This story pertains to my boyfriend’s mother, C. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2 and a half years, and intend to get married, so this isn’t something I can just ignore.
C and her husband are very wealthy and like to give generous gifts, especially for Christmas. The first Christmas I was with her son, she gave wonderful gifts and I thanked her graciously in person, since we opened them at her house. About a week later, I received a thank-you card from her in the mail, though she also thanked me in person for the present I gave her. After some debate, I reciprocated with a thank-you card for the gifts she had given me. Next year, the same thing happened; we exchanged gifts in person, thanked each other in person, and she sent a thank-you card in the mail, and I reciprocated.
This whole double thank-you dance feels a little silly. When she brought a gift for me at my graduation party, I decided to open it later to avoid the double thank-you, as well as the awkward situation of making others watch me open gifts. I promptly send the thank-you the next day. Was it rude not to open the gift while she was there? Is there anything I can do about this double thank-you dance? My mother taught me that if someone is there when you open the gift, and you thank them for it in person, there is no need to send a thank-you card. Why does C feel the need to also send a thank-you?
You are asking advice from someone who believes there can never be too many thank yous or too much gratitude. People who consider writing thank you notes a chore to be endured are possibly needing a change in perspective to one of more humble gratefulness for gifts given to them. View writing these notes as an exercise to build your gratitude muscles so that you become an expert on the art of writing lovely notes of thanks. And it’s such a tiny price to pay for familial harmony with one’s mother-in-law.