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Author Topic: Thank you notes for family members  (Read 5479 times)

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Re: Thank you notes for family members
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2016, 05:56:07 PM »
I think this really depends on the family.  We don't do thank you notes for each other (immediate family) in general, but my sister and I both did thank you notes for the family for our weddings and baby showers.  For my wedding, I wrote longer and more personalized letters, vs. just a quick "thank you for x" to my parents, grandparents and siblings.  Things like how their own marriages set a good example for they'd always been there for me, etc.  Same with my baby shower, I was more like "thanks for being such great parents.  The hand made baby blanket is amazing, but the true gift is knowing my baby is being born into such a loving and supporting family. I'm more confident in my ability to be a good mom, because of how you raised me...etc." 

That way, the thank you note seemed like less of a formality and more of an expression of our relationship and gratitude for the gift...which is really what they should portray, IMO.   


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Re: Thank you notes for family members
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2016, 01:32:05 PM »
My mom INSISTS I not send her a thank you note. But then, 99% of the time, the gift is given in person, and I thank her in person.

I am also expecting a baby. My mom has made and bought several major items for her granddaughter. She prefers the verbal thanks, especially because then my Dad has no idea how much she's spent on the grandbaby  ;D

I do, however, send thank you notes to my aunt and uncle in NY, whom I rarely get to see. Ditto for my siblings if we receive something from them (especially with sister, as she's getting better about having her daughters send notes, and I'm trying to help reinforce that behavior). I make DH write notes to his grandparents at his birthday, but I'll handle the cards for joint gifts. They've never said anything one way or the other about being uncomfortable with the notes, but given their distance from us and fixed income, I think it's important.

My eldest sister's granddaughter is close to the age of my daughter.  One Xmas, my sister sent both girls a beautiful set of notecards tucked into their gift boxes.  DD, who always writes thankyous, said, "Great! I needed some new stationery."  Later, when visiting us, the granddaughter said, "Granny sent me some notecards with my Xmas gift.  That's her way of criticizing me for not writing her a thankyou note."  I asked if she had gotten the messege and sent her grandmother (who is always mailing her gifts year round) a thankyou.  The girl looked at me as if I were insane.

The worst thank you note I ever received was from my mother's brother's daughter (not a strong relationship there, as you can tell), a pre printed mass mail generic mess 6 months later that didn't even reference the correct gift I sent her. That was the last time I sent her something for birthday or Christmas (she was 13, now 17).

FWIW, my mom knows an elderly couple from my hometown. They have several grandchildren, all of whom received gifts until they were 16. I was "adopted" by them at Christmas/birthday, and received gift cards from them well into my 20s. The reason I received gifts and the bio grandchildren did not? I sent prompt thank you notes each time I received something. The grandchildren never sent a single note. 

Unless family members say otherwise (ie, there's really no need to send me a note, a call is much preferred, etc), I'd err on the side of caution and send notes. Blood relationship is no excuse for lack of courtesy in thank you notes. :)


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Re: Thank you notes for family members
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2016, 11:41:51 PM »
I agree that all gifts merit a written thank-you.  Whether it is e-mail or snail mail is probably more a matter of preference. 

When I married, my mother, in addition to doing so many things for us I lost count, asked us to dinner one night and presented us with an unexpected and much welcome gift.  She did so much for us during this time, I wouldn't have dreamed she would add to her generosity. 

I sent her a thank-you letter, with those thoughts, as well as some others.  It was not on note paper, just lined notebook (college rule).  She told my sister about it when it came, and years later, after her death, I found it in her nightstand drawer.  She had kept it all that time!  I don't think you can go wrong with sincerely expressed gratitude, no matter what your language or culture is.  Just my 2 cents.