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peacelovehomeschooling

How do you handle never ever being thanked for gifts you give to a relative?

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We give our goddaughter (who is also my cousin) money for Christmas and birthdays each year.  She is currently 19 years old.  Never once have we gotten a thank you or even an acknowledgement of getting the money (i mail it if we aren't going to see her near the time of the occasion).    I am tired of it.  Were it not for the checks being cashed I would have no idea if she even received them.  My husband is at the point of just not giving her anything else. 

Has this happened to you?  How do you handle it?

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I am going to be honest.....................I don't care.

I give a gift because I love the receiver and want them to have XYZ.  Not because I care if they call me to thank me.

Let me ask you this, do you have any other relationship with her besides birthday and christmas gifts?

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2 minutes ago, peacelovehomeschooling said:

We give our goddaughter (who is also my cousin) money for Christmas and birthdays each year.  She is currently 19 years old.  Never once have we gotten a thank you or even an acknowledgement of getting the money (i mail it if we aren't going to see her near the time of the occasion).    I am tired of it.  Were it not for the checks being cashed I would have no idea if she even received them.  My husband is at the point of just not giving her anything else. 

Has this happened to you?  How do you handle it?

 

How did you last nineteen years?? As a near cousin and godparent you are close enough to speak to her about it. But whether you want to have a conversation or not, you would certainly not be wrong to stop giving her presents.

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I don't give gifts with any expectation of being thanked. It's nice if it happens, but -- I give gifts because I want to, with no strings attached. It's not about me, it's about the person I'm giving to.

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It happened here with, oh, I won’t name the exact relationships but young adults in my extended family.  We did it till they were each in college, and then stopped with the idea that if we saw them on a holiday, we’d bring a gift.  We have never seen them on holidays though, so ... that was it.  I finally stopped sending Xmas cards, too.  

ETA: I did it as long as it brought me joy.  And when that stopped, I stopped.  So I agree with the others that we don’t give with an expectation if anything in return.

Edited by Spryte
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I stop giving them gifts. I don’t give gifts just to get thank yous but I also don’t feel obligated to give gifts to people with no manners especially once they hit about mid teens. 

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Years ago I stopped sending gits to relatives who didn't acknowledge receipt. I didn't like not knowing if the gift had been received or was lost somewhere. I think it's just rude to not acknowledge a gift.  

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I was that teen (and young adult).  I was never taught to express gratitude that way. 

If the gift was given to me in person I would certainly say "thank you" and give the gift-giver a hug.  I was not taught to send thank-you notes.  For gifts I received through the mail I would say "thank you" the next time I saw the person.

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I would stop giving gifts. My mother has this issue where she sends gifts to one of my brothers and his wife and never get a thank you. A simple text, "We got the X, thank you so much!" would be sufficient. And these are things off their wish lists, so she knows it's stuff they want. She won't give them nothing this year but she's planning to scale way back on what she spends on them. I don't blame her, I would do the same. I wouldn't expect a thank you note or whatever, but a phone call or text or something, anything, to acknowledge the gift.

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You could call and ask if she got the check and whether she enjoyed using it.  Hint hint.  After that, she should get the message and take the responsibility.

Or you could just not send anything this year and if they ask, say "oh, I never heard from her, so I was afraid our cards were not reaching her."

She is old enough to know to communicate her thanks to you.  In addition, even though she is used to getting $ from you annually, given her age, you could reasonably adopt a policy such as "I stop sending gifts when they become adults / graduate / have a job / whatever."

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20 minutes ago, Junie said:

I was that teen (and young adult).  I was never taught to express gratitude that way. 

If the gift was given to me in person I would certainly say "thank you" and give the gift-giver a hug.  I was not taught to send thank-you notes.  For gifts I received through the mail I would say "thank you" the next time I saw the person.

But your relatives probably knew that about you?

