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February 20, 2010



Um, yeah - that email was worse than nothing at all. With nothing, you can at least assume that the people meant well but were swamped or disorganized or something came up... still kinda lame, but you can stretch to accept it and when you see them and they say something nice about having you there, how much the gift meant, etc. - at least it seems heartfelt.

So I guess you can tell, we've been through this a lot. We streamlined the process by buying a stash of B&N gift cards, which we gave to everyone. (Now we give iTunes gift cards.) Special friends get something really personal, either in addition or instead of, but that's only for a select few kids.

I am also NOT a fan of fancy wrapping for kids. The great thing about the bookstore cards is that they fit in an envelope, or they give you a tiny box to put them in, so even a scrap of wrapping paper works. Add a nice ribbon and voila, you're done.

I guess it seems less meaningful than picking out a gift for each kid's personality, but honestly, unless I know the family well we have no idea what that kid has or likes or needs - every kid can use a book.

If someone I don't really know doesn't properly thank me for a gift I didn't really think too much about, it's fine. And the special friends - the ones that we spend lots of time looking for just the right thing for - do sometimes seem to forget about a thank you note, but they always do have something meaningful and sweet to say about the gift, so somehow it's not so bad.

Okay, that's my long answer - a mass email is never the way to go!

kris (lower case)

i always sent thank you cards to everyon who bought my son a gift from the time he was a baby onward until he was about 7 and then it occured to me that i was the only parent doing this. and i do mean the only one. i can not think of but 1 time, maybe 2 that anyone ever sent us a thank you card. so being a slug, i stopped sending them too. i do still rsvp which is something else no one seems to bother doing so i am still not as much of a slug as others!


I think the e-mail was an attempt at some kind of half-assed etiquette, but it was inappropriate. No gift acknowledgement at all would have been less noteworthy than sending such a memorable e-mail!


I keep my expectations really, really low. But I think that that a group email to the effect of "if you gave us a present ('cause we can't figure out/remember if you did) we really, really appreciate it (despite the fact that we can't figure out/remember if you did)" probably manages not quite to meet even my reduced expectations.

And I love the phrase "under the top."

After Words

Yeah, not cool.

At my son's 4th birthday, he started opening gifts while I was out of the room. It was not part of the plan, but it was hard for me to backtrack and say what had come from whom. I wrote some particularly vague thank you notes....


I am really bad about sending thank you cards. I have the best of intentions, but like so many things, just never get around to it.

But I would be ashamed to send that email. Your post actually has me thinking that maybe I should start emailing my thank you letters - maybe then I would get it done. And I think a thoughtful "thank your for the lovely teapot. I use it almost daily." in email form would be better than none at all.

After Words has a point too. Hmmm . . .

Loved the more recent post too.

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