Tag Archives: christmas

Manners, the forgotten art of – how NOT to thank someone for a gift.

I’m noticing more and more that manners are becoming a forgotten art. Just watching an episode of Eastenders the other night it was even apparent. Michelle pulled up in a black taxi and said “wait here while I get your money”! What! This is not how I would speak to anyone! I would have said “please could you wait here a moment whilst I grab my money from inside. Sorry about this”.

I’m not even going to ask if anyone thinks I’m wrong because I I’m a believer of manners and I’m disliking this world that has not only forgotten them but doesn’t seem to be teaching them to our children. 

This leads me to my biggest and longstanding bug bear. Thanking people for gifts. When I was growing up, after each Birthday and Christmas, I would, along with my sister, write thank you notes and send them out to everyone that had sent me a gift or card or money. This wasn’t under duress. I actually enjoyed writing a thoughtful letter to each person that had sent me a gift or money. I would explain how much I liked that gift and why or what I was intending on spending the money on.

As I’ve aged and technology has advanced, I have on occasions switched to the same routine but sending it via text message, email, whatsapp and alike or phoning the individual. A personal thank you to let them know that the thought and effort they placed into ensuring I received something for my birthday or christmas had not gone unnoticed.

I took a leaf from my sister, as a fellow list lover and would have a running list next to me as I opened the gifts. Documenting who the present was from and brief description of what it was. At my baby shower my sister ran the list for me. I just find it helps later on in remembering who gave what. Especially if you receive a lot of gifts.

As George is now in our lives, I quickly jot down presents as he opens them also. I try to ensure this doesn’t take away from me watching him open the gifts. In between making a list and taking photos of him, gift opening is somewhat of a military operation in my world. It’s still fun though I promise. It encourages him to take his time and appreciate each gift. I’m not sure how practical this will be at christmas if we have more than one child but I’m sure we’ll manage.We usually open gifts over the course of several days so as not to overwhelm him and also to encourage appreciation. We have a relatively large family so he receives quite a lot of gifts.

Here’s my list of acceptable and unacceptable ways to thank people for a gift.

Totally acceptable and I will love and respect you forever

  • Bespoke postcards – mass ordered but with a handwritten note thanking me for noted gift
  • Text message/Whatsapp to me personally, thanking me for the specifically identified gift. (Bonus points if you include a picture of you wearing the gift, of it in your home, your child playing with it etc).
  • Handwritten letter or card
  • Creative art from the child who received the gift. (A scribble, a scrawl, a handprint in paint, it’s the thought that counts.)
  • A verbal thanks at the time of opening

Pretty unacceptable methods of thanks leaving me unlikely to give you any more gifts , or at least no longer put much thought or effort into them.

  • no thank you at all
  • A verbal thank you on being handed the gift but nothing after you have opened it and actually discovered what it is.
  • A “one message fits all” Facebook status, thanking “everyone” for their gifts. No! I want to know you personally received and liked MY gift not everyone’s.

I try to treat people the way I wish to be treated. Unfortunately this sets my expectations of people far too high, often leaving me disappointed. I’m making a stand though. No longer shall I spend hours of my time putting together well thought out gifts for those that cannot find the time to thank me properly.

Here’s a fab post I found with some great tips on how to thank people for gifts for many occasions;

12 ways to say Thanks and mean it

What’s your idea of good manners when it comes to thanking people for gifts? Do you think I expect too much? Do you get annoyed by people’s apparent ungratefulness in this day and age?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Reasons to love and hate Christmas

So here are some reasons why to love and hate Christmas. You may relate to some of these, you may not. But however you feel about Christmas, the reality is that as with anything, Christmas is what you make of it.

