Author Topic: Are thank you notes necessary?  (Read 5799 times)

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Katana_Geldar

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Are thank you notes necessary?
« on: January 01, 2013, 05:20:13 PM »
It may be a cultural thing , but I've never revived a thank you note and have only ever sent one (but this may change with wedding coming up). But I see on this board that people are accustomed to sending and receiving thank you notes and can be affronted if it isn't done.

I was taught a verbal thank you is enough, whether in person or on the phone. Sending thank you notes (except maybe for a wedding) seems a bit much.

Thoughts anyone?

Ceallach

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 05:24:55 PM »
For an in-person gift exchange then yes a verbal thank you at the time of opening the gift is sufficient, eg chrismas day etc. plus in many families thats the expected norm.

For gifts sent via post, or gifts in bulk on big occasions, acknowledging these individually is very important.  It's not really realistic to call each and every guest to say "thank you do much for the salad forks, they're gorgeous! We've used them every night!" ... At least, for me it wasn't.  So sending handwritten notes made more sense, plus also seems more appropriate to the event.
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 05:28:51 PM »
Well, we don't seem to get gifts from that many people, and most I would call on the day or be called by them anyway. Particularly a birthday or Christmas, they usually want to chat too.

And I have sent gifts by post and not revived a thank you note nor expected one. But I did get a call.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 05:33:18 PM by Katana_Geldar »

Ceallach

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 07:56:56 PM »
Well, we don't seem to get gifts from that many people, and most I would call on the day or be called by them anyway. Particularly a birthday or Christmas, they usually want to chat too.

And I have sent gifts by post and not revived a thank you note nor expected one. But I did get a call.

Right, but for a wedding or large event you probably *would* get gifts from lots of people, in which case making personal, special calls to acknowledge each gift individually probably wouldn't be realistic.

If it's a one-off gift exchange between two people then I agree a personal thank you that isn't written can still be perfectly appropriate and in some cases even better.   

The etiquette of this is about sincerely and graciously acknowledging the gift in a timely fashion.   In terms of whether it must be a handwritten note or another means really does depend on the circumstances and the people involved.
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CakeEater

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 08:32:27 PM »
It would depend for me the circumstances of receiving the gift. If it was mailed to me, I'd send a written note, or an email. If it was handed to me in person, a verbal thankyou is fine.

In the case of a wedding, you could make a phone call to each person/family, bt becasue of the more formal nature of weddings, often, it's more traditional to write the notes. What's not OK is a verbal, "Thanks everyone for coming and for the gifts" during the wedding toast. Not that I'm suggesting you would do that, OP!

Annoyed in America

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 08:43:21 PM »
A handwritten thank you note is very important.  Many people are not raised with this etiquette and with the advent of the internet and facebook manners are falling by the wayside.  But, as a frequent gifter, if I get a note, than the next event I will give again.  But, if there is no recognition of a gift given the previous time, I probably won't give to this person again.  If I do, it will be a more modest gift.  So it is in your best interest to be gracious.  Thank you notes show class. 

MOM21SON

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 08:52:16 PM »
A handwritten thank you note is very important.  Many people are not raised with this etiquette and with the advent of the internet and facebook manners are falling by the wayside.  But, as a frequent gifter, if I get a note, than the next event I will give again.  But, if there is no recognition of a gift given the previous time, I probably won't give to this person again.  If I do, it will be a more modest gift.  So it is in your best interest to be gracious.  Thank you notes show class. 

I agree 100 percent.  I am appalled at the lack of thank yous.  But we are a dying breed.

Bexx27

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 08:53:14 PM »
A handwritten thank you note is very important.  Many people are not raised with this etiquette and with the advent of the internet and facebook manners are falling by the wayside.  But, as a frequent gifter, if I get a note, than the next event I will give again.  But, if there is no recognition of a gift given the previous time, I probably won't give to this person again.  If I do, it will be a more modest gift.  So it is in your best interest to be gracious.  Thank you notes show class.

I completely disagree. Expressing thanks is very important; putting it in the form of a handwritten note is not. Someone who judges me as ill-mannered, ungracious, and unworthy of future gifts because they only got a verbal thank you is overly fussy and not particularly classy, IMO.
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gen xer

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 08:57:17 PM »
Well, we don't seem to get gifts from that many people, and most I would call on the day or be called by them anyway. Particularly a birthday or Christmas, they usually want to chat too.

And I have sent gifts by post and not revived a thank you note nor expected one. But I did get a call.

