Author Topic: Are thank you notes necessary?  (Read 5512 times)

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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2013, 05:20:18 PM »
Printed labels are bad? Aren't there better things to get you knickers in a knot than the fact the label is typed or not? Our STD, invites, registry cards and thank you cards all involve printed labels. Maibly because ou guests are in a database so we can keep track of them.

But, I did personally melt and emboss a way seal on all but a very few of the invitations, including the one I handed out. The comments? They liked the design, the liked the photobif us on it and the especially liked the wax seals.

Lynn2000

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2013, 05:36:14 PM »
I get mixed signals on whether printed labels are bad... I thought they were generally okay, and I was surprised the first time someone (here) said they were less acceptable; so later I mentioned in a negative way that a friend had done printed labels on a formal invitation (part of a list of faux pas), and most people said, that's fine, what are you bothered about? So I'm just not sure.

I use printed labels for my return address, because I've gotten so many free ones over the years that I think are really pretty. I've never had cause to try and use a "mail merge" or whatever program to print the recipient addresses, but a friend of mine does this routinely on formal invitations.
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onyonryngs

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2013, 05:39:18 PM »
We have the kids do thank you cards for the grandparents and for mailed gifts, but not for the ones they open in front of the giver.  At this point it's basically a picture they drew, but it works for grandmas.

As for printed labels, I'm all for them.  I think the preprinted thank you notes are tacky though.  At least write a note on them, just don't stuff them in an envelope and that's it.

TootsNYC

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #48 on: January 04, 2013, 08:07:31 PM »
I'm the person who doesn't like printed address labels when used on any correspondence associated with gift giving.

I feel like that's absolutely not a time to imply "there are so many of you that I couldn't address your envelope personally." I don't think it's at all gracious to treat your guests or gift givers the way  marketers treat them.

And I also nearly threw the offending bridal-shower invitation in the mail because I thought it was junk mail. (And if ever I get a letter that's addressed by hand, I get really interested in it--that's the reaction *I* want to any invites or thank-you notes *I* send.)

kareng57

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #49 on: January 04, 2013, 11:34:28 PM »
I agree that the why is important - even though the recipient won't necessarily know the why. I think that's why a recipient should assume the best, even if the sender intended the worst. 

But regarding your suggesting of typing the note, I'd always understood that was unacceptable.* I'd like to see the typing rule go away so as to not intimidate people who are self-conscious about their handwriting or who find lots of writing physically painful out of writing notes altogether.


*Not that I personally care as a recipient.  I'm just happy to get a note and it doesn't bother me if it's typed or even uses a <gasp> address label. In fact, a typed note with obviously personalized text would be much more meaningful than the handwritten form letters that make up most notes these days.

CluelessBride, I definitely agree with you about the "no typing" rule (wishing it would go away), and I do feel like it's easing up, especially in terms of typewritten (well, you know, from a computer) address labels. I've just sometimes heard people use their "bad handwriting" (whether medically-related or not) as a reason for not doing paper TY notes for a formal occasion that would otherwise clearly merit them; sometimes they even think, "Well, I can't do the paper TY notes, so that means I don't have to thank people at all!"  ::) There are ways around that sort of thing, is all I meant. I think if one starts with the desire to give sincere, personalized thanks, one can always find a way to do it; whereas if one starts with the idea that thanking people is a chore, one can always find excuses for not doing it. And that's just not polite.



While I hate to assert "we have to go with the times" - I think that personal handwriting is one of the issues where it's legitimate.  In many jurisdictions, script-writing is not even taught in schools anymore  - so in 15 years or so, anyone expecting a nice handwritten letter of thanks, from a young adult, could be just plain out-of-luck.  I'm 50+, and while my handwriting used to be passable, it's gotten pretty bad over the last 10 years or so, mainly due to lack of use.  I do a sort of connected-printing instead.

