5.11.16

Thank You Letters

The last time I put pen to paper and wrote a thank you letter....hmm let me think...I thanked my best friend for the gift she sent for my 50th but that was a text, I thanked my daughter for my mothers' day gist but I thanked her in person. I thanked my American mate for something she sent but that was an email...no I think the last time I put pen to paper was when I was about 16.

When was the last time you wrote a thank you letter? And do you make your children write them? We have always made DD write cards and letters of thanks (drawing pictures when she was too small to write) and my friends all ensure that I receive a thank you card if I send their child a gift too. But are they really still necessary in today's busy electronic world?

thank you carrier bag
A thank you I received in a recent Amazon delivery!

First things first, I don't usually expect a thank you letter or card if I give the present direct to the recipient. After all, I know they received it and they can say thank you there and then. I do however like a thank you letter if I have posted a gift, and if I receive a gift via the post I ensure I send some sort of thank you as a way of not only showing gratitude, but of letting the sender know that their gift arrived. And when DD was small and had large birthday parties, we ensured every child received a thank you card for coming, and for the gifts they brought.

Lately though I've realised that actually writing the letter may be a bit old fashioned. I'm not a Victorian. I can text, email, tweet, Facebook, Skype ... well you know the drill. So should I still be asking DD to write thank you letters? And should I be doing it too? Or not? I asked a few parenting bloggers if their kids wrote thank you letters:

Katy says "I've never received a thank you card for Christmas, only for a wedding or a new baby. That is fine with me too. I'll get my daughter to say thank you to people when she receives gifts." http://katykicker.com
Stevie says "I always used to mean to do it and bought cards every year just for that purpose, but we've gone 'modern' instead. The boys either text people, email them or give them a quick phone call to say thank you on the day." www.acornishmum.com
Milla says "I always mean to send them. Most years I even handmake thank you cards with my kids before Christmas (my logic being that the writing inside doesn't need to be as fulsome if the card is handmade ) but I hardly ever get round to actually sending the wretched things. Post-Christmas is such a mad time with family birthdays and back to school and calming down hyped-up kids." liveoxfordshire.com
Mary says " I'm old school. If someone had taken the time to send my son a present or give him money then he is writing them a thank you note. I think it's really rude when people don't acknowledge the fact we've given them a present. It doesn't need to be War and Peace, but he does need to make a little effort" http://Over40andamumtoone.com
Naomi says "I send them - usually a postcard of a recent photo of the kids. Mine are 4 and a baby, so at the moment I have "Thank you for my Christmas presents" and then write their names. When they are older they can write them themselves. I think it's polite - - if someone has gone to the effort of getting a gift for them, it's just a thank you. I should add, lots of our friends and family live some distance away, so we don't see them very often." Http://lifebynaomi.com
Louise says "We do thank you cards for birthdays and with Christmas I usually send a photo of the child with the present or a video of them saying thank you as the presents are mostly from family." Http://pinkpearbear.com
Beth says "I've never sent or received a thank you card for Christmas. We do for birthdays but not for Christmas. We are lucky though as usually see all the family who buy gifts so they can say thank you there & then. My Dad always says seeing their reaction is priceless so this means more than a thank you card I guess" http://Twinderelmo.co.uk
Dave (slightly shocked) say "I didn't even know this was a thing! Growing up, I always said thanks to people by ringing them or face to face when I next saw them. I kind of like the sentiment of spending the time to write a letter with / on behalf of Toddler L, but the truth is that we're never going to get around to doing that!" www.thedadventurer.com
Kate agrees with Dave and says "I didn't even know people did this. I was always taught to call or thank people in person, and then later my mum would send a picture of me playing/wearing said present. A lot of our friends live quite a distance away so this is probably going to be an option, however with modern technology you can Skype/FaceTime." Http://Lesbemums.com
Abi says "I always send them. We always sent them as kids so have just continued doing so. Even if we see the person to thank in person, I always follow up with a note. Might take me 6 months to post it, but it goes eventually! I may take a more modern approach of text/email as the kids get older/ we have more!" Www.somethingaboutbaby.co.uk
Sophie says "Writing thank you letters and cards after receiving birthday or Christmas presents was drummed into me at an early age. We HAD to send them, even if we had sent 'thank you' in person or when we had opened the present in front of them. As I got older I got nagged as I tried to explain that saying 'thank you' in person or on the phone should be enough. I can't imagine what the postage costs were! When I talked to friends or my husband about their etiquette most were quite surprised about the letter writing. These days the relatives who used to send a card for any occasion have started barely sending any, probably due to cost of postage and I'm happy to email." http://www.sophieandlily.co.uk

