This may come as a shock to you, but I hate “Thank You” cards! Do I think people need to be thanked and appreciated for their time, kindness, thoughtfulness, and gift’s? Absolutely! And sending someone a very personal thank you note is a lot different than sending out generic “Thank You” cards en masse after an event. I have several important points to make regarding my opinion on this topic, so let me break it down for you bullet point style.
1. The main events that “require” thank you notes to be sent are mostly bridal/baby showers, graduation parties, and weddings. These are all life transitioning events. High school graduates are preparing for college, saying goodbye to friends, and preparing for life as an adult. College graduates are starting new jobs, possibly moving to a new location, and preparing for life as a self sustaining adult with new responsibilities. Engaged couples are preparing for the new roles of Husband and Wife along with everything that entails: new family members, new rules, new home, new holiday traditions, etc. Expectant mothers are preparing for a whole new addition in their life that will change almost everything in their current lifestyle. Expecting people who are in the midst of major life changes to find the time, energy, and money to write mass amounts of “Thank You” cards is completely unreasonable.
2. “Thank You” cards written en masse are impersonal, and generic. “Dear So and So, Thank you so much for your gift (usually pre-picked on a registry). I will surely enjoy it in the future. Sincerely, Me." My husband once told me that he literally wrote the exact same thing on every single “Thank You” card he sent out from his high school graduation party. Having received many of these types of handwritten generic “Thank You” cards myself, I know he is not the only one. I open them, roll my eyes, and then throw them out. If I really want to know if someone likes a gift that I have given them then I will ask them. Having a personal conversation allows the recipient of the gift to really tell you how appreciative they are, and maybe even what they have done with your gift.
3. Weddings are generally a major event in a couple’s life. Most weddings take many months of meticulous planning, scheduling, budgeting, and coordinating every little detail right down to the salt and pepper shakers on each table. Receiving an invite to a wedding is an honor, and to thank the happy couple for the invite, you give them a wedding gift. That’s right! Your wedding gift to the Bride and Groom is a “Thank You” for spending their time, and money on the guests. Most couples and their families have provided each guest with a free evening out that usually includes a nice meal, alcoholic beverages, dessert, dancing, and entertainment. There is usually even a token “favor/gift” at each place setting thanking each guest for attending. So, you bring a wedding gift to thank the Bride and Groom for inviting you to their very special event, but then the guests expect a “Thank You” card from the Bride and Groom for their “Thank You” gift for being invited?
To sum this up, never give a gift expecting a thank you card. Gifts should be given for the pleasure of giving. However, thanking someone for their generosity and/or gift should always be done, and it should be done in a timely, thoughtful, and personal manner.
I would like my readers to tell me what your opinion is on this topic. Leave me a comment below and tell me if you agree with sending “Thank You” cards or not. How did you thank guests who attended a major event/party in your life? Do you have any idea's or suggestions for a great way to make saying "Thank You" more thoughtful and personal?