Author Topic: Thank you question - Dear Abby  (Read 2099 times)

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siamesecat2965

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Thank you question - Dear Abby
« on: December 16, 2013, 01:02:08 PM »
Today's Dear Abby - LW asks if it would be a "breach of etiquette" if she included a self-addressed stamped envelope  and blank thank you note with her grandchildren's gift. Her reasoning? they don't respond when she sends cards or gifts.

DA said no, its a great idea, as a last resort.

I personally think why make i easier for them, and that its a PA gesture. I'd personally just stop sending them gifts, maybe just cards, no money, no nothing. if they ask why, be honest and tell them its because they don't acknowledge her gifts, so she's stopped.

TootsNYC

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 01:05:33 PM »
I'd personally say something to my child and then also directly to my grandchildren.

"I never hear from you when I send you gifts. I have no idea if you like them, and I feel hurt and taken for granted. [The kids / you ] can send me an email, or post on my Facebook wall or send a Facebook PM, or call, or write a letter. Personally, I'd prefer a phone call, but any of those options is appropriate.
    "I'll be sending you a present this year, and if I don't hear from you, I'll assume that my gifts are a burden to you, and I'll stop pushing myself in where I'm not wanted. It will make me incredibly sad, to stop being a part of your lives. But it hurts my feelings a lot every time I send a gift and never hear anything."

shhh its me

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 01:10:28 PM »
  From a relationship and etiquette perspective I think you can say " I'm hurt you didn't bother to thank me."

I don't think included a self addressed thank you card is PA, its more blunt then PA I think.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 01:23:14 PM »
I don't think I would do it. If minor grandchildren I would say something to my child. "You know, I never hear from Tim and Jane about the gifts I send. Do they enjoy them? I feel like since I never hear back that maybe I should just stop."

If older grandkids, I'd probably just stop sending anything or send say something direct to them.

I wonder if the grandkids ever send her any gifts?

MrTango

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 01:33:32 PM »
I'd personally say something to my child and then also directly to my grandchildren.

"I never hear from you when I send you gifts. I have no idea if you like them, and I feel hurt and taken for granted. [The kids / you ] can send me an email, or post on my Facebook wall or send a Facebook PM, or call, or write a letter. Personally, I'd prefer a phone call, but any of those options is appropriate.
    "I'll be sending you a present this year, and if I don't hear from you, I'll assume that my gifts are a burden to you, and I'll stop pushing myself in where I'm not wanted. It will make me incredibly sad, to stop being a part of your lives. But it hurts my feelings a lot every time I send a gift and never hear anything."

I like the first suggestion ("I never hear from you"), but I disagree with the bolded.  It feels PA, and I think that if someone said that tome, I'd just tell them not to bother sending me anything.

bah12

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2013, 01:45:45 PM »
  From a relationship and etiquette perspective I think you can say " I'm hurt you didn't bother to thank me."

I don't think included a self addressed thank you card is PA, its more blunt then PA I think.

No, it's passive agressive. Blunt is saying "I want you to send me a thank you card.  I never hear from you after I send gifts and I want, at least, a thank you card in return".


heartmug

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2013, 02:41:10 PM »
I wouldn't do that!  I too would mention something to the parents about it being nice to hear if they received and enjoyed the gift.
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain

White Lotus

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2013, 03:49:03 PM »
I am about ready to stop giving to people who cannot be bothered to acknowledge a gift. 

cwm

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2013, 03:53:07 PM »
I am about ready to stop giving to people who cannot be bothered to acknowledge a gift.

I did that a while ago. Never felt better.

If you (general) don't make an effort to call, email, text, or write to say thank you for a gift, then I will reciprocate and not make an effort to send a gift.

Lynn2000

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2013, 04:28:11 PM »
I think it falls into the same category as giving someone a gift of TY cards or an etiquette book. I think it says, "You are rude," but without the courtesy of saying those words directly. And I don't think that's a good way to go about things. (Of course there are always situations where people like getting etiquette books or pretty TY notes, but we aren't talking about that here.)

I think it would be better to talk to the parents or, if old enough, the grandchildren directly, in whatever manner works best. Or, just stop sending the gifts. I did that once--I was tired of getting no acknowledgment for my gifts, so I just stopped giving them (though I did not say anything about it first). And no one ever said a word, and as far as I know our relationship wasn't affected (I didn't see them much anyway).