I know that all my relatives (siblings and their kids) were taught to acknowledge all gifts.  Shoot, if my mother ever sent anything through the mail (not just a gift) she expected us to let her know it got there and would be annoyed if we made her call to ask if it had arrived.  (She was only that way with her own family, not other people.)

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16 minutes ago, Junie said:

I was that teen (and young adult).  I was never taught to express gratitude that way. 

If the gift was given to me in person I would certainly say "thank you" and give the gift-giver a hug.  I was not taught to send thank-you notes.  For gifts I received through the mail I would say "thank you" the next time I saw the person.

I was kind of the same, although by high school graduation I had it figured out.  I am NOT a gift person, and it's weird enough to receive gifts from the people I see every day, let alone a distant relative that I may or may not see once or twice a year.  Even when I was mailing or calling with a thank-you, I was so relieved when the cards and checks stopped.  Becoming one of those "no Christmas cards AND no Facebook AND probably not showing up to holiday dinner" grinchy hermits seemed to help with that.

 

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I'm not a gift person either, I don't enjoy giving or receiving them. I was taught to thank people for gifts and I do when I receive one but the whole thing makes me uncomfortable. I would just rather not deal with it at all.

When I do give someone something, whether it be a gift for an occasion or an act of kindness or sharing my abundance of something with them, I do it because I want to, not because I expect anything, even a thank you, in return. 

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I guess I do it for the traditional things, whether I'm thanked or not.  But after the traditional things are over, I stop.  (High school graduations, weddings, maybe 18th or 21st birthday...)

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It bugs me - but only because I don't understand it.  I feel so appreciative of gifts that I can't imagine not thanking someone for their thoughtfulness or generosity or whatever.  So, when I send or give what I think is a thoughtful gift and get no acknowledgement, it hurts my feelings a bit but I also wouldn't consider not sending gifts because of it.  I get excited about many gifts I give because I do try to make them special so it does bother me if I get no response because I'm so excited about the person receiving the special gift!  It baffles me that someone can get a gift and not even think to thank the giver.  

ETA:  I wrote this late when I was tired.  What I really meant to say is that I don't understand not having a sense of gratitude because it's such a positive part of my own life.

 

 

Edited by Kassia
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There are some people I would give gifts to whether thanked or not (immediate family). There are others I do give gifts to but not with the same lack-of-care-of-gratitude - and some I feel obligated to give gifts to. If they can't spare any time or effort to call, text, or write a thank you note, I don't  want to spend the time and money to get and send them anything. 

But, seriously, someone spent time and money on you for a gift. They cared enough to spend their precious resources on you. And you can't send a Thank you note? Or make a call to let them know you appreciate that? Or at the very least a text? (Note this assumes you didn't thank the giver in person at the point of the gift)  I don't understand. 

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I don’t give gifts with any expectation of being thanked but at age 19 it seems reasonable to stop sending the checks. She’s an adult now and it seems like a good time to end the gift giving.

It’s still rude- I’m pretty sure most adults mumble a thank you to servers, baristas, etc. so they know acknowledging a kindness is the right thing to do. 

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I agree with Jean--I stop giving gifts. I got complaints about a particular baby blanket to a relative, and then when I sent another baby blanket to that grown-up baby, I never heard. So, I didn't send one for the next baby. I don't send stuff for TU notes, but I want to know that the gift arrived. I didn't send a baby gift to another relative as I never heard on the wedding gift. I have a great niece I've been sewing piles of doll clothes for--really fancy doll clothes. Not only do I get a TU, but I get photos and the little girl signs the cards. I went to the trouble to track down the same fabric that I used for the quilt for little sister, as big sis really wanted it. I tracked down the fabric and made some doll outfits from it. She was ecstatic. THAT'S who I sew for--someone who will appreciate the gift. https://www.fatquartershop.com/apple-farm-pink-main-yardage  Isn't that cute? The others--pfft--they don't seem to care. Another relative, again, no TU for the wedding gift, so no baby gift--it doesn't matter to them. I took the quilt top that was supposed to go to a relative--one who'd blown off the others, and finished it for dd and her dh. I got a photo back and thanks from both of them. They knew the amount of time and effort I'd put in. I was disappointed in one of my grad friends this year. Really? You couldn't be bothered to at least SIGN a card? And your mother was fine with a printed pasted-on boiler plate letter? I'll think twice about your little sister's as it obviously doesn't mean much to the family. The return address was the mother's handwriting. With that one exception, ALL our our grads sent nice TUs this year. Good for them!

