Wow, I couldn't believe I'd used this title before but sure enough, I did. The previous post had to do with the question of the proper amount of time to wait before flushing a hapless tadpole down the commode after he refused rescue (don't worry; we eventually did save the little bugger).
This really is actually more of an Emily Post type of question. DD was invited to three -- count them -- three birthday parties this month. She likes to go, we are flattered that she is invited, and we always RSVP with a yes. I usually try to keep the present cost to about $20, but when you add the card, the wrap, and a gift bag, well, it can add up to about $30. It's OK. I haven't had to take a pay cut at work -- yet (that will be coming soon, I think, and I will gladly do it to save jobs, but that's another story).
So, in addition to the time and expense of getting and wrapping the presents, we also spend our time with DD at the parties. Again, our choice. Two of them were at a place that I think of as a giant "bounce house," which is just a warehouse filled with large inflatables that the kids enjoy for about an hour and a half followed by pizza. It can be kind of boring for us, especially since we don't know the other parents at DD's new school yet, though this last time, I did a little bouncing and it made the time go faster (DH refused to partake).
A couple of days after the last party, we received an e-mail that thanked us for coming and advised us that if we'd brought a present, it was appreciated. I'd say the e-mail was about three sentences long and probably took five minutes to compose. Mom and dad elected to take all the presents home and not open them after pizza, which is not the usual practice at the bounce house (DD had her party there last year, so we are familiar with how they do things). I guess that's really a personal preference, though the kids do seem to enjoy seeing their individual present opened by the birthday boy or girl. On the other hand, it makes for a lot to squeeze in during a short period of time.
I'm glad to have received the acknowledgment, but I did feel just a (very) little insulted, and I'm wondering if it is just me. When DD receives a present, we keep track of it and we send a thank you note. When she was very small, I wrote them. When she got a little older, I wrote them and she traced her name on the dots I drew. Even older, she wrote her name. Now, she tells me what she wants the notes to say, I print it out, and she copies what I've written and signs her name. I have always felt that is the very least that someone can do. On the other hand, at least this was an acknowledgment of sorts, and I have given wedding presents for which I was never thanked, and that bothers me so much more.
So, am I hopelessly old-fashioned, or do you think that the e-mail was a little under the top?