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I Don't Do Thank You Cards

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One mom thinks the tradition of writing Thank You cards is environmentally unfriendly and a waste if money. She also just hates doing it, so she's opted out.

woman writing thank you card

Momlogic's Gina: When my child and I get gifts I, of course, thank the person who gave it to us. I just happen to do it verbally in person or over the phone. I don't have time, nor do I think its necessary, to write a thank you card. Plus, I thought the whole point of giving is that you don't expect anything in return.

This is something that people think I'm incredibly rude for thinking and practicing. I really do think it's an outdated, wasteful tradition. It wastes paper, money and time -- all things we should all be conserving, especially in this day and age.

I also hate that this it is assumed to be the woman's job in a marriage. My in-laws are always asking me if I've sent a note to their friends who have send us gifts. I work just as much as my husband, thank you very much! This is just another completely outdated element. And what's so wrong with picking up the phone and actually calling the person and speaking with them? This is time WELL spent.

Call me lazy, but I will continue my boycott of Thank You notes although I'm pretty sure I'm alone in this quest. Next mission -- Christmas cards!

What do you think? Anyone care to join me? Thank you in advance!

next: Cougars on the Prowl
27 comments so far | Post a comment now
Littlemissknowitall January 5, 2009, 10:40 AM

I’m with you! I’ve never been good at it, and always preferred the personal contact instead of some pre-formed, bland letter. I honestly find thank you cards that we get as impersonal. I prefer to speak with the person I get a gift from, and let them know how delighted we are and just how well it will be used. Why is it considered rude to thank someone in person instead of through a “Thank You for your gift” note?

Hollie January 5, 2009, 12:57 PM

Thank you for actually standing up for this. So often it’s expected to write a thank you. I recieved some gifts as a thank you for helping some extended family get rooms at the hotel I work at using my employee rate. They saved a bundle the two times they used it and I recieved very nice gifts. Now do I have to write and thenk you for my thank you gifts? Where does it end. I’d rather get a call or even an e-mail saying thank you so much.

Anonymous January 5, 2009, 1:34 PM

Hallelujah. I thought it was just me. I still get thank you cards from the same people after ten years and I always give them the personal thanks either to their face or on the phone or “gasp” even by email. I think they are still waiting for me to write those dang cards but it’s not happening. I don’t feel like spending the money on stamps, cards, etc. As a matter of fact on my son’s 2nd birthday I even announced, “I’m thanking you all in person today because you know I don’t do thank you cards.” Now no one will be confused.

Andrea January 5, 2009, 2:15 PM

I may be in the minority but I like to send out thank you cards. I have some personal cards that I had designed and I send them out for specific or just general thank you notes. I have four on my desk right now going to relatives who sent the kids Christmas gifts. I love getting cards in the mail. We have gone so electronic - I love the fact that someone put their hand to pen and paper and jotted a quick note!!!

Sarah @ TM2TS January 5, 2009, 2:15 PM

I can’t remember the last time I sent thank you cards. A friend and I were talking about it, and her mother-in-law was going on and on about how she’s [my friend] is supposed to send a her [my friend] husband’s grandmother for a Christmas gift to both of them. She was like, “Um, no, I thanked her when I got it” and the mother-in-law is still asking if she’s going to send a thank you card.

Leighann January 5, 2009, 2:17 PM

I think that if someone takes the time and money to give my child a gift, then I will take the time to send a written note.

Especially if a gift was mailed. That way the person knows that we received it.

Jennifer January 5, 2009, 2:26 PM

It’s considered good manners to send a thank you note. Our American culture is just so informal now that things like hand written comunications are going the way of the dinosaurs. Sad.

HIRH January 5, 2009, 2:29 PM

I don’t like to send them either. I send notes via snail-mail not very often and mostly when I want to surprise someone with a long note that I don’t have the time on the phone to convey.

I also HATE christmas cards! They just get thrown away.

I’ve taken to either writing a letter to everyone so atleast it’s meaningful or we get a family portrait taken that people can put in an album or place on their fridge. Oh, and we always send them in celebration of the New Year, not for the “holidays”.

RiceWenchie January 5, 2009, 2:31 PM

My grandmother made such a HUGE deal about writing thank you notes & letters that I have grown up refusing to send either. For example, when I was 22 and my mother was 50, my grandmother sent a Christmas box for our family. There were presents for everyone including two identical little boxes for my mother and I. We opened our presents to find boxes of thank you notes, already stamped and addressed to her. :~|

I prefer calling the people who are near and dear to me to thank them for their gifts; preferably thanking them in person, if possible.

Kristin January 5, 2009, 2:42 PM

Well…I am a HUGE advocate of the “thank you” note. I love sending correspondence through the mail, writing the note, picking out cards or designing my own card. On the flip side though, I would never expect someone to send me a card. A verbal or email thank you is quite sufficient. As in leaving a birthday party, “hey girl, thanks for my kid’s gift” is enough. The hard part for me is people who never give an inkling of gratitude. I know I didn’t have to send a gift, but c’mon, email me a quick “thanks jerk” or something!

I have sent gifts to some members of my family who have NEVER once said thank you. I assume they received the gift…I hope. They just never thank me. Sometimes it makes me feel like I sent them a box of crap that wasn’t worthy of even a thank you…so, I do think thank you’s are necessary…or appropriate, but what manner they come in is your choice.

