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Author Topic: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry  (Read 9476 times)

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Two Ravens

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2014, 05:48:19 PM »
Quote
"Thank you so much for your generous gift, we're going to put it towards our new couch!" is a pretty neutral response, I think.

We got pretty much only cash from my ILs' side of the family.

I thanked people for "the left arm of our new sofa, which we hope to purchase in the next month." Or for "the middle cushion." I had to write TYnotes to several "sets" in the same nuclear family (aunt&uncle, growup cousins, e.g.), so I made sure to thank each of them for a different part of the sofa. In case they compared notes (which they did, I found out--and apparently they thought it was funny--I even had an uncle mention the sofa part, and in this family, uncles don't pay attention to wedding gifts or TY notes, so that means it was a topic of conversation).

While I am glad your in-laws liked your notes, if I got a thank you note like that, I'd seriously wonder if I was being insulted. "Thanks for your generous gift. We can now afford 1/15 of something we want!" I think I much prefer "We put it towards our new couch."

lollylegs

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2014, 08:59:52 PM »


I agree with this so much. If the note is timely and the sentiment genuine, I think it's really ungracious, judgemental and incredibly rude to point out phrases that (general) you think are less than perfect.

Hmmm, rude to whom? And "point out" to whom?

Rude to everyone else here at Etiquette Hell to point out things you think people did that are less than perfect? Bank employees, store clerks, thank-you note writers, etc.?

Isn't that what almost all of us do at EHell?



(edited to fix the quote tree)

Does there have to be a 'to whom' for it to be rude? When someone does the right thing and sends a TY note and the receiver picks it apart based on personal preferences - even if it is on an anonymous forum where the sender is unlikely to ever see it - I think that's rude.

I don't agree that's what most of us do at Ehell. The site isn't about people doing things less than perfectly, otherwise we'd have posts about people using incorrect grammar, burning cakes and other minor things. The site is about etiquette blunders, and using phrasing that the receiver considers awkward is not an etiquette blunder.

kareng57

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2014, 09:43:19 PM »


I agree with this so much. If the note is timely and the sentiment genuine, I think it's really ungracious, judgemental and incredibly rude to point out phrases that (general) you think are less than perfect.

Hmmm, rude to whom? And "point out" to whom?

Rude to everyone else here at Etiquette Hell to point out things you think people did that are less than perfect? Bank employees, store clerks, thank-you note writers, etc.?

Isn't that what almost all of us do at EHell?



(edited to fix the quote tree)

Does there have to be a 'to whom' for it to be rude? When someone does the right thing and sends a TY note and the receiver picks it apart based on personal preferences - even if it is on an anonymous forum where the sender is unlikely to ever see it - I think that's rude.

I don't agree that's what most of us do at Ehell. The site isn't about people doing things less than perfectly, otherwise we'd have posts about people using incorrect grammar, burning cakes and other minor things. The site is about etiquette blunders, and using phrasing that the receiver considers awkward is not an etiquette blunder.


Thanks, this really sums it up.

Not too long ago on this site, people were happy to receive sincere TY notes that mentioned the gift, awareness of who gave it, whether or not the givers were at the wedding (if the gift was received at/after the wedding) and how the recipients intended to use the gift.  These days, it seems as though the TY note must be worthy of a Pulitzer prize.

This PP is right.  A heartfelt TY note that is not to the giver's writing standards is not rude, nor an etiquette blunder.

gellchom

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2014, 10:02:35 PM »
When someone does the right thing and sends a TY note and the receiver picks it apart based on personal preferences - even if it is on an anonymous forum where the sender is unlikely to ever see it - I think that's rude.

... The site is about etiquette blunders, and using phrasing that the receiver considers awkward is not an etiquette blunder.

What "someone"?  What "receiver"?  What "sender"?  What note got "picked apart"? 

The thank you note I wrote about was one I was complimenting as an example of an excellent thank you note -- that was the whole point of the post (note the title of the string).

This site is not only about reporting etiquette "blunders."  People do that, but they also ask for etiquette advice and share thoughts about etiquette and report outstanding graciousness, too.  That's what I was doing. 

That is no more judgmental of all other notes than praising a fabulous meal made with top quality ingredients by an expert cook, including saying that you thought the homemade pasta tasted better than boxed, is "judgmental" of all other meals -- much less rude.