So let’s start on a high with a reason I love Christmas.

christmas, magic

  1. Love:- It brings people together. Whether it’s forced or not, whether it happens on 25th December or not, people make the effort to come together at Christmas. Family, friends, neighbours, communities, they all come together to celebrate and marvel in the wonder of Christmas.
  2. Hate:- Christmas isn’t a happy time for everyone. For some it reminds them all too brutally of those they have lost. Those who are no longer around the dinner table. Then there are those who are homeless and desperately ill. For them can often just be another day of despair. Although many people now commit their time and efforts towards helping the homeless, I’m in no doubt that these services are likely oversubscribed. There are people who miss out and suffer the same as every other day. Not to forget the amazing people who work in our public services on Christmas Day, nurses, police and alike. They all give up their Christmas Day to be there to look after you and keep you safe.
  3. Love:- presents. In recent years I haven’t received as many presents. What with me being a grownup and all. We all often mutually agree to just but for the children. It’s much cheaper and we both come from a family of many siblings. Niece and nephew count this year is up to 12! But when the unwrapping commences I just love to see the smile on their faces. Hubby usually buys me something and our parents often disobey the rules claiming that technically we are their children so we receive gifts from them. I love buying, receiving, wrapping and giving presents though.
  4. Hate:- presents. Yes unfortunately as much as I love them, I also hate them. The insistence that something MUST be bought for people. I overheard a middle aged woman in the queue in M&S saying to her elderly mother, “Eugh, I’ve GOT to get you something yet!”. Talk about take the spirit out of Christmas!
  5.  Love:- The food! Oh the food! Without meaning to cause offence to anyone, I have always described myself as a fat girl in a not so fat girls body. Although trust me as I age and my metabolism slows, that and I sit on my arse a lot. I’m getting fatter all the time. Nonetheless I love using Christmas as an excuse to overindulge in all the yummy food. Just forget about points and calories and whatever else people worry about and eat, eat, eat.
  6. Hate:- The food! You’re seeing a trend here aren’t you. I love my food. I would even describe myself as a bit of a foodie. But my word, I didn’t realise I was a fussy eater until I thought about all the traditional Christmas food. Christmas pudding, mince pies, parsnips, mulled wine! Yuk! I hate them all. Then there’s the weight gain. As much as I spend Christmas minus my conscience, as soon as it’s over I feel bloated and dare not even look at the scales. The detox and healthy eating plans commence for all of 4 days until New Years and it all starts again.
  7. Hate:- The Money it costs:- Ok so you could argue that you know that Christmas is coming each year. So technically you could put some money by each month, but even this is a hardship for some. Christmas is an expense that leaves some feeling stressed or in unnecessary debt. And you could say that these people are silly to overstretch themselves but we have created a society where some kids are getting the latest technology or the must have toy for Christmas. Most parents don’t want their child to feel like they are missing out or not “good” enough. A lot of emphasis seems to be placed on the gifts you get depending on how well behaved you have been throughout the year when in fact it’s what your parents can afford.
  8. Love:-The Parties:- The obligatory Christmas work do. Despite being a stay at home mum, I still get invited to the works do where I used to work. It’s food, drink, dancing and silliness and it’s the only time of year it seems to happen. In recent years and more and more of my friends have become mummies, it’s become harder to get us all together for an evening out. Christmas seems to force this and for this reason. I love it.
  9. Love:- Father Christmas aka Santa aka St Nick. The man of many names, many a disguise and many a location. He seems to crop up in more and more places and I love him for it. I love the notion of a magical land where the toys are lovingly made and distributed by the fabulous man himself. I love visiting the grotto with my now two year old and knocking on his door waiting to see him.
  10. Hate:- Father Christmas aka Santa aka St Nick. There doesn’t seem to be a place now that isn’t cashing in on this guy. He’s cropping up in schools, supermarkets, pubs, garden centres, aquariums, even the Zoo! I’m sure there wasn’t this many a Father Christmas when I was a little un. If anything I feel it spoils the magic. You can take you child to see Father Christmas and as you are leaving you bump into another. Thankfully George is still too young to notice. Only a few weeks ago we visited the Winter wonderland at Centreparcs with my brother in law and his children. Their little boy is 4 and went in before us. When we both came out and looked at our photos with Father Christmas, my nephew pointed out that ours looked different. There was two FC’s operating at the same time in rooms next to each other! For this reason I have imposed a strict “one grotto a year” rule for George. If nothing but to try and keep him believing just that little bit longer. Kids are growing up wayyyyyy too fast these days as it is!

So there you have it. Do you agree or disagree with any? Are there any big ones you think I’ve missed? Feel free to share with us. This list expresses how I feel personally about Christmas.

Wishing you all a very Happy 2016 Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year. X

Until next time……

You Baby Me Mummy