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Question of manners?

November 27th, 2015 at 08:48 pm

Okay I'm about to admit to something that bothers me that I'm never sure how to handle. I've never actually handled it unless it's been mailed.

It's how I never get a thank you note or acknowledgement of a gift. It's recently happened twice and I'm not sure whether or not the people got the gifts.

First we went to a birthday party at a pool that was a little crazy and I left the gifts in the general area it seemed to be collecting. This was in October and I'm wondering do I ask the friend "did Boy B get the gift?" Is it tacky? Is it rude? Am I hinting I want a thank you note?

Second we went to a housewarming party that same weekend and I brought a gift for their new baby and dessert. I know they ate the dessert and served it but the books in a bag with card I left. Did they get it? Did they open it? How do you ask? Again I don't expect a thank you but I just am a little annoyed there wasn't anything to acknowledge.

So how do other's manage this? Once I sent my nephew a DVD from Amazon for his birthday/Christmas and finally when I had the nerve to ask my SIL she was embarrassed because they sent a thank you note to someone else they thought it from. I have also questioned before my brother for his daughter and gotten "oh yeah we got it." So they just chose to not acknowledge receipt of the gift.

But nowadays I wonder even if thank you notes are passe (I do them and so do my kids always) how do people acknowledge they got your gift?

9 Responses to “Question of manners?”

  1. VS_ozgirl Says:

    We don't really hear of people doing thank you notes, other than for weddings, here in Australia. I do remember as a child though, mom making us write thank you letters to our grandparents for the Christmas gifts. These days I realise just how much the grandparents would have appreciated handwritten notes from their grandchildren. I don't know that it's rude not to answer as long as you acknowledge in person the next time you see them. It's not rude for you to ask either "did you like xxxx present that I got you? I was just hoping I made the right choice". I would have no problems doing that.

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    If a gift has been given in person, presumably the recipient said thank you at the time, so I would not expect a written note. But it sounds like some of your gifts are just being placed in a general pool of gifts, so that the recipient isn't actually aware of the gift until later, when you are not there. In that case, I think they should send you a note or at least give you a phone call. Anything delivered by mail, UPS, etc., deserves a note or at least a phone call to acknowledge and thank you.

    Getting no acknowledgment makes me question whether I have given something totally wrong for the person and they are baffled as to what to say. But the truth is, they could always send a short, generic, "Thanks for the gift."

  3. Ima saver Says:

    I was taught to write thank you notes since I was 4 years old. I still send them to everyone, when I am invited to a party, out to eat, anything! It annoys me that my own granddaughters never write thank you notes. Once in a while they send an e mail to say thank you.
    I blame that on the people that raised them, in their case, their other grandmother. I don't think she knows what thank you notes are.
    I sent a gift to my husband's niece when she graduated. No thank you note. (I sent a check and she cashed it.) When she got married, I did NOT send a check just because she never acknowledges the first one. (The marriage only lasted one year.)
    If they don't send thank you notes, I do not send them a gift (or check) again.

  4. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    I hope that they get the gifts when thrown into the pool. I have seen them and not heard anything. I may end up asking.

    I am starting to not send any gifts since I get no acknowledgement of a gift card or something for graduations for nieces and nephews.

  5. VS_ozgirl Says:

    I would just ask, for curiosity's sake. It's not fun spending money and to not even know if it's appreciated.

  6. laura Says:


    Interesting post! I think it all depends on the culture of the family - I do not require my children to write thank you notes if they open the gift in the presence of the gift-giver and they acknowledge with gratitude in person. If the gift isn't opened in the presence of the giver, then they do send a note. My niece and nephew always say thank you in person and also send a note. That works for them and is wonderful; my mother thought that I might amend my ways to mimic theirs, however, that isn't happening. But to not acknowledge someone's generosity is just way, way wrong.

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    When I get a gift I either tell the person thanks in person or by calling them. I think the last time I wrote thank you cards was when I graduated from college?? So ... a while ago.

  8. PatientSaver Says:

    I agree i think it's very poor manners not to acknowledge at SOME point, if not when they are given, that the have received and appreciate the gift.

    A few months back i sent a thank you card with a $25 movie gift card, to some old neighbors of my mom's who have regularly visited my mom at assisted living and the nursing home. They never acknowledged getting it and I worried that maybe the mailman took it from their mailbox where I'd left it. Finally, 6 weeks later, i got up the nerve to gently inquire and only then did they say oh, yes, they got it, thanks.

    They are very good people, good to my mom...maybe it just slipped their mind, i don't know.

    Years ago i was invited to a party at a neighbor's. I forgot what the occasion was, but i brought a gift that cost me about $35. Again, never really got an acknowledgement, i just gave it to the hostess when i arrived, but it was all wrapped and i would have liked a thank you after they saw what it was. Oh well.

  9. klarose Says:

    I HATE writing thank you notes. I'm not good at it, and it just feels cheesy and fake. I never expect anyone to give them to me either. A gift is a gift, no thank you or reciprocation needed. IMO. Of course I will say thank you if I see or call the person. In person is much better than writing a note.

    I was extremely miffed when I was a little late getting out my thank you cards after my wedding. Several people complained and it did upset me. Really, I just got married, and was building a house, and they were whining because they didn't get a "thank you for the blanket..." Sorry I find that rude.

    But I'm weird, lol.

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