That said, you are right: it's true that awkward phrasing is not an etiquette blunder or rude (and no one ever said it was).   Then again, neither is remarking that other wording seemed especially nice.

A three-line thank you note that starts with "Thank you for the ..." and ends with "Thank you again" isn't rude or an etiquette blunder or anything else bad or wrong.  It gets the job done; "does the right thing," as you put it.  I agree.  But some people would like to be more creative, personal, or writerly in their own notes and are impressed when they receive notes that go that extra mile -- the kind about which people say, "Did you see the terrific note we got from Petunia and Cuthbert today?  Wasn't that charming?" -- and share thoughts about how to do that.  Just like there are people who like to share ideas about how to make a meal not just tasty and nutritious, but really outstanding.  If you aren't interested, then don't bother.  But there is no need to attack those who are.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 10:13:42 PM by gellchom »

kareng57

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2014, 10:25:14 PM »
When someone does the right thing and sends a TY note and the receiver picks it apart based on personal preferences - even if it is on an anonymous forum where the sender is unlikely to ever see it - I think that's rude.

... The site is about etiquette blunders, and using phrasing that the receiver considers awkward is not an etiquette blunder.

What "someone"?  What "receiver"?  What "sender"?  What note got "picked apart"? 

The thank you note I wrote about was one I was complimenting as an example of an excellent thank you note -- that was the whole point of the post (note the title of the string).

This site is not only about reporting etiquette "blunders."  People do that, but they also ask for etiquette advice and share thoughts about etiquette and report outstanding graciousness, too.  That's what I was doing. 

That is no more judgmental of all other notes than praising a fabulous meal made with top quality ingredients by an expert cook, including saying that you thought the homemade pasta tasted better than boxed, is "judgmental" of all other meals -- much less rude.

That said, you are right: it's true that awkward phrasing is not an etiquette blunder or rude (and no one ever said it was).   Then again, neither is remarking that other wording seemed especially nice.

A three-line thank you note that starts with "Thank you for the ..." and ends with "Thank you again" isn't rude or an etiquette blunder or anything else bad or wrong.  It gets the job done; "does the right thing," as you put it.  I agree.  But some people would like to be more creative, personal, or writerly in their own notes and are impressed when they receive notes that go that extra mile -- the kind about which people say, "Did you see the terrific note we got from Petunia and Cuthbert today?  Wasn't that charming?" -- and share thoughts about how to do that.  Just like there are people who like to share ideas about how to make a meal not just tasty and nutritious, but really outstanding.  If you aren't interested, then don't bother.  But there is no need to attack those who are.


Well, you chose to title it as "a nice thank you note.." as opposed to a "wonderfully witty, creative note".  To many of us, that sets the bar as "this is what is now expected".

I know yours is not the only post here about TY notes recently, so I am not picking on you individually.  Just that, until recently, I always figured that I sent out nice appreciative TY notes.  I now see that these are considered "rote" and frankly feel intimidated about any that I have to send out in the future.

gellchom

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2014, 10:51:07 PM »

Well, you chose to title it as "a nice thank you note.." as opposed to a "wonderfully witty, creative note".  To many of us, that sets the bar as "this is what is now expected".


I don't understand why it would.  But I don't have to.  I'm sorry that my post made anyone feel bad about their own thank you notes.  As we all agree, the important thing is that we write them at all.

Actually, if you look back, my post wasn't even about that the note was "wonderfully witty and creative."  It was about how this couple finessed the specific challenge, which had come up on another string, of writing an enthusiastic note about something they themselves registered, without seeming to be complimenting their own taste.  Calling the widget you chose yourself "the lovely widget" isn't an etiquette violation, either -- it just strikes me as amusing.  Like if they opened the box in front of you and said, "Oh, my, what a lovely widget!"

And by the way, I think you are a very good writer, so in my opinion, you have no need to be intimidated about your thank you notes.  I'm sure they are excellent!

sammycat

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2014, 11:01:31 PM »

...   And I like that they didn't end with "Thank you again." That always strikes me as so lame, especially in a very short note; it adds absolutely nothing, and seems to mean "I can't think of a single other thing to say to you."   ...

Hmmm ...