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a gift is a gift. I don't have a checklist of whether I get a response.

 

however - you say this young woman is your goddaughter . . . . my understanding is as a godparent, you also need to help teach her about being an upright adult.   that could include you need to teach her about writing a thank you note.   if you choose to go that route - apologize for not being a better teacher when she was younger.

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You either change your expectations or change your behavior. That means you either give her gifts knowing full well you won’t hear a word of thanks for it or you stop giving her gifts altogether and accept whatever fallout (should there be any) will happen as a result. 

 

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2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

I am going to be honest.....................I don't care.

I give a gift because I love the receiver and want them to have XYZ.  Not because I care if they call me to thank me.

Let me ask you this, do you have any other relationship with her besides birthday and christmas gifts?

This exactly. If I get a thank you I appreciate it but it doesn't affect whether I continue to give gifts. I give them because I want to give a gift. 

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7 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

I agree with Jean--I stop giving gifts. I got complaints about a particular baby blanket to a relative, and then when I sent another baby blanket to that grown-up baby, I never heard. So, I didn't send one for the next baby. I don't send stuff for TU notes, but I want to know that the gift arrived. I didn't send a baby gift to another relative as I never heard on the wedding gift. I have a great niece I've been sewing piles of doll clothes for--really fancy doll clothes. Not only do I get a TU, but I get photos and the little girl signs the cards. I went to the trouble to track down the same fabric that I used for the quilt for little sister, as big sis really wanted it. I tracked down the fabric and made some doll outfits from it. She was ecstatic. THAT'S who I sew for--someone who will appreciate the gift. https://www.fatquartershop.com/apple-farm-pink-main-yardage  Isn't that cute? The others--pfft--they don't seem to care. Another relative, again, no TU for the wedding gift, so no baby gift--it doesn't matter to them. I took the quilt top that was supposed to go to a relative--one who'd blown off the others, and finished it for dd and her dh. I got a photo back and thanks from both of them. They knew the amount of time and effort I'd put in. I was disappointed in one of my grad friends this year. Really? You couldn't be bothered to at least SIGN a card? And your mother was fine with a printed pasted-on boiler plate letter? I'll think twice about your little sister's as it obviously doesn't mean much to the family. The return address was the mother's handwriting. With that one exception, ALL our our grads sent nice TUs this year. Good for them!

What cute fabric!  I don't blame you at all for stopping the gifts.  It really stinks that your hard work couldn't be properly acknowledged in a thank you.  I'm glad that some of your relatives do appreciate your hard work and effort. 

 

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I didn't really grow up with the thank you note thing and I think it's all thoroughly awkward. I'm not a fan of receiving gifts. It just bugs me for some reason. I like buying gifts for close family and friends that I actually see and can physically give an item to or happen to talk to regularly but so much of gift giving is just pressure on everyone. A lot of the small money gifts I used to receive come from distant relatives or not so distant relatives that I don't really have a relationship with and I know that the gift is just because what's done rather than it really being meaningful. If I haven't spoken to or seen them in my adult life I don't need to receive a gift. I actually asked everyone to stop last year and it's stuck luckily.

I think if you are giving a gift to someone you don't really have a close relationship with and are bugged by lack of response then maybe either stop or together or learn to give without expecting something in return. If you want to acknowledge an event just send them a card and be done with it.  I also think that if you are making something special for someone and they don't respond it's likely that they just don't really value your skill/time and it's not something that would cross their mind as particularly special vs buying that item from a shop. I've fallen into the trap of helping people with stuff or making things for people that they need and expecting it to be valued and it not being. Then I realised that it was me projecting that they'd value it. 