For me the key is to stop the resentment. You can't make people acknowledge your gifts--even if you send them a blank TY card, even if you ask them directly to respond. But you can change your own actions/thoughts--resign yourself to being okay without acknowledgement, or just stop sending things. Generally speaking no one will die if they don't get a birthday gift from Grandma.

Though, if odds-wise you think there's a good chance your child or grandchild will notice the loss and say something, I might preemptively mention sending a TY--I'd rather the conversation be, "Well, I asked for a TY and you didn't send one, so no more gifts," than "You should've just known to send a TY and you didn't, so no more gifts." I think the latter is an accurate point, but if I'm about to stop sending gifts to my grandchild, I'd rather give a warning first.

Reading over my post, it all sounds a little dictatorial... I figure, no one has to get gifts, and no one has to send TY notes in response. So if sending a TY note is too onerous for you, that's cool, I just won't send a gift. Then hopefully we will both be back at a happy state, as opposed to me waiting resentfully for my TY note, and you staring guiltily at the gift. Also, I personally am very broad about what I consider an "acceptable" TY for a gift--email, text, phone call, tell me in person (if we meet soon after). I don't demand calligraphy on parchment delivered by an owl or anything. But if it is seriously too much trouble to message me on Facebook saying, "Hey, thanks, can't wait to use it!" then let's end this awkward dance and depart the field as friends, you know?
~Lynn2000

BeagleMommy

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2013, 10:08:11 AM »
Sending a self-addressed thank you card with a gift is PA, in my opinion.  Who says they would even take the hint and send the card?  They could easily throw it away.

Better to call the parents and/or children and say "I was wondering if you had received my gift".

Twik

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2013, 11:45:31 AM »
I think it would be rude to another adult. From a Grandmother to her grandchildren? I think that's called "teaching".
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gellchom

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2013, 02:35:15 PM »
I wouldn't do it.  And I think that calling and saying "I wonder if you got my gift" is definitely PA.  Unless there is some very good reason that you doubt they did (and sometimes even if there is), the person instantly sees right through that formula to exactly what you're really saying: "You have no manners."

I agree that ordinarily I wouldn't do anything -- but a parent or grandparent is in an appropriate position to do some teaching.

I'd try to avoid making it too guilt-inducing, though, if only because I wouldn't want to set up an unpleasant association with writing thank you notes.

Send the kid an email to the effect of "Petunia, I notice you've been getting lax about sending thank you notes, at least to me.  (A phone call or email is fine, too.)  I know you're a busy kid, but people do need to feel appreciated, and showing appreciation promptly and graciously is a very important skill to develop.  I promise, you'll always be glad you did!  Love, Granny"

Hurricane Marathon

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2013, 03:23:09 PM »
I was raised to believe that if I didn't send a written thank-you card for a gift then I wouldn't be getting a gift the following year.  Simple as that. To this very day I send handwritten thank-you cards.

That being said, I have rarely received a handwritten thank-you from kids that I've given gifts to. If I'm present they'll say "thank you" in person, but if I've given it to their parent to give to them the parent will say "They enjoyed the gift and say thank you" if I ask later how they liked it.  Not a word from the kids themselves. 

So I just stopped giving gifts.  I can't afford much now anyway, and the closest "kids" are 19+ now.  I only give gifts to my 3 year old "nephew" and never, ever expect a written thank-you.  His mom did have him phone me out of the blue one day to thank me for the postcards I always send him when I go on vacation - that was adorable.


Pen^2

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Re: Thank you question - Dear Abby
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2013, 04:31:31 PM »
I feel that if someone doesn't thank you in some way, then barring exceptional circumstances, it's clear that they don't appreciate or want your gift. And I'm pretty sure etiquette says we shouldn't burden people with things they don't want. This isn't a "I'm punishing you for not saying thanks! Muahahahaaa!" but rather a genuine, "Oh, gosh, I thought it was a nice thing to do, but I'm actually just wasting your time, aren't I? Sorry, I didn't mean to. I'll stop doing it in the future."

Sending blank TY notes is a bit PA to me, too. I'd just speak to the parent of the kid politely but directly about it. As for whether sending the blank notes is a breach of etiquette, I'm not sure. Passive aggressiveness isn't polite, to be sure. I think this would vary from family to family. In some, this would very clearly be PA, but in others, it wouldn't be. A know-your-audience kind of thing.