Another etiquette thread: what's your take on handwritten thank-you notes?

A spiritual follow-up to this thread.

Let’s say that your twelve-year-old daughter has a just has a birthday party, held at your home. You didn’t want to pay for food and notions for her entire class, so you required her to keep the guest list down to a dozen, to whom she hand-delivered invitations at school. There were a dozen invited guests, including two pairs of twins: twins Ayla and Garth Maximoff, and the unrelated Pietro and Wanda Maximoff . Your daughter received eleven gifts, as Ayla and Wanda are best friends and went in together on a single present, which was markedly more expensive than average; every other guest brought an individual present.

And now the questions:

  1. Do you require your daughter to send thank-you notes, or is saying thank-youat the party sufficient?
  2. If you require your daughter to send thank-you notes, is it okay to send them by social media or email, or must they be on paper?
  3. If electronic messages are acceptable, is a single update to her own Facebook wall sufficient, or must she post an individual update to each guest’s wall?
  4. If electronic messages are not acceptable, must the thank-you notes be handwritten, or is printing them out acceptable?

Don’t wait for the automated poll. There isn’t one. Why? Each your liver, that’s why.

1)Thank you notes
2)Hahahahaha! Paper.
4)Handwritten. Cursive unless it’s unreadable. Typing out and printing a message to send is only permissible if even hand-printed letters are illegible.

A handwritten thank you note is a think of beauty. It lets a giver know that a gift was received and that it was appreciated, sort of.

That said, my kids have been to dozen’s of birthday parties over the years, gifts in tow, and we have never ever received a thank you note. I’ve never considered that a lack of etiquette. My kid just went to a party with cake and ice cream and probably a moon bounce or lazar tag, plus a party bag when he left. What kind of person expects a thank you note for that?

  1. Do you require your daughter to send thank-you notes, or is saying thank-youat the party sufficient?
    Thank you notes
  2. If you require your daughter to send thank-you notes, is it okay to send them by social media or email, or must they be on paper?
    Paper! Lovely thank you cards are fine, as long as the inside is handwritten.
  3. If electronic messages are acceptable, is a single update to her own Facebook wall sufficient, or must she post an individual update to each guest’s wall?
  4. If electronic messages are not acceptable, must the thank-you notes be handwritten, or is printing them out acceptable?
    Must be handwritten.

I don’t understand people’s aversion to writing thank you notes, at all. What is the big fucking deal? Someone took the trouble to select a gift you would like and all they are hoping for in return is a thank you note.

My niece and nephew write no thank you notes and man, I would love to see their little chicken scrawl with a cute little note. My SO’s cousin writes thank you notes - she is eight - and they are adorable and put such a smile on my face.

If they weren’t my niece and my nephew I would have stopped giving them gifts long ago. Needless to say I write thank you notes for all of my gifts, even after I have thanked them in person. It’s just the right thing to do.

This is silly. Notes are for presents that were sent by mail. So, only where the giver did not see the receivers reaction on opening the gift.

During a birthday party, the giver is there when the birthday’s girl opens the package. So, written thanks are superfluous. As are thanks for the party itself. The best thanks is a reciprocal inviation, and if that isn’t possible, an invitation for another outing.

If thank-you notes are sent, they must be written, by whatever medium. Telephoned thanks get awkward.

Thank you notes. On paper. Handwritten. Always always always. Even if you received the gift in person and said “thank you.”

If I found out I had a 12 year old daughter I would be ecstatic. I’d tell my sons they’re going to be paying their own way through life from now on, and I’d give my long lost daughter anything she wanted. If she thanked me at all in any way I’d be thrilled.

Speaking more generally, I don’t see anything wrong with a thank you in any form, hand-written, email, a text, or a phone call would all be fine with me. Thank you means thank you, the form it takes is unimportant to me.

Gift in person & opened- no note. (Exception is for elderly relatives, etc)

Gift sent: depends on the sender. Grandmother who sends something really nice? Handwritten.

Young Cousin who sends a $5 gift card? Email.

Wedding gifts: calls for a preprinted card, signed in person with a little handwritten note. Unless you know that person hates mail and wants it via electrons.

Handwritten notes on paper. The rule in our house is that you can’t use/play with the gift until the note is sent. Of course, my real life daughter is still pretty young so she dictates for me the content of the note, I add things to make it make sense, and she laboriously signs her name and draws flowers and smilies on it.

My sister makes her daughter (my niece) write thank you notes for every birthday and Christmas gift she receives. And(!) explain what she is going to do with the gift, and then mail them in an envelope with a stamp.

Makes this uncle beam out loud when he gets her thank you note in the mail.

I just noticed that I seem to have edited out one of the thread questions. So, for those who favor sending handwritten notes: how many does the hypothetical 12-year-old owe?

  1. The notes for the twins can be one as long as the text makes clear that the recipient knows who gave which gift and thanks the appropriate person for it.

Bear in mind there are two sets of twins: Ayla & Garth Ranzz, and Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. The shared gift was from Ayla and Wanda, who are not related to one another.

Gifts opened in front of the recipient don’t require a thank you note in our house. I’ve noticed a trend towards not opening birthday party gifts at the party, however. So that would be the deciding factor for me. If the gifts weren’t opened and people thanked at the party, then each gift gets a note in general. The twins who went in on the same gift get a single note because stamps are extensive, the twins who gifted separately get their own notes because they each put separate time and effort into selecting and wrapping, and the unrelated girls who went in get a note each, because I can’t mail one note to two people.

Edit: oh, twins all did separate gifts? Then they each get a note.

Sorry, I meant 10. Jane, Levi, Martin, Davy, Lynne, Carlos, Demetri and Sandy each get their own note while Ayla and Garth get one and Pietro and Wanda get one where each person is thanked for their specific gift.

Handwritten thank-you notes. On paper. Cursive if kiddo’s learned that; if not, her best handwriting.

It should be sent to all 12 people who attended. For the situation where two friends went in on a present, the thank-you note can say something like, “I’m so glad you and Ayla/Wanda chipped in to give me the lovely Barbie Investment Towers Condo Set because I’ve always wanted one. Please bring your Barbies over next time and we can all play with it!”

Thank-you notes aren’t mandated if the gift-giver is thanked in person, but it is an excellent skill to teach children, and birthday parties are the best way (as are Christmas presents). Grandparents also love them. As do slightly eccentric but well-employed and generous aunties (do you hear me, NephewBunny?).

Being able to easily write a good thank-you note is charming and useful…especially if she ever gets married. She’ll thank you when she can easily write thank-yous that are better than “Thank you for the silver candelabra. We like it lots.”

Gifts should not be opened at the party. Too much potential for embarrassment. One of the gift-givers might be Richie Rich and another Little Orphan (pre-Warbucks) Annie.

Like a wedding thank-you card from Hallmark? I disagree.

Thank-you notes for wedding gifts should be sent on real stationery with a matching envelope. Not on something that says “Thank you” on the front; those were created by Hallmark et al for rubes who don’t know any better, and automatically think a printed card is more formal than a plainer one. For wedding thank-yous, don’t use anything pre-printed, and/or with fill-in-the-blanks.

The Emily Post Institute agrees.

I only own little fold-over cards with my initial on, and some pretty fold-over cards that are blank inside. Nothing that says “thank you”, because I can write that myself. And my grandmother would come down from the afterlife (if there is one) and haunt me if I did.

YMMV, etc.

I actually really don’t like gifts being opened at the party. There is no reason why we all should have to sit around and watch anyone open their gifts. As Skald says, there is a potential for embarrasment, but really, anyone over the age of 11 should not except anyone else to make a fuss over their gifts.

Under the age of 11 - I don’t know enough as I don’t have any rugrats of my own. But I kind of think it causes jealousy and am not that fond of it there either.

I thank people with handwritten thank you notes even when the gift was opened in front of them and I have verbally thanked them and hugged them. Why? Because

a) it’s really no skin off my back to write a simple card and mail it
b) it’s nice to mail things other than checks
c) it’s nice to receive things other than bills
d) Everyone who gets my thank you notes is happy to get them
e) thus they are happy to give me gifts again

I mean I feel like thank you notes are the ultimate win-win situation. People are made happy by a few minutes of my time. The only people I don’t give a handwritten thank you note to are my coworkers and I am still unsure about that…it seems weird, since I open the mail, to mail one in, and bringing one in seems even weirder.

But then, I don’t intend to have a wedding with 200 people or anything like that. Even if I did you bet your ass I’d write all those thank you notes. I never wrote any for my high school graduation party (the last really big party I had) and I regret that deeply.

It is unnecessary to the point of insanity for children to write thank you notes to other children for an informal children’s party. Thank you notes can be written to adults for formal occasions, if the adults are the sort who care about that.

As a child, I came to think of thank you notes as a punishment for accepting a gift. Here! Have a gift+an obligation! If you don’t accept my obligation you’re an asshole. If you refuse my gift you’re also an asshole.