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8 hours ago, Margaret in CO said:

I agree with Jean--I stop giving gifts. I got complaints about a particular baby blanket to a relative, and then when I sent another baby blanket to that grown-up baby, I never heard. So, I didn't send one for the next baby. I don't send stuff for TU notes, but I want to know that the gift arrived. I didn't send a baby gift to another relative as I never heard on the wedding gift. I have a great niece I've been sewing piles of doll clothes for--really fancy doll clothes. Not only do I get a TU, but I get photos and the little girl signs the cards. I went to the trouble to track down the same fabric that I used for the quilt for little sister, as big sis really wanted it. I tracked down the fabric and made some doll outfits from it. She was ecstatic. THAT'S who I sew for--someone who will appreciate the gift. https://www.fatquartershop.com/apple-farm-pink-main-yardage  Isn't that cute? The others--pfft--they don't seem to care. Another relative, again, no TU for the wedding gift, so no baby gift--it doesn't matter to them. I took the quilt top that was supposed to go to a relative--one who'd blown off the others, and finished it for dd and her dh. I got a photo back and thanks from both of them. They knew the amount of time and effort I'd put in. I was disappointed in one of my grad friends this year. Really? You couldn't be bothered to at least SIGN a card? And your mother was fine with a printed pasted-on boiler plate letter? I'll think twice about your little sister's as it obviously doesn't mean much to the family. The return address was the mother's handwriting. With that one exception, ALL our our grads sent nice TUs this year. Good for them!

This does cut me to the bone, because I am currently pouring my creative soul into knitting heirloom-level baby blankets for my coming great nieces/nephews. I have completed and given one with two on the docket. Or course I don’t do this for a thank you, but the thank you that the first niece wrote certainly did increase my pleasure at having made the blanket. 

I did actually spend time thinking about how I would feel if a recipient did not seem to care about the blanket. I would have to let it go because a gift is a gift. But I wouldn’t make anything else for them. 

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In your situation, I would decide if I wanted to continue to send them gifts or not.  If yes, since it's your goddaughter, I would probably mention casually as we got closer to the next holiday that you would appreciate it if she could let you know when she receives your gift.  You want to make sure your mailed things arrive and just hearing she got it would be appreciated.  Then move on to the next topic of conversation and see what happens.  When I send gifts to my nieces and nephews, sometimes I don't hear they received them and I try to stay focused on the fact that I wanted to gift them something and picking something out or sending them $ brought me joy.  If I had bad feelings about it, I would stop sending gifts. 

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I did a bit of inquiring. Found the parent had interecepted the gift and returned or sold it.  I no longer give anything but US savings bonds.

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My deal is that I just want to know it got there. We've lived far away from everyone for so long, we've had enough things get lost in the mail...once a whole fed ex truck wrecked and we never received any of that stuff... or sent to wrong addresses (on our end) that I've got kind of a complex about it. 

But yeah, there are SO MANY ways to get in touch with people to say I got the sweater, thank you.

I literally just typed it and it took less than one second.

There's no sense in not doing this, even if you didn't grow up with hand-written thank you notes as an important thing. 

 

ETA-- Oh, so for grown ups I just don't send them anything. And for children I send them whatever I want whenever I want and just text their parents to make sure it arrived.. I expect no particular response. But I only buy gifts when I feel like it, in the first place. So I don't feel particularly put out about gift-giving days as it is. 

Edited by OKBud
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Hm, I do agree that we don't give gifts to get a thank you but on the other hand not acknowledgement at all is quite rude and I would probably stop the gifts at some point.

