to thank or not to thank

Apparently it is rampant. Not thanking people.

The advice columns in our local newspapers regularly cover this topic. My grandchildren never let me know they got my Christmas presents....My son/daughter/grandchild doesn’t thank me for the checks I send…I sent my niece a graduation gift and I never heard anything about it. And so on…

The advice usually involves allowing consequence such as don’t send any more gifts! or just send a card. I think I like that second one.

I would love to say I don’t experience this, but sad to say I do. Not with grandchildren (after all he is not yet 2 years old); but with adult relatives who know how to spell and put a sentence together – nieces, nephews, in-laws – and yes – adult children at times as well. Now, I am not expecting engraved or embossed thank you notes written with perfect penmanship (the shock might kill me). Or even ink. Printed with pencil would work. I’d take a postcard. Even postage due. What bothers me the most is that these family members, who I care about deeply, come across as entitled and ungrateful. I don’t like thinking of them that way, because I know what good people they are.

In this day and age of all things digital, an email, e-card or even a text message would be better than nothing. Knowing what little effort it would take to let me know they received/appreciated/liked or didn’t like what I shopped for, wrapped and mailed…the lack of effort speaks volumes. And it makes me sad. Sad for them as well because I imagine this is how they also present themselves to the world.

As I get older, time is shorter. It gets more and more precious. So I ask myself: Do I need to spend my time on people who won’t take 2 minutes to say “thank you” in some way, shape or form? I think not. I was once told by a family member that geez most people these days have never sent thank you notes to family.  Really? What kind of reason is that? Doesn’t make it right and harkens back (in a weird way) to the old “if she jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”  Think about it – your family is, well, your family — why wouldn’t you thank them in a special way? If not in a special way, then in some way.  There is absolutely no down side.

So there’s my small rant for the day. Sounds like anger, but underneath it is mostly hurt. I am grateful I was raised to acknowledge gifts no matter how small. And that I took it to heart, learning how important it was and is. So were my siblings; who, by the way, always thank me – in writing.


My “lessons” began shortly after I learned how to print…

1961 note009
age 7


10 thoughts on “to thank or not to thank

  1. Thank you for this post!

    You have said all that I wanted to

    The most annoying for me is that I not only purchase gifts, but have to rush out the expensive shipping costs

    So that’s where the gifts cost me so much more to send

    And why it bugs me that they’re not acknowledged

    I too am sad, as I would like to send again

    But get annoyed that I would receive just silence

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It is annoying and rude, but also hurtful to me – especially when I know how little time and effort it would take to send a simple message or note of appreciation.


    1. Thank you. I am glad I saved those old letters and notes 🙂
      One thing I find even sadder is when children are indeed taught to thank people for what they are given…and then grow up and don’t do it. I just don’t get it. They know better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I cannot tell how wonderful it was to read your post!!! Awesome and sadly true! It sounds like you and my wife are reading off the same script. Verbatim! She has adopted a card only policy!! It’s like my girls once told me about their friendships they said, “if it’s not a two way street then it’s not really a friendship, is it?” This is a post I’m going to reblog, My Dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Sad but true…I am not alone with this issue. The two way street analogy makes good sense here. It is harder when it’s family though. Not impossible…just harder. But after a while….

      Liked by 1 person

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