But, can we normalize not sending thank you cards?
Birthday parties today are insane. There’s the party that is full of food, cake/cupcakes, activities AND party favors (we could also normalize not handing out party favors, but that’s a discussion for another day). Parents have so much time and money invested in throwing a party their child and friends will enjoy. And then, after the party, you want me to sit my child down and have them send thank you notes after they JUST thanked everyone at the party? That sounds like torture.
Here are my main issues:
1. The child typically thanks party guests at the party for attending and for the gift.
2. Party favors work fine as a thank you card. My kids don’t care about a small card with a generic, “Thank you for my gift.” written in it.
3. I don’t typically have all party guests’ addresses and I feel awkward asking school friends’ parents for it.
In the past, I’ve taken a photo of my child holding a “thank you” sign. She wasn’t able to write and spell well, so it would’ve taken days of time and all of my sanity to watch her write those. So, we sent those out without much else written on it. They weren’t personalized, but in my mind, we did our duty of gratitude by sending.
Also, I don’t know if you’ve attended a birthday party and watched a child open their presents. No matter how organized you try to be, it’s straight up madness. By the end of it, I have no idea what was from who. Hence, generic “thank you for my gift” cards.
With technology of today, our kids typically send a video message, call or video call to thank people for gifts. Is that enough?
If your pearls are still clutched, hold on just a second longer. I don’t think thank you cards teach gratitude. I said it. If anything, it’s pulling teeth and the root of arguments and tears. It’s a punishment. All of us millennials who were forced to write a thank you note for every graduation, bridal shower, wedding, and baby shower gift are shaking our heads. It’s tedious and oftentimes I don’t have a great sentiment to include. I feel less than thankful after licking those envelopes and dropping serious cash on stamps.
“Thank you so much for the four slice toaster. I’ve waited my entire life for this kitchen gadget so thank you for making my dreams come true.”
Not gonna happen.
But, I truly am appreciative that you thought of me (or my child) to spend your hard earned money on us. I’m an over-thanker in person. Can that be enough?
There are a few exceptions:
- If the person is not present at the event, send a thank you or reach out to thank them. There have been times I’ve sent something and don’t know if they received it.
- If you have a sentiment to include. If a family member spends months quilting you a beautiful queen sized quilt, you might send her a little something extra than a text message.
- If your mom makes you.