I have to admit though that I had a friend that used to send gifts to my kids and I generally didn't thank her even though I definitely know better. I think it was partly because I was so busy (small kids) but honestly I think it was to some degree me being passive-aggressive as I was quite upset about something that had happened earlier. I wasn't really aware of it but I think that made it hard for me to call/write her a thank you. Anyway, she stopped with the gifts and I definitely don't blame her! I wish I could go back and do it differently, partly because of the gifts (we are a very small family and my kids don't really get gifts from anyone else so it is more about the kind thoughts than the material gifts) but more because I really do feel badly about it.

This just to say there may be underlying issues and while I think you are perfectly in your rights to stop the gifts it would be nice to keep in contact.

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Because I don't give anything to be thanked, I don't get upset about it.  Is it polite to acknowledge and thank a person for sending a gift?  Yes!  Do I acknowledge and thank people for gifts?  Yes!  Do I raise my kids to acknowledge and thank people for gifts?  Yes! Has it slipped through the cracks on rare occasions and I didn't or my kids didn't? Yes. (blushes)  I teach my kids that it should acknowledged and a thank you is in order. 

That should happen in one of the following ways:
verbally at the time of receiving the gift in person (no written thank you note required)
verbally on the phone if not received in person
in a text, email, or snail mail if not received in person

But I'm old enough to know that not everyone has the same social standards I do, so I'm not going to waste emotional energy if they don't.  I also won't let it erode the relationship.  If I want to give someone a gift I do it with absolutely no strings attached at all in any form, including expecting acknowledgement or thanks.  I give only to give it and I'm content in that. If I get acknowledgement and thanks that's extra which I think is lovely.

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Deciding to stop giving gifts when they consistently go unacknowledged does not mean ending or harming the relationship.  I stopped sending my nieces and nephews gifts when they stopped acknowledging them but we are still in touch, still see each other when we can (which is rare since we live far apart and time/money for travel is tight), etc.  

ETA: I'm assuming the erstwhile gift-giver didn't announce they were stopping, but just... stopped. As in, one Christmas I just didn't send checks or other gifts. And nothing changed. (For all I know, they were just as happy the gifts had stopped.)   

I also don't get the assumption that people who like having their gifts acknowledged only give in order to receive thanks.  Not necessarily so (I can't speak for every person everywhere). Most people give because they want to give gifts.  Wanting to know the person got the gift by some other method than seeing the check clear the bank is separate from one's desire to give gifts.

Edited by marbel
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I have a dear friend who lives just up the road. I did something for her (baby gift, dinner, maybe, don't even know after 30 years) and as a joke I included a TU note to me. She always felt guilty about not writing them, so this way, she didn't have to feel guilty! We had a good chuckle about it. 

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When I say that I want a thank you, I don't mean that it needs to be formal or anything.  It can be a quick text, a phone call, a mention when we see each other, as well as the standard (or non-standard) thank you note.  A standard thank you note can lack gratitude as well if it is obviously perfunctory and strained.  (The worst one I got said "When I opened your gift my first thought was "yuck" but thanks."  It went on with some more non-refreshing honesty.  I no longer give that gifts to that person either.)  Giving gifts is not a natural talent for me but I am trying to think of others and I see it as a character issue to be able to show gratitude to others as well as a basic social skill. 

PS - my yucky gift was a box of chocolates.  Perhaps not the most imaginative gift ever but not exactly a gift of tarantula earrings or something.

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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3 hours ago, OKBud said:

My deal is that I just want to know it got there. We've lived far away from everyone for so long, we've had enough things get lost in the mail...once a whole fed ex truck wrecked and we never received any of that stuff... or sent to wrong addresses (on our end) that I've got kind of a complex about it. 

But yeah, there are SO MANY ways to get in touch with people to say I got the sweater, thank you.

I literally just typed it and it took less than one second.

There's no sense in not doing this, even if you didn't grow up with hand-written thank you notes as an important thing. 

