Thank You Notes

Thank you!

Thank you!

My son recently turned 7. We had a party at our house. Kids came. Cake. Football them. Gifts. Good times.

As everyone left, the boy thanked each guest.

“Thank you for the shirt.”

“Thank you for the car.”

“Thank you for the gift card.”

So why, afterward, does he need to write thank you notes?

I know—manners. It’s the right thing to do. Courtesy. Decency. Blah, blah. Still, why? Literally, he thanked every person as he/she left. One by one by one. And we certainly haven’t received any thank you notes from them—grateful jottings of being invited to such a swell shindig. Not that we should. They departed, and thanked us. They departed, and we thanked them. Good enough.

And yet, in suburbia 2013, one’s a jerk for not sending thank you notes. Even though no one actually reads the notes. Even though, without delay, they’re quickly tossed in the nearest recycling bin. Even though, these days, half the notes are pre-written, fill-in-the-blank cards that already say, “THANK YOU FOR THE ______________. I LOVED IT. ___________ IS A GOOD FRIEND. I HOPE HE HAD A NICE TIME. LOVE, _____________.”


So, no, my son has yet to thank you for the robot. He loved it. He told you he loved it. He’s probably playing with it as we speak.

Either that, or we’ll re-gift it at Jimmy’s party next weekend.

3 thoughts on “Thank You Notes”

  1. I completely disagree. If someone – and I mean a parent – takes the time and effort to look for a special gift to suit the recipient, there is no reason or excuse not to send a note of thanks. A verbal “thanks” just doesn’t cut it. Why? Because it takes not time and effort to give a verbal thanks. It’s just so matter of fact. And as for the child, the actual recipient, that child should be taught to appreciate the gift and a writing the note himself/herself helps teach appreciation. I know if I spend time going to a store, looking for the perfect gift and buying that gift, I also appreciate a note AFTER the fact appreciating and recognizing the kind effort involved. I don’t need a person fawning all over me telling me how wonderful I am – no. Just a simple thank you in WRITTEN form works. It tells my child that even after the unwrapping is over, the gift truly was appreciated. And NOT to do so – well there really isn’t any excuse – except that the recipient doesn’t appreciate it and doesn’t want to or wasn’t taught to show appreciation for the gift and therefore…doesn’t appreciate it. So why’d I get it? So there.

    1. So why not write a Thank You note for being invited to the party—which took far more effort than the gift purchase? Let’s say I invite a kid to a party. I’m spending a couple of hundred bucks on the party, I’m giving you pizza, cake, some (admittedly lame) party favor. Where’s my note, dammit? 🙂

  2. My children writes thank you notes for every gift. Initially, they see it as a chore, but they spend a signficant amount of time on each one. The note itself might be basic — “Thank you for the [name of gift]. I love playing with it. Thank you for coming to the party.” But they personalize each note with a nice picture, or origami on the note or something else artistic. And their friends appreciate the effort. It doesn’t matter whether they like one gift more than the other. They treat them all the same when writing thank you notes. And they do thank their friends for inviting them to their parties. It’s all part of common courtesy. The little things add up to help children grow up to be nice adults who learn not to take things for granted.

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