Valerie January 5, 2009, 3:28 PM

REALLY! Environmenatlly un friendly? Thats a load of crap! If your too lazy to get out a pen and paper and thank someone for going out or thier way to do something nice for you, then don’t do it! But don’t complain about it in a blog. In the time it took you to write this pointless essay, you could have made up for the last ten years and the numerous “thank-yous” you owe people! I agree that thanking someone in person is best, infact I do that first and then, just to make them feel that much more special, I send out a thank you card (on organic paper if you want to be specific)!Letting someone know that their actions didnt go un-noticed is important, especially since they obviously spent a little cash on you, why not return the favor? If a friend invites you to dinner at thier house, do you not say “Hey next time, lets do it at my house”? Your returning the favor ladies! Seriously, what would your grandmothers think about your lazy actions? Shame on you for letting your comfort come before others. I cant believe some of these blogs, you all sound like men!

Jennifer A January 5, 2009, 4:22 PM

If you thank someone in person for a gift, you do not have to send a thank you note. We do thank you notes in my family for bigger occasions where people may not see the gifts opened (First Communion, graduation, etc) but for Christmas or a birthday, a thank you and a hug is enough for both families. Also, in-laws hate thank you notes. I’m still waiting on a bunch for baby showers and a baptism where I did not attend but sent a gift.

Just sayin' January 5, 2009, 6:35 PM

What a load of crap! Gifts should be acknowledged, and if you’re too lazy or cheap to write a thank you note and put a stamp on it, by all means pick up the phone or even send a message by e-mail. But don’t kid yourself that it’s remotely acceptable, let alone elegant, to not bother. American society gets more debased and classless every day.

Opinions be respected January 7, 2009, 5:25 AM

It depends to the person, never force anyone to do whatever you want, remember, the world isn’t revolving around you, so no offense. I agree with you, with so much technology, why won’t we use it instead of wasting money for elegant papers, come on, you could just send an e-card or email or call the phone. But please don’t ban christmas cards, well i don’t want to so don’t force me to ban it. Lady, remember what i said before-The world isn’t revolving around you, so stop acting like a spoiled brat!!! Are you even insane?!? And in advance, i am not a spoiled brat OR insane.

Sara January 9, 2009, 4:25 AM


Preetha February 2, 2009, 1:21 PM

I think if you or your child receives a gift, it is simply polite to thank the person. I personally like the ‘old fashioned’ idea of thank you cards. But, I also think that if that’s not realistic for someone to do, by all means, send a personal email, or great, talk on the phone or in person with them! But, in this busy age , call me old fashioned, but I think if someone takes the time and thought to write a personal thank you, it’s awful sweet. I love getting cards in the mail, I feel like, wow, they thought of me, and took a few minutes from their busy lives to send this along. It is ‘old school’, but refreshing to me in these days when people email and text so much and seem clueless with simple politeness. I hope to teach my son to be thoughtful, grateful, slow down in these busy days to ‘smell the roses’. Yes, we are all busy. But, guess what, when we die, there will still be a zillion things to do in our ‘in’ box. And, what people will remember is , did that person find ME important, special, or, how kind that person was, spending time with me, remembering me. Yeah, it’s busy, but, shouldn’t we all slow down and look at the big picture? What are we all frenzily living our rushed/overschedulled/gotta always be doing something lives for? It doesn’t last forever! Slow down, see the people and the world around you. And, teach your children to be friendly, polite, thoughtful, selfless people, not it’s all about me, and what’s convenient for me so much! Sorry, I got on a roll! I’m constantly surprised in this day and age, how many adults (and kids) are just rude, don’t say thank you, excuse me, whatever. I’d hate to see the future generations become ever more selfish and rude and not thinking of others, or the world around them.

Ju February 24, 2009, 6:42 PM

Until I had a baby shower, I didn’t know anything about thank-you cards. I said thank-you when I received the gift in person. My husband and I thanked everyone. I would expect to send cards to people who sent gifts but couldn’t attend … but why do I need to send cards to people I already thanked in person? Isn’t that a bit redundant?

Cordie March 9, 2009, 10:36 PM

Amen. I never had a problem with sending notes until I met a family who actually asked me for them! I think that is truly rude. If you are acting out of genuine generosity and good will, why would you demand written proof of gratitude? The fact is that these are not gracious people. They are people who miss the meaning of giving altogether.

Toots May 4, 2009, 3:27 PM

Sorry but it’s rude not to send a thank you (I think a card or email is OK though). The purpose of a thank you is to acknowledge that someone took the time and effort to pick out (and spend money on)a gift for you. Now, after you’ve received it, you can’t even take the time or small amount of money to acknowledge the gift? This is also problematic when a gift is mailed. There are still several relatives out there who I’ve sent gifts to and I wonder if the gift was lost in the mail or what?
I say, no thank you= no more gifts. Quit being lazy!

alyson June 19, 2009, 11:39 AM

NOT writing thank you notes is terrible manners and sets a poor example for your children. When someone buys a gift, wraps it, and possibly takes the time & money to mail it, it is the VERY LEAST you can do to thank them. The lack of manners in American society is a cause of great concern — people are getting dumber, lazier and ruder every day.


If something happens to me heaven forbid, I have specified in my Last Will & Testament that my children will write thank you notes. It is THAT important.

Not sending thank you notes is inconsiderate and barbaric.

(((and the argument that writing thank you notes is anti-earth friendly is total B/S … purchase recycled / post-consumer waste paper products.)))

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