Actually, thank you for pointing that out.  I'm afraid I'm often quite guilty of doing that. I'll start the note by thanking them for their gift, or for serving on my committee, or for picking up my mail, or for having us as guests for dinner, or whatever.  Then I'll move on and say more stuff that's relative to the situation. 

But then ~~  Yes, I think I really do almost always say "Thank you again" at the end.


I had never thought about it before.  Guess I'm going to have to remember that and try to catch myself next time!    :-\

Pod. IME, just about every thank you note I've written, received or been shown by someone in real life, has a thanks at/near the beginning and a second thanks at the end. I don't see it as being negative (or 'lame') in any way. I see it as being polite and/or doing something nice.

I've noticed a trend on this board lately to put TY notes under a microscope.  I really don't like this at all.

POD.

Quote
"Thank you so much for your generous gift, we're going to put it towards our new couch!" is a pretty neutral response, I think.

We got pretty much only cash from my ILs' side of the family.

I thanked people for "the left arm of our new sofa, which we hope to purchase in the next month." Or for "the middle cushion." I had to write TYnotes to several "sets" in the same nuclear family (aunt&uncle, growup cousins, e.g.), so I made sure to thank each of them for a different part of the sofa. In case they compared notes (which they did, I found out--and apparently they thought it was funny--I even had an uncle mention the sofa part, and in this family, uncles don't pay attention to wedding gifts or TY notes, so that means it was a topic of conversation).

While I am glad your in-laws liked your notes, if I got a thank you note like that, I'd seriously wonder if I was being insulted. "Thanks for your generous gift. We can now afford 1/15 of something we want!" I think I much prefer "We put it towards our new couch."

I'd have to agree with the bolded.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 11:55:26 PM by sammycat »

lollylegs

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2014, 11:07:08 PM »
When someone does the right thing and sends a TY note and the receiver picks it apart based on personal preferences - even if it is on an anonymous forum where the sender is unlikely to ever see it - I think that's rude.

... The site is about etiquette blunders, and using phrasing that the receiver considers awkward is not an etiquette blunder.

What "someone"?  What "receiver"?  What "sender"?  What note got "picked apart"? 

The thank you note I wrote about was one I was complimenting as an example of an excellent thank you note -- that was the whole point of the post (note the title of the string).

This site is not only about reporting etiquette "blunders."  People do that, but they also ask for etiquette advice and share thoughts about etiquette and report outstanding graciousness, too.  That's what I was doing. 

That is no more judgmental of all other notes than praising a fabulous meal made with top quality ingredients by an expert cook, including saying that you thought the homemade pasta tasted better than boxed, is "judgmental" of all other meals -- much less rude.

That said, you are right: it's true that awkward phrasing is not an etiquette blunder or rude (and no one ever said it was).   Then again, neither is remarking that other wording seemed especially nice.

A three-line thank you note that starts with "Thank you for the ..." and ends with "Thank you again" isn't rude or an etiquette blunder or anything else bad or wrong.  It gets the job done; "does the right thing," as you put it.  I agree.  But some people would like to be more creative, personal, or writerly in their own notes and are impressed when they receive notes that go that extra mile -- the kind about which people say, "Did you see the terrific note we got from Petunia and Cuthbert today?  Wasn't that charming?" -- and share thoughts about how to do that.  Just like there are people who like to share ideas about how to make a meal not just tasty and nutritious, but really outstanding.  If you aren't interested, then don't bother.  But there is no need to attack those who are.

In the original quote tree I agreed with kareng57 who said, 'I've noticed a trend on this board lately to put TY notes under a microscope.  I really don't like this at all.' So I was referring to other threads, but also your comment that saying, 'Thank you once again' is lame.

If a thank you note includes a thank you for attendance and a thank you for a present, it's a good thank you note. I understand that you wanted to highlight a superlative example, but in doing so, perfectly acceptable practices have been put under the microscope and found lacking. I'm a professional writer and I struggle with TY notes - and I've committed nearly all of the 'mistakes' that you and Toots have pointed out. I can't imagine what it's like for someone who doesn't have a skill for writing and honestly, it upsets me a little to think of people reading through it saying, "She thanked us for a present she picked out herself, how arrogant! He said thank you twice - lame!"

kareng57

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2014, 11:53:47 PM »
When someone does the right thing and sends a TY note and the receiver picks it apart based on personal preferences - even if it is on an anonymous forum where the sender is unlikely to ever see it - I think that's rude.

