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


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