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Readers Respond: Do you care if you receive a written thank you note?

Responses: 16


We're all so very busy these days. But does that excuse us from remembering the manners taught by our mothers? More and more often it appears that people don't believe written thank you notes are important. What else can explain their negligence in sending them? But some readers feel very strongly that they are important, and are very upset when they don't receive one for their gift. What do you think? Are they an old-fashioned formality that's no longer necessary? Or should manners never change?

It never hurts.

A written thank you is a nice gesture of appreciation. I do expect a written thank you for wedding, shower, graduation, memorials gifts. Not so much for birthdays, congratulations, retirement and not at all for Christmas presents. However, it would be nice to have a verbal acknowledgement if I mail a gift so I know the recipient received it. I no longer mail cash but write checks and know when the check is cashed. It never hurts to properly thank the giver. After all, they did go the extra mile to buy you something special.
—Guest Lori

Need to acknowledge receiving gift

A thank you note is a must in cases in which the gift giver sends the gift - e.g., sends flowers, sends a gift card or check in the mail. If I hear nothing, I don't even know if the person received my gift. The recipient should, at a minimum, send an e-mail to acknowledge receipt of the gift. I used to send flowers to a friend for her birthday and stopped because I never knew if she even received them. Why waste my money on flowers that she either didn't receive or didn't like?
—Guest Amy

Thank you notes are a must....

I cannot understand why anyone would think it's not proper to send a hand written thank you note. It has nothing to do with being old fashioned. It's got everything to do with proper upbringing, etiquette and down right common courtsey. If someone does a kindness for you or gives you a gift of any kind, it is the right thing to do by sending a hand written note through the mail. This new generation has been given some misinformation, by some form of media, books, etc. that is just not accurate. There is no acceptable reason for an email thank you ever! It doesn't matter what social circle you are a part of, good manners should follow through no matter what the factors are. It galls me when I read the "new up and coming generations" find it old fashioned to hand write a thank you card. Really??? It's not a generational thing at all. It's just good manners which many young people don't possess any longer. It's shameful.
—Guest Carol Ann Zmuda

Mrs. E

Many of my students have responded to the thank you notes that I have given and pass on this courtesy to others who they report as surprised and appreciative of the kindness. It makes everyone smile and get along better.
—Guest Mrs. E

To give is better than to receive

When I give someone a gift, it is because I want to give them a gift, not because I am expecting anything in return. Anyone who gives with the expectation of a return, even just a thank-you note, just for the return's sake is not giving with the right attitude (it is different, though, I would imagine, if it's your children whom you have always taught to send thank-you notes and they don't). That being said, I always appreciate when someone sends me a thank-you note, and I always make sure to send them, too when it's appropriate. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's all in the attitude. No thank-you for a heartfelt gift is better than a grudging, if polite, note to a stingy giver.
—Guest Rhonda

None needed

You give not expecting to receive, so you shouldn't expect a thank you card. It is more work for already busy moms and they end in the trash killing millions of trees. If you want to use an email service that will work, but I still think if you gave the gift in person there is no need for it.
—Guest Annie

Thanking for attending the event

Dear Sirs, This is to thank you for attending XYZ Top-3 get-together event on 27th May 2011 which is part of XYZ policy to maintain a continuous business relationship with its investors and I hope to share with you many similar events in the future. HFZA's To Management and its staff appreciated your attendance at said event. Yours sincere MM Y. For : Director General
—Guest clients addended a host receiption o


Anytime that someone spends the time, effort, and money to buy a gift for someone else, a thank you note is definitely common courtesy.
—Guest Joan

A mom

I love receiving thank you notes for gifts and efforts I make to do kind, thoughtful things for my kids. Most of them respond with notes, but I have one daughter who NEVER has written a thank you note, even though I taught all my children the importance of acknowledging the gifts they received from others. I'm tempted to quit putting in the effort and expense. OR I could just give up saying thanks for anything I receive from her. What do others think??

I do care

I do care most that I seem to receive no thank you at all, anymore, for things given - especially mailed gifts. I would love to receive a written thank you note, but, more importantly I would just love to hear that the gifts I have given were received. Even a text message would be appreciated at this point.
—Guest Al

Relationship First

Sometimes I think people emphasize "rules of etiquette" over sincere relationships. I have several relatives who are diligent to do "the right thing" with regard to birthday gifts and thank you notes etc. They, however, do not extend themselves beyond this in a sincere way. Other relatives forget birthdays and thank you's but are sure to give you a call just because they thought of me or knew I might be going through a hard time. While both types of courtesy CAN show care and thoughtfulness, most people tend to be better at one expression or another. People who tend to be spontaneous in their expressions of kindness tend to be undervalued by the "rule keepers" when, in fact, their expression may be more heartfelt. So, my experiences with friends and family lead me to say no I do not care if I get a "Thank you note." I would much rather have a sincere card, phone call or e-mail "just because" someone thought of me. After all we should send gifts out of sincere love anyway.

Thank You notes via US snail mail

I am delighted and appreciate the time the person took to write it and send it!!

thank you notes

For children, I think it is a must. I recently attended a wedding; I sent a thank you note to the parents of the bride, as I would for any party I attended, any gift I recieve or any other kindness that was done to me.
—Guest Tina

Thank you notes`

I am so sad that this communication effort has fallen by the wayside. How wonderful to take the time to buy someone something special, and then have the time and effort ignored, as if it is something that was due them. My grandchildren used to write notes, but as they have gotten a few years older, that has disappeared. They still expect gifts and money, but don't feel a thank you is in order. This comes from the teaching of the parent, and even though I taught my children better manners, they haven't passed this down to their children.
—Guest bakersfieldmom

Thank You notes

Have we forgotten that courtesy is esential if you want to have a civil society? What is the 2nd major cause of automobile accidents (after speeding): dis-courtesy! And: Chivalry is not completely dead: It is amazing how "shocked and pleased" a woman is when I simply hold a door open for her! And, after a job interview: a Thank You (for your time, etc.) that is HAND WRITTEN and US mailed...works wonders to help you stand out from the other applicants!! Dr Elliott

In praise of thank you notes

Thanking the giver and acknowledging receipt of a gift is common courtesy and all too often is overlooked. I believe it is a parent's responsibility to teach their children that all gift givers must be thanked, either in person, by phone, or in a note.

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