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

Responses: 26


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? Share your Opinion

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's boring?

When was a heartfelt thank you, hand- written and with your name on it, ever boring? These people must be spoiled numb to not appreciate the uniqueness of a note. It may seem generic because you are bored.
—Guest andi

Absolutedly Needed

A handwritten note of thanks for a gift received should be done as close to the occasion as possible. I have stopped sending gifts to those who don't express thank you. Perhaps I'm old-fashioned, but I believe in manners.
—Guest Martha

Yes but...

I think it it courteous to send a thank you email, text or note/card of some kind expressing gratitude for a gift received. To do otherwise might make you seem ungrateful. That said, I think when you give a gift, you should not expect a response. A gift should be given freely (without strings). When I give something handmade, I can't expect it will even be liked.... otherwise I just gave the gift out of ego.
—Guest Diana

Thank You Notes

I always send Thank You notes to those that have done things for me or helped me in any way. I have blank note cards and send my own message of gratitude. I remember when Oklahoma had that terrible bomb. The governor's wife sat down and hand wrote thank you notes to everyone that helped during that awful time. What an example that was and I have always remembered it.
—Guest Eileen


I think they are important-I took the time to pick it out - the least they could do is respond-even if they don't like it. It is common courtesy - which seems to be lacking these days!
—Guest Gwen Smith

I don't care

I do not care to receive a Thank You note. I give a gift because I want to, not because I expect a thank you note in return. Most thank you notes are generic and say the same thing: "Thank you for the so-and-so." This doesn't mean anything to me, especially if the receiver already told me this in person; so why write it down and mail to me when you are saying the same thing? The only Thank You note I would enjoy receiving is if my gift made a profound impact on the person, like it was an answer to prayer or something, instead of just simply saying "Thank you for the (blank)."
—Guest Kimberly

Thank you note.

In the past three months I have given the following gifts: baby gift, 2 bridal shower gifts, wedding gift, 2 high school completion gifts. college graduate gift and a birthday gift. To date, I have received one thank you and that has been by email. I was taught to acknowledge gifts and show my appreciation by writing thank you notes. There is no excuse for not doing so.
—Guest Patricia Ozols


I believe in thank you notes. I always send them. They have spent their time and money on me. So the least I can do is thank them. Have a grateful heart!
—Guest Linda Baden


I am very hurt when I send money & a card & don't get any acknowlegement at all, not even a text or email. I feel un appreciated and taken for granted. Old Fashioned that way, it's called common courtesy. :(
—Guest Peggy

I don't care at all.

I don't care at all if I get a thank you note. I would just throw it away anyway. They are always boring and generic and a waste of paper. I didn't give a gift so that I could receive something back.
—Guest MKitty

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

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