Thank You Notes: Old-Fashioned?

I just had a conversation at lunch with a couple of gals who think Thank You notes are old-fashioned. Given the choice, they both said they’d sooner send an email or call before “resorting” to writing, addressing and sending a note. In their circle of friends, they said, this was pretty much standard. Furthermore, they both agreed they’d feel “put upon” if they recieved a Thank You note.

I was floored! It doesn’t bother me that much if I don’t get a Thank You note, but I had no idea some people felt “put upon” at the mere reception of one.

So, what say you? Are Thank You notes old-fashioned (that term was used a lot in our conversation)? Do you send them? Do you expect to receive them?

I mean, I’m going to keep sending them, old-fashioned or no. I just need to know if I can officially start calling myself old now in doing so.

Put-upon to receive one? You weren’t lunching with civilized humans.

My niece and nephew have excused themselves from the burden of receiving presents from me since they can’t be bothered to thank me for them.

Of course, I am old – so I’ll just wrassle eve for the lorgnette and withdraw to my boudoir.

I don’t think thank-you notes are old-fashioned. They’re just polite; plain and simple. I’m certainly not “put upon” when I receive one. It’s actually quite nice to receive a written ‘thank you’ every now and then.

And like you, I’ll continue to send written thank yous when they are warranted.

Now, there’s an interesting side-conversation. I frequently don’t receive thank you notes, but I would never withhold gifts to family members and friends because of it. Is this common?

I’m totally not knocking you, by the way. I’m just as fasinated with this as I was with the conversation I had earlier.

I don’t think they’re old fashioned - I still give them when appropriate, and I’m please when I receive one. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I receive one, actually, as I don’t expect them (well, except at weddings, and then I have to admit that I’ve been miffed when I never received a note - if only because you don’t know if the person received your gift.)

I think yer gal pals are mental. (I mean that in the nicest way possible.):slight_smile:

I have to admit, I usually don’t write thank you notes anymore, even though my mom always made me do so when I was a kid. I get stuff for friends all the time, and vice versa–nice little pick-me-up gifts, birthday and holiday presents. We’ll e-mail our thanks or sometimes call, but none of us actually write and mail thank you notes, and nobody thinks anything of it.

However, if I get a couple a wedding present, particularly something on their registry, I do expect to get a thank you note for that, since apparently that’s a big part of the etiquette, the newlyweds eventually sitting down together and writing a bunch of thank you notes for all their nice new swag. I’ve never gotten a single wedding gift thank you note, which annoys me because I usually see the people a hell of a lot less once they get married, so months can pass without them even mentioning the present to me.

I just had a conversation at lunch with a couple of gals who think Thank You notes are old-fashioned. Given the choice, they both said they’d sooner send an email or call before “resorting” to writing, addressing and sending a note. In their circle of friends, they said, this was pretty much standard. Furthermore, they both agreed they’d feel “put upon” if they recieved a Thank You note./QUOTE]

Of course I’d rather send an email or call than write, address, and send a note. The latter requires that I find paper that hasn’t had anything written or printed on it, a pen that writes, a stamp, and an envelope. I’m not an organized person, and I never will be. I pay bills online and don’t write (or receive) letters, so I very, very rarely know where envelopes and stamps are at any given time. Emails and phone calls don’t generally require me to find anything (anything physical- the email address books and such are searchable by the computer), so they’re a lot easier.

I wouldn’t think thank-you notes were so bad if people weren’t so insistent on their being handwritten. My handwriting sucks. It has never been great, and I almost never handwrite anything other than a grocery list or a sticky note (and, in those cases, I almost always print anyway- I certainly would if I expected that it would need to be read by anyone other than me). I also tend to put off anything involving writing by hand for as long as I possibly can- it just seems like much more work than typing.

I also have a lot of trouble reading handwritten notes. I don’t know why, but I’ve never been very good at reading cursive writing, even if it’s done by someone who everyone agrees has good handwriting. I read typed text really fast, but the pace at which I read cursive is slow enough to be really frustrating.

The thank you note also serves to confirm receipt of the gift, particularly important when I’m sending a gift from a website registry.

My own handwritting is horrid and most of the people I write thank-you notes to are very techie, so most of my thank-you notes are by email. Sometimes an e-card, if I know the particular person is likely to enjoy it (for example, I sent an Anne Geddes e-card to an interviewer who’d just become a daddy, picking one that wasn’t “too girly”).

I keep every thank you note I’ve ever got, electronic or physical. Positive feedback is always a great thing.

I still write thank-you notes. I don’t know if they’re old-fashioned or not, and I don’t really care.

I try to write thank-you notes. I don’t get miffed if I don’t get them, unless it’s for a wedding in which case it is extremely tacky not to send a handwritten personal note. Certainly not old fashioned, although if I’m thanked in person, by phone, or by e-mail I certainly don’t feel I need an extra note - unless it’s a wedding gift. Special etiquette there.