Of course I don't meant that it's an excuse to not do TY notes at all.  IME TY notes are expected for very formal occasions, such as weddings, even if the HC were able to personally thank the particular guests for coming.  Less formal occasions such as showers - verbal thanks are okay as long as the GOH is able to spend enough time with the particular guest (probably not likely if there were 70 or 80 guests).  HS graduation - I can't really comment on that because in Canada generally only the parents and very close relatives would give gifts.

Lynn2000

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #50 on: January 07, 2013, 12:17:17 PM »
I was just thinking about this thread after reading one in which the OP's nephews never said "thanks" in any form for their gifts, so she's contemplating not getting them any more. It's sad, but sometimes that's what you have to do, I think--why bother to put more effort and time into someone than they're willing to put into you?

I think TY notes can get a bad rap early on, because (IME) parents often present them as a chore that children must do, and nag and punish them if they don't. And then I think some parents just don't want to go down that painful road, which they see as inevitable, so they don't emphasize "long distance thanking" at all--even parents who are quick to teach their kids to say "please" and "thank you" in person. So I think in some people's minds--I am speaking from personal experience here, actually--a THANK YOU NOTE becomes a big, formal thing that is totally separate from just... thanking someone for a kindness. And although they might gladly do the latter without thinking twice, there's something daunting and unpleasant (in their minds) about doing the former.

Somewhere I posted about how I would send gifts to my nieces and nephew, and get no acknowledgment in return. Once their mom sent me a note that said, "Thank you so much for all you do for the kids. I don't make my kids send thank you notes, but we really appreciate your efforts." That was good for a few months, honestly, because it was after all a TY note, and a nice, sincere one. But even if I chose to see it as a blanket TY note for all past unacknowledged gifts, I didn't see it as covering all future gifts, for years--"Oh, we sent her a TY note in 2003, it's still good, right?" She seemed to feel like sending TY notes, and instructing her kids to send them, was a philosophical choice some people made, that wasn't in any way required. (And trust me, the kids did not thank me in other ways, like by phone or email.)

I wondered if she had bad associations with writing TY notes from her own childhood; but whether she did or didn't, her choice to not teach her kids the importance of long distance thanking cost them not only material gifts from me, but also a closer relationship.
~Lynn2000

oceanus

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #51 on: January 07, 2013, 12:30:13 PM »
I think thank you notes are fine, but I also see nothing wrong with a call or email.

An ex-friend ;) used to literally countdown the days after she had people over for dinner or after she gave someone a gift, then she would complain ad nauseum about how it’s been X number of days and she still hadn’t received a thank you note from so-and-so.

AllTheThings

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #52 on: January 07, 2013, 01:47:25 PM »
Here's why I personally don't like writing thank you notes, and prefer to call the person and thank them. I'm not a good writer. When I write, I just don't have the ability to express myself the way I can when having a live conversation with someone else. My thank you notes always look like this:

Dear _____,

Thanks a lot for the anaconda. I'm keeping it in the basement. It is cool. Thanks for thinking of me on my birthday.

Love,

Me

Whereas on the phone or in person I can tell this person all about how much I love the anaconda, how I'm teaching it to do tricks, how I brought it to school and scared my teacher in a much better way. The point is to show the person that you are grateful for the gift, and I think I can do that much better when having a real conversation. As of now, nobody has ever complained about that.

Cat-Fu

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #53 on: January 07, 2013, 02:38:29 PM »
AlltheThings, I think that's a pretty standard format for thank-you notes. I don't see anything wrong with it. That said, I don't really see anything wrong with a phone call, either. I think the main issue in the other thread is that there are no thank yous at all, which wouldn't make me feel particularly generous, either. I feel the spirit of thanks is more important than the form.

I don't really see the big deal about using address labels—I don't do it myself (mostly because my printer is a jerk), but it usually pretty obvious by the return address when something is junk mail. Plus, if you have crappy handwriting, it's nice to know that your letter will definitely go where it is supposed to!
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #54 on: January 07, 2013, 02:45:18 PM »
With my address labels I always put a return address on the back of the envelope as I would when sending a letter. There's no mistaking it for junk mail. And they all had a personal touch with the wax seal.