We get gifts in the mail too and I have always found a phone call to be sufficient.  It's the thank-you that is important to me....not so much the medium although I do agree that for "bulk" presents a little note is in order.

I have to say though....I don't get bent out of shape if I don't receive a thank you note for a wedding gift.  They usually don't arrive for weeks or months and by then I have forgotten about it.

MOM21SON

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 09:05:16 PM »
A handwritten thank you note is very important.  Many people are not raised with this etiquette and with the advent of the internet and facebook manners are falling by the wayside.  But, as a frequent gifter, if I get a note, than the next event I will give again.  But, if there is no recognition of a gift given the previous time, I probably won't give to this person again.  If I do, it will be a more modest gift.  So it is in your best interest to be gracious.  Thank you notes show class.

I completely disagree. Expressing thanks is very important; putting it in the form of a handwritten note is not. Someone who judges me as ill-mannered, ungracious, and unworthy of future gifts because they only got a verbal thank you is overly fussy and not particularly classy, IMO.

Thank you notes are a thing of the past, so much like much of our society. 

I attended a baby shower a few years ago.  The MTB said, "Now, you guys know me, I am not gushy"

Noone was told thank you! No thank you of any kind.  RUDE.

Bexx27

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 09:25:10 PM »
A handwritten thank you note is very important.  Many people are not raised with this etiquette and with the advent of the internet and facebook manners are falling by the wayside.  But, as a frequent gifter, if I get a note, than the next event I will give again.  But, if there is no recognition of a gift given the previous time, I probably won't give to this person again.  If I do, it will be a more modest gift.  So it is in your best interest to be gracious.  Thank you notes show class.

I completely disagree. Expressing thanks is very important; putting it in the form of a handwritten note is not. Someone who judges me as ill-mannered, ungracious, and unworthy of future gifts because they only got a verbal thank you is overly fussy and not particularly classy, IMO.

Thank you notes are a thing of the past, so much like much of our society. 

I attended a baby shower a few years ago.  The MTB said, "Now, you guys know me, I am not gushy"

Noone was told thank you! No thank you of any kind.  RUDE.

Yes, not thanking someone for a gift is definitely rude. But why be so fussy about the note? I'm thinking of my SMIL who does not believe she's been thanked unless she gets a handwritten note. DH and I thank her in person and by e-mail, but FIL calls to "remind" us to mail a handwritten note as well. You could say she values etiquette, or you could say she values form over substance. Either way, the effect is to create tension in the family.
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camlan

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 09:31:18 PM »
The important thing is to thank the person who gave you the gift. If your friends all pick up the phone and call, instead of writing notes, that's fine. But you should be aware that a phone call may not be correct outside your own circle.

Also, this board is heavily US-centric. In other countries, thank you notes may not be as important, or used as frequently.

Interestingly, on another forum, someone recently complained because she had sent Christmas gifts and the recipients did not call or email her on Christmas day. She was very upset with them. She did not expect thank you notes, but she did expect a call or email right away. Several of the responses told her to wait at least a few days for a call or email or note before she decided the recipients were rude.
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MOM21SON

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 09:37:40 PM »
It is a change of the times, very much like everything else. Back in the day, there was no email, I know because I lived it.

Getting a handwritten note on pretty paper or in a pretty card was a joy. 

I am for it as much as you are opposed to it.  Would it really be such a burden to send off a quick card?

Sharnita

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 09:41:27 PM »
It is a change of the times, very much like everything else. Back in the day, there was no email, I know because I lived it.

Getting a handwritten note on pretty paper or in a pretty card was a joy. 

I am for it as much as you are opposed to it.  Would it really be such a burden to send off a quick card?
You know, it wouldn't be a burden but I don't think that mean it is rude to send a thank you through a more modern medium, either.  I mean, in the day before "the day" you might send your thank you letter around by means of a servant. And if you still had servants who worked for you they could still bring a letter around.  Might be charming.  Doesn't meanMOM21SON is rude for using that newfangled USPS.

baglady

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 09:45:49 PM »
Gift givers should be thanked. If the gift is opened in front of the giver, then the in-person thank-you should suffice.

If not, then a thank-you still needs to be given. This can be a handwritten note, phone call, email or -- if the recipient expects to see the giver within a couple of days -- an in-person thanks.

But there's no blanket rule ... we all know our own audiences best. Your Aunt Shirley might be thrilled to get a thank-you email for the wedding present, while my Aunt Sylvia would be appalled that I didn't send the thank-you in my own handwriting.

To answer the question: Thank you's are necessary. Are handwritten thank-you notes necessary? Depends.
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