Is the Thank You Note Dead?
If you have kids, you know the kid birthday party drill. Show up with a gift, play, eat cake and go home. And then at some point, you receive some sort of thank you note in the mail. I always read the note (because hey, it’s not a bill or junk mail!) and show it to whichever kid attended the party. And then I toss the note in the recycling bin.
But then I noticed something – we started getting less of them. Recently, I got an email thanking our family for a gift. Then for another party, a text. And I’ve even received a generic thank you addressed to an entire Evite list. I think Miss Manners fainted that day.
Is this the super efficient way to say thank you in the new millennium world? Or is it just rude? A part of me thinks the latter. I want to climb up on my soapbox and declare, “We must teach our children the proper way to say thank you. If they have the energy to open and play with a gift, then they can certainly write a thank you note! Or we can write it for them if they are too young to do it themselves!”
But here’s where I get super hypocritical. See this pile of Thank You postcards…
They have been sitting on my counter since my 5 year old twins’ birthday party. In May. I’m embarrassed to even count the months. Okay fine. It’s been five months. So for five months, I haven’t responded thank you to any of the people who generously bought gifts for my children. Gifts they are probably playing with RIGHT NOW. I even took all those postcards with me on a road trip from Florida to New York and back. And yet, there they still are – unfinished. I’m sure they had a nice trip though.
I’m obviously embarrassed. I mean, I once made fun of someone who sent a holiday card out in March (and that was only three months late). Plus I’m such a bad example for my older girls who I make write their own thank you notes.
In fact, I’m probably writing this article so I can avoid writing and sending those notes. Despite my complete lack of motivation to actually finish and send these thank you notes (and really, how late can I send them?!), I’m going to make a plea: Let’s bring back the thank you note.
There is something really special about receiving a card or note in the mail. It means someone graciously took the time to write it, affix the stamp and drop it in the mail. And there is never a downside to saying, “Your generosity means a lot to me. So I took the time to say thank you.”
As for my own procrastination, I finally bought postcard stamps. So if you bought my kids a gift, keep your eyes on your mailbox. Better late, than not at all.