TZ

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #55 on: January 07, 2013, 02:45:53 PM »
I was raised to send a thank you note for every present regardless of whether or not the giver is there when I open the gift. That seems to be the norm among my friends and coworkers, as well. In fact, the only people I know who don't send thank you notes for every gift given also don't write them for wedding and shower gifts - an inexcusable faux pas, in my opinion. It seems to be all or nothing in my experience.

I also agree with Toots on printed labels and the ease of purchasing stamps and stationery. I have terrible handwriting. It takes a lot of time and effort to write legible notes, but the giver went to a lot of trouble too. Stamps can be purchased at the ATM or grocery store around here.

AllTheThings

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #56 on: January 07, 2013, 02:48:49 PM »
AlltheThings, I think that's a pretty standard format for thank-you notes. I don't see anything wrong with it. That said, I don't really see anything wrong with a phone call, either. I think the main issue in the other thread is that there are no thank yous at all, which wouldn't make me feel particularly generous, either. I feel the spirit of thanks is more important than the form.

I don't really see the big deal about using address labels—I don't do it myself (mostly because my printer is a jerk), but it usually pretty obvious by the return address when something is junk mail. Plus, if you have crappy handwriting, it's nice to know that your letter will definitely go where it is supposed to!

I know it is normal, but since I don't speak like that it sounds very fake when I write that way. Formal events are a different story, but usually when someone gives me a gift they are usually close to me, so it seems weird to write so formally. Some people I know write well enough to not have that problem, but I don't have that kind of skill.

Bexx27

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #57 on: January 07, 2013, 02:54:47 PM »
I was raised to send a thank you note for every present regardless of whether or not the giver is there when I open the gift. That seems to be the norm among my friends and coworkers, as well. In fact, the only people I know who don't send thank you notes for every gift given also don't write them for wedding and shower gifts - an inexcusable faux pas, in my opinion. It seems to be all or nothing in my experience.

I also agree with Toots on printed labels and the ease of purchasing stamps and stationery. I have terrible handwriting. It takes a lot of time and effort to write legible notes, but the giver went to a lot of trouble too. Stamps can be purchased at the ATM or grocery store around here.

That's not my experience. I wrote thank you notes for my showers and wedding and I write them for gifts that come by mail. I just don't consider them necessary for a non-formal occasional when I've thanked the giver in person at the time I received the gift. I also only receive thank you notes for shower and wedding gifts, and gifts that were not opened in my presence.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2013, 03:00:12 PM »
With my address labels I always put a return address on the back of the envelope as I would when sending a letter. There's no mistaking it for junk mail. And they all had a personal touch with the wax seal.

I didn't look at the back of the envelope; I looked at the front. (It's actually a junk-mail trick, to NOT put a return address on the front of the envelope, to trick people into opening the letter to see who it's from). The wax seal would also not necessarily say "this is not junk mail" to me, but that's maybe because I get that sort of fancy junk mail at work.

I would always address the front of an envelope by hand, if it's attached to a gift-giving occasion (thank-you note, shower invitation, wedding invitation). And if my own handwriting were truly that bad, I'd print, or I'd get someone to write it for me.

That's my personal standard. I will do *nothing* to indicate that writing their name on the envelope was an onerous chore that needed to be mechanized.

katycoo

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Re: Are thank you notes necessary?
« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2013, 05:25:34 PM »
I honestly believe that this whole handwriting thing is ridiculous.  As long as I type each TY personally to each person, rather than a generic TY, that is good enough IMO.  Anyone who thinks that's not good enough is frankly too picky for me to have an enjoyable relationship with.

Same with envelopes.  FTR if I'm printing an envelope i'll print my info on it as well, but still.  How hard is it to open the envelope and bin it if its junk mail?  If I send you mail and you don't open it beause I printed the address and it might be junk mail, not my problem.  You're only making life difficult for yourself.