 

ETA-- Oh, so for grown ups I just don't send them anything. And for children I send them whatever I want whenever I want and just text their parents to make sure it arrived.. I expect no particular response. But I only buy gifts when I feel like it, in the first place. So I don't feel particularly put out about gift-giving days as it is. 

You are totally right, there are a lot of ways to get in touch to say "hey, I got your gift."  And now that we do live farther away and receive most gifts by mail, I often text my family a pic of my kids using whatever gift they got or whatever.

But also, the people I give gifts to, they are people I have contact with in some form regularly.  The likelihood is very high that I will be in contact with the person again in some form long before I have to wonder if they received it.  And, if for some reason it's NEVER mentioned in ANY of that contact, I don't have an issue with asking if it got there.  For example, in April, I sent my nephew his birthday gift for the first time, ever, instead of coming to his birthday party.  I couldn't tell you if I got a thank you or not, I probably got a quick text, I dunno.  But, his party was the second week of April, I saw him in person the first week of May, and had texted my sister multiple times between the party and the event in May, so at any time, if I had been concerned about it being received, I would have just asked.  It's as easy for me to text "hey, did that card get there? " as it is for them to type "hey I got it!"

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I don't think not sending a thank you note is rude, not anymore. It was once considered rude. That has changed whether we like it or not, whether we want to accept it or not. Expressing gratitude is not outdated but the method has certainly changed. 

I do appreciate a thank you in any form, but when I give a gift it's because I want to. To me giving a gift is like doing a favor. There is no expectation of anything in return. Nothing. Whether or not I continue to give gifts to someone depends on our relationship, not whether or how they thank me. 

 

18 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

When I say that I want a thank you, I don't mean that it needs to be formal or anything.  It can be a quick text, a phone call, a mention when we see each other, as well as the standard (or non-standard) thank you note.

I agree with this. I don't necessarily expect or want a thank you, but if I get one it can be in any of the above forms. 

I do understand that some people want to know if their mailed gift arrived but it's fine to ask the person, "hey, did you get my ?", or even to send it with some sort of confirmation (return receipt, delivery confirmation, etc.). A thank you note isn't the only way to know if your gift arrived.

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I think quite a few people feel awkward about thank-you acknowledgement if the person isn't there when they open the gift.  I ould say those people also tend to feel awkward about other social nicities - it's almost like they really needed some clear expectations and scaffolding to learn how to have those conversations or perform the right social niceties, but never got it.

I think it's kind of the downside of a very loose and variable social etiquette - it leaves people who are unsure, shy, or procrastinators, or even just lazy, without a strong push to do the right thing.

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9 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

You are totally right, there are a lot of ways to get in touch to say "hey, I got your gift."  And now that we do live farther away and receive most gifts by mail, I often text my family a pic of my kids using whatever gift they got or whatever.

But also, the people I give gifts to, they are people I have contact with in some form regularly.  The likelihood is very high that I will be in contact with the person again in some form long before I have to wonder if they received it.  And, if for some reason it's NEVER mentioned in ANY of that contact, I don't have an issue with asking if it got there.  For example, in April, I sent my nephew his birthday gift for the first time, ever, instead of coming to his birthday party.  I couldn't tell you if I got a thank you or not, I probably got a quick text, I dunno.  But, his party was the second week of April, I saw him in person the first week of May, and had texted my sister multiple times between the party and the event in May, so at any time, if I had been concerned about it being received, I would have just asked.  It's as easy for me to text "hey, did that card get there? " as it is for them to type "hey I got it!"

I hadn't read your post before I made my last post but I agree. I don't send gifts to people I don't have a real relationship with so I always know if they received a gift or not. And I have no trouble asking if they don't say anything and I really want to know.

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5 hours ago, Quill said:

This does cut me to the bone, because I am currently pouring my creative soul into knitting heirloom-level baby blankets for my coming great nieces/nephews. I have completed and given one with two on the docket. Or course I don’t do this for a thank you, but the thank you that the first niece wrote certainly did increase my pleasure at having made the blanket. 

