I’m not a harsh parent, I don’t think (well, English Dad is always telling me I’m too soft), but I do like my children to be polite. They’re really lucky in that they have a pretty large (and slightly fragmented) family, so they get pressies from all over the place, and even if it’s just a tenner in a card, I do like them to say thanks.
Trouble is, we get later and later, and it causes more and more hassle and nagging (on my part) and annoyance (on theirs) every year. My nephew and niece, lovely Turtle and Jackson, are a pretty good alarm system for thank you cards. When theirs drop through the letterbox, regular as clockwork, in about mid-January, it’s my signal to go hell for leather at the ‘HAVE YOU DONE YOUR THANK YOUS YET?’ reminders, generally yelled from the bottom of the stairs in the direction of closed bedroom doors. And so it goes on.
Them: ‘Lucky I spent my HMV vouchers before they went bust…’
Me: ‘That reminds me, have you sent your thank you cards yet’
Them: ‘Sigh, I’ll do them tomorrow…’
Them: ‘This is the t-shirt I got for Christmas’
Me: ‘That reminds me, have you sent your thank you cards yet?’
Them: ‘Sigh, yeah I’ll do them later..’
Frankly, it makes us all a bit stabby.
This year, we’ve negotiated a few ‘modern’ changes, including:
- If they’re friends with the present giver on Facebook, they can say thank you via Facebook message.
- If the person who gave them a present has children for whom we buy presents and that don’t send a thank you, then they’re let off with the verbal thank you (the ‘they don’t thank us so why should we thank them?’ rule).
- If they opened the present in front of the person and said thank you PROPERLY, then we’ll accept that as enough.
- With Grandparents and those of the non-electronic variety, it HAS to be a thank you card. It must be written nicely, it must acknowledge what the present was, and it must be done, preferably, before about June.
Am I being old fashioned? Is the time of the thank you card gone, along with letter writing and licking stamps?
Anyone got any tips or opinions on the matter?