excuse... and i rage over things like this myself. when i was a kid i couldn't play with my xmas gifts until i wrote thank yous... and although i'm not that strict with my kids they still have 1 week to get them done.

long live the thank you note!

hip chick said...

I feel the same way. I can't imagine not sending a thank you note. But, it does seem to be getting to be a thing of the past.

Angela said...

Sorry I missed your big day!

You are right...must send a thank you!!!

Smoochefrg said...

That drives me crazy!

Came from SITS, trying to catch-up. :)

texasholly said...

OMG. That is awful! My husband almost wishes people wouldn't give him gifts because I make him write a note...oh the horror.

Thanks so much for linking! I am sorry it took me so long to get over here. I really appreciate it.

 

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