I did actually spend time thinking about how I would feel if a recipient did not seem to care about the blanket. I would have to let it go because a gift is a gift. But I wouldn’t make anything else for them. 

I just wanted to throw this out there. As a young teen I received a gorgeous handmade blanket as a gift. I loved it, I used it and I never thanked her for it. When it finally dawned on me to want to thank her she had passed. It has always bugged me because I adore this blanket. I still have it, still use it and still wish I would have thanked her. This blanket has been a reminder to me to be grateful and thankful for gifts. Sometimes we don't know the effect something will have on someone. I think giving, even without gratitude is still important even if it hurts. In the meantime, I have my kids write thank you cards and letters to begin building a skill I never learned.

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My MIL gets all bent out of shape if the boys don't send a thank you almost immediately,.  And it must be a hand written note, no phone calls, no texts, and no emails.  Those aren't good enough.

It is exhausting.....

I am fine if people verbally thank me, send me a text or email, whatever.  Really, I hope I am not "that person" who is so bent on it being MY way that I can't extend grace to however the person feels comfortable saying thank you.

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1 hour ago, DawnM said:

My MIL gets all bent out of shape if the boys don't send a thank you almost immediately,.  And it must be a hand written note, no phone calls, no texts, and no emails.  Those aren't good enough.

It is exhausting.....

 

 

That's ridiculous!  She sounds like a lovely person.  ?

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I write thank you notes religiously.  I write thank you s for all my children and am looking forward to handing more of that responsibility to them.  I will personally sit on them until appropriate thank you’s are written until they are 18.  Hopefully by then it’s rubbed off on them.

As far as gift giving? Of course I appreciate an acknowledgment of a gift.  But I give because I enjoy it and love the recipient, so I try to make like Elsa and let my expectations go.

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10 minutes ago, medawyn said:

I write thank you notes religiously.  I write thank you s for all my children and am looking forward to handing more of that responsibility to them.  I will personally sit on them until appropriate thank you’s are written until they are 18.  Hopefully by then it’s rubbed off on them.

As far as gift giving? Of course I appreciate an acknowledgment of a gift.  But I give because I enjoy it and love the recipient, so I try to make like Elsa and let my expectations go.

I feel all weird about getting an actual thank you note.  I generally don't know what to do with them and tend to feel like I am obligated to keep them, even though I don't want to.  

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Funny thing about TU notes--the first words my kids learned to spell after their names were "Dear" and "Love"! I remember writing notes to my Godmother--I didn't like it, but I did it. I still have a few of the books she sent, along with some calendars. She lived in London, so the calendars were special. Here's one of the books she wrote: https://www.amazon.com/Their-Heirs-Margaret-Mary-Elliot/dp/071311150X/ref=sr_1_3?s=instant-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1539120240&sr=8-3&keywords=we+are+their+heirs+elliot

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1 hour ago, Kassia said:

 

That's ridiculous!  She sounds like a lovely person.  ?

 

Well, to be fair, that is just the tip of the iceberg of how lovely she truly is.......hahaha

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2 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

Funny thing about TU notes--the first words my kids learned to spell after their names were "Dear" and "Love"! I remember writing notes to my Godmother--I didn't like it, but I did it. I still have a few of the books she sent, along with some calendars. She lived in London, so the calendars were special. Here's one of the books she wrote: https://www.amazon.com/Their-Heirs-Margaret-Mary-Elliot/dp/071311150X/ref=sr_1_3?s=instant-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1539120240&sr=8-3&keywords=we+are+their+heirs+elliot

What is this book about? I am very intrigued (and disappointed that it looks like I won't be able to get a copy).

Those were some of the first words my kids learned to spell (after their names) too.  I have always taught my children that if someone took the time and effort to get them a gift, they could take the time and effort to thank the gift giver.  Nope, they certainly didn't like it (and I can understand that), but they have always written them.  

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4 hours ago, nixpix5 said:

I