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’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 how 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;
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?