Cat say "I do it for older relatives and distant relations who are 'that type' but now I usually send a quick picture message or short video with a bit of text saying 'thanks for your pressie'" rockandrollpussycat.co.uk
Jayne says "I'm useless at thank you cards. I try and take nice pictures of the kids and the gifts and attach a message saying thank you." http://kidskicksandcloth.com/
Steph says "I always make sure we send thank you cards. I write them and the children sign them (as they are too young to write a whole card). I always find it really rude when I don't get a thank you from others. I'd be more than happy with a text / email/ call but it amazes me that some people don't acknowledge the pressie at all." http://www.hellobabyblog.co.uk
Laura says "With four children and countless gifts, it really isn't feasible for me to get them to write out thank you cards (more so as three are unable to write!). I tend to do a group text or share a post on facebook tagging everyone to say thank you, or if it's an elderly relative we phone them up to say thank you as they seem to expect a more personal thank you." www.fivelittledoves.com
Lucinda says "Once children can write they HAVE to write their own thank you letter whether they have opened it In front of the giver or not. I think they have to think about the thought and action that went into choosing a present for them, and thank accordingly. Old school maybe but we don't want the next generation to lose the art of being able to write a hand written letter!" www.thelondonmummy.com
Claire says "I myself have never sent thank you letters for anything or received, I've rung or texted the person to say thank you and wish them merry Christmas etc as it is important to take a few minutes to show gratitude for the people who've spent their time and money on gifting something thoughtful. I'll definitely be encouraging my little boy to do the same, at the moment while he is so young my partner and I will send a picture of him using the gift and whatsapp it or email it to the person who gifted it or we will say thanks ourselves over the phone but we will definitely be encouraging our little one to do the same. Letters & cards etc takes so much time!" www.dearmummybear.wordpress.com
Lara says "Hmm, maybe I'm old school then! We always send them and making them doubles as a fun wet weather activity! I think it's really important to teach them to thank people for their gifts. However we never receive them from other family members, only from friends Which is a shame. I totally get that modern life is busy and I expect once the boys are older it will be more likely to be a digital thank you but for now it's important we do it in physical form. It also means we take the time to remember whom each gift has come from." www.adventuresofamum.com
Rebecca says "We always thank when the present is received but maybe not after opening it. Oh I am so hopeless at sending thank you cards. I always buy cards to send but keep forgetting!" Http://becster.com
Jennifer says "When my children were tiny I'd make sure thank you cards were sent for every gift, I'd do a crafty afternoon with them get out the glitter and decorate some cards, then I'd write and send them. As they got older and could write themselves this turned into something much more time consuming. Now we'll make and send cards to a few people, such as elderly relatives but if it's someone who's on social media we're more likely to take a photo with the gift and send that to say thank you." Http://www.mymummyspennies.com
Laura says "I love getting thank yous so always make sure we say thank you to people. I write notes for older people that have posted things but younger relatives I'll send a video of the kids saying thank you or type a message or email. I'm not ever so organised though so it is sometimes a while after the event." Www.wafflemama.uk

So it seems we agree that some sort of thank you is in order, we mostly agree that cards and letters are nice (especially for older relatives that may not be as tech savvy) but that it maybe we are moving into a digital era where a 'Thank you Youtube clip' might soon take the place of a card - what a shame Vine is closing down, all those thank yous, sorted in 6 seconds each!

What do your family do? Do you write thank you letters?