... The site is about etiquette blunders, and using phrasing that the receiver considers awkward is not an etiquette blunder.

What "someone"?  What "receiver"?  What "sender"?  What note got "picked apart"? 

The thank you note I wrote about was one I was complimenting as an example of an excellent thank you note -- that was the whole point of the post (note the title of the string).

This site is not only about reporting etiquette "blunders."  People do that, but they also ask for etiquette advice and share thoughts about etiquette and report outstanding graciousness, too.  That's what I was doing. 

That is no more judgmental of all other notes than praising a fabulous meal made with top quality ingredients by an expert cook, including saying that you thought the homemade pasta tasted better than boxed, is "judgmental" of all other meals -- much less rude.

That said, you are right: it's true that awkward phrasing is not an etiquette blunder or rude (and no one ever said it was).   Then again, neither is remarking that other wording seemed especially nice.

A three-line thank you note that starts with "Thank you for the ..." and ends with "Thank you again" isn't rude or an etiquette blunder or anything else bad or wrong.  It gets the job done; "does the right thing," as you put it.  I agree.  But some people would like to be more creative, personal, or writerly in their own notes and are impressed when they receive notes that go that extra mile -- the kind about which people say, "Did you see the terrific note we got from Petunia and Cuthbert today?  Wasn't that charming?" -- and share thoughts about how to do that.  Just like there are people who like to share ideas about how to make a meal not just tasty and nutritious, but really outstanding.  If you aren't interested, then don't bother.  But there is no need to attack those who are.

In the original quote tree I agreed with kareng57 who said, 'I've noticed a trend on this board lately to put TY notes under a microscope.  I really don't like this at all.' So I was referring to other threads, but also your comment that saying, 'Thank you once again' is lame.

If a thank you note includes a thank you for attendance and a thank you for a present, it's a good thank you note. I understand that you wanted to highlight a superlative example, but in doing so, perfectly acceptable practices have been put under the microscope and found lacking. I'm a professional writer and I struggle with TY notes - and I've committed nearly all of the 'mistakes' that you and Toots have pointed out. I can't imagine what it's like for someone who doesn't have a skill for writing and honestly, it upsets me a little to think of people reading through it saying, "She thanked us for a present she picked out herself, how arrogant! He said thank you twice - lame!"


True, I just don't "get" a lot of this.  We registered, and while I didn't keep a copy of my TY notes (it was 34 years ago) I'm quite sure that I  frequently said "thank you for the lovely china place setting" (or along the same lines) when it was the pattern that we'd registered for.  It never even occurred to me that people would feel amused that I was complimenting my own taste.  Of course, maybe they did, I don't know.  All I know is that whenever I gave gifts to people off their registry, and received TY notes in kind, I would never have felt this way.

Margo

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2014, 12:33:22 PM »
Quote
"Thank you so much for your generous gift, we're going to put it towards our new couch!" is a pretty neutral response, I think.

We got pretty much only cash from my ILs' side of the family.

I thanked people for "the left arm of our new sofa, which we hope to purchase in the next month." Or for "the middle cushion." I had to write TYnotes to several "sets" in the same nuclear family (aunt&uncle, growup cousins, e.g.), so I made sure to thank each of them for a different part of the sofa. In case they compared notes (which they did, I found out--and apparently they thought it was funny--I even had an uncle mention the sofa part, and in this family, uncles don't pay attention to wedding gifts or TY notes, so that means it was a topic of conversation).

While I am glad your in-laws liked your notes, if I got a thank you note like that, I'd seriously wonder if I was being insulted. "Thanks for your generous gift. We can now afford 1/15 of something we want!" I think I much prefer "We put it towards our new couch."


I guess this is a 'know your audience' thing. I would love to get a note like that, but in my family, gifts are generally not massively expensive, whereas couches are,  so I'd probably read it as "you gave me a really generous contribution to a big-ticket item which I wanted" , not "You only gave me 1/15 of what I wanted"

stargazer

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2014, 09:11:41 AM »
Quote
"Thank you so much for your generous gift, we're going to put it towards our new couch!" is a pretty neutral response, I think.

We got pretty much only cash from my ILs' side of the family.

I thanked people for "the left arm of our new sofa, which we hope to purchase in the next month." Or for "the middle cushion." I had to write TYnotes to several "sets" in the same nuclear family (aunt&uncle, growup cousins, e.g.), so I made sure to thank each of them for a different part of the sofa. In case they compared notes (which they did, I found out--and apparently they thought it was funny--I even had an uncle mention the sofa part, and in this family, uncles don't pay attention to wedding gifts or TY notes, so that means it was a topic of conversation).

While I am glad your in-laws liked your notes, if I got a thank you note like that, I'd seriously wonder if I was being insulted. "Thanks for your generous gift. We can now afford 1/15 of something we want!" I think I much prefer "We put it towards our new couch."

I'd have to agree with the bolded.

So would I.  I think Two Raven's reply is much better and wouldn't lean towards offending anyone.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2014, 09:32:41 AM »
There are some people I would use the 'thanks for the left arm of our new couch' approach with and other that I would just let know that they helped fund the purchase of our new couch.

When my brother and SIL got married, a bunch of us were in my parents room having a night cap, including a good friend of my brother's and a couple who were good friends of my parent's.  I asked DB's friend what was in the interestingly wrapped gift he'd brought - rude, I know but I was young.  He told me what it was and then said, 'Better than any damned toaster.'  and then realized what he'd said, backpedalled with, 'Not that a toaster isn't a nice gift.'  Everyone laughed.

The husband of the couple had made a wooden end table/magazine rack as a gift.  We told my brother and SIL the conversation of the night before.  Knowing the personality of the older couple, my SIL sent them two thank you notes a few days apart.  The second thanked them for the lovely end table.  But the first?  Thanked them for the lovely toaster.  'Of the five we received, yours was by far the nicest.'  When the wife of the couple called my Mom after receiving that first thank you, she was laughing so hard, she was crying.

So yeah, it is a 'know your audience' thing.  If you're sure they'd find it funny, go for it.  But if you aren't, better to play it safe.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
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TootsNYC

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2014, 09:37:58 AM »


Does there have to be a 'to whom' for it to be rude? When someone does the right thing and sends a TY note and the receiver picks it apart based on personal preferences - even if it is on an anonymous forum where the sender is unlikely to ever see it - I think that's rude.

I don't agree that's what most of us do at Ehell. The site isn't about people doing things less than perfectly, otherwise we'd have posts about people using incorrect grammar, burning cakes and other minor things. The site is about etiquette blunders, and using phrasing that the receiver considers awkward is not an etiquette blunder.


You must have missed this one.  ;)
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=130045.msg3155283#new



magicdomino

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2014, 02:42:15 PM »
Quote
"Thank you so much for your generous gift, we're going to put it towards our new couch!" is a pretty neutral response, I think.

We got pretty much only cash from my ILs' side of the family.

I thanked people for "the left arm of our new sofa, which we hope to purchase in the next month." Or for "the middle cushion." I had to write TYnotes to several "sets" in the same nuclear family (aunt&uncle, growup cousins, e.g.), so I made sure to thank each of them for a different part of the sofa. In case they compared notes (which they did, I found out--and apparently they thought it was funny--I even had an uncle mention the sofa part, and in this family, uncles don't pay attention to wedding gifts or TY notes, so that means it was a topic of conversation).

While I am glad your in-laws liked your notes, if I got a thank you note like that, I'd seriously wonder if I was being insulted. "Thanks for your generous gift. We can now afford 1/15 of something we want!" I think I much prefer "We put it towards our new couch."

I really like it, but I come from a family of smart alecs.  We would be referring to the sofa arm as the Two Ravens Sofa Arm and asking if it will have a plaque with your name as donor. 

TootsNYC

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Re: A nice thank you note for a present chosen from the registry
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2014, 02:57:12 PM »
Quote
1/15 of something

Well, I was thinking of 6 parts, not 15. Back, seat, arm, arm, 2 cushions. I think everyone took it as the metaphorical thing that it was. I don't think any of them thought I literally meant that we'd pay for the left arm of the sofa with their $200. (And our sleeper sofa was about $1,000.)