I am corresponder-elect in our household. I think it’s because I hate writing notes a little less than my wife does. I still send Thank-you notes when we receive gifts from some one outside our immediate families. (A phone call is usually enough for immediate family members.)

I don’t like writing the notes and my handwriting is atrocious, but I like getting the phone call from my mother telling me how pleased her brother or neighbor is at the Thank-you note.

As to how put off I’d be on receiving a Thank-you note, I wouldn’t know. I’ve never received one.

I’m 29 and so is my SO. I don’t think that’s old, and we write thank-you notes. And we each write our own.

And when I get one, I feel pleased - the person took the time out to write it! Especially when I don’t get much other chance to converse with the person.

I wouldn’t mind a phone call or an e-mail, unless again it’s a wedding present. Particularly if it’s a present I took the time to find out they wanted (like off a registry).

But to feel put upon on getting one? I might send them one just for the hell of it. :slight_smile:

Said niece and nephew live 150 miles away, and I see them approximately once a year. (My one-liner about my relationship with their father/my brother is “Well, I’m not not speaking to him.”)

I wouldn’t necessarily expect a hand-written note – but a note of some sort, or an email, or a phone call, yes. As several have said, if only to acknowledge having received whatever it was that I went to the bother and expense of picking out for them and getting to them.

I definitely don’t expect thank-you notes for things the person thanked me for in person. I definitely don’t expect one for those little silly gifts that friends exchange (“I was in Target and this made me think of you”). But, yeah, for anything that was mailed – I expect an acknowledgement of receipt as a bare minimum – and while you’re acknowledging, what the hell, burn a few more calories by adding “thank you.”

Well, damn. I don’t blame you.

The reason they agreed they felt put upon is because once they receive a Thank You note from someone, they now feel they’re required to send this person Thank You notes when warranted instead of their usual calls or email.

Not old fashioned although I agree that not all situations warrant a handwritten thank you card. If you thanked me in person, that’s more than enough.

I will admit to being frustrated about not receiving thank you cards for wedding gifts. We were married in '98, and were both busy and went immediately back to work. I found the time to write personalized cards to everyone, thanking them for coming to the wedding (if they made it) or thinking of us (if they didn’t). Tried to include some personal anecdote. Expressed my thanks for whatever gift they purchased and let them know how their cash gift was put to use.

Having said that, 3 years after the fact, I found 2 cards that were never mailed. Horrifying. I would assume that a similar situation had taken place with, well, everyone I’ve given a wedding gift to in the past 5 years, but that seems unlikely. It is frustrating not knowing if your gift was received (or appreciated). If writing thank you cards seems too daunting, at least send me an email. It’s better than nothing!

My high school girlfriends and I are still a close-knit bunch, even though we’ve been out of school for 14 years now. I don’t really think that you should have to send a thank you card for every birthday and Christmas gift, but we’ve been through many baby showers and weddings together. I can’t tell you how many gifts I’ve given, or even how many showers I’ve thrown personally for these women. How many thank you cards have I received? Zero. I was a bridesmaid in one wedding, and for another wedding (as well as most of the showers) I made the cake. And I’m talking professional quality cakes that were made from scratch and took hours to decorate. Not a single card or email, even. I am the only one of all my friends to send thank you notes. I have learned to ignore the lack of notes, and I still send out my notes when the occasion calls for it. What else are you gonna do?

That’s exactly the way my mom feels, especially when she has put a lot of thought and effort into the gift. In the most recent case, it was a wedding gift she mailed to a cousin; without a thank you note, we weren’t even sure it had arrived.

The cousin’s mother assured Mom that the gift arrived safely; she says the cousin just can’t afford stamps right now. The wedding was in mid-December, by the way. We were never invited; instead, we received a brief note a week after the ceremony stating that their church was too small for everyone to attend.

In 18 and 15 years respectively, I’ve received exactly one thank you note each from my niece and my nephew. They barely thanked me face to face on the few occasions I was present for the holidays. (My daughter, on the other hand, writes notes to everyone, generally within a week of receiving a gift. Obviously her example hasn’t rubbed of on her cousins.) As a result, their gifts are fewer and less impressive each year - this past Christmas, they each got a pen and pencil set and a $20 gift card.

Niece is about to graduate from high school - I know a gift is expected, and it may be the last one she gets from me. We shall see…

I am so bad for not writing thank you notes, and I feel rotten for it.

I even bought blank cards specifically so I could send out thank you cards. Then I lose them or I think I sent the cards out (and later realize I didn’t when I find the cards… months later), or a I lose the addresses… and I feel so bad about :frowning: At the very least I do call them.

I always write a letter to Nana thanking her for any gifts though, and my Grandma is usually happy with a hug since I am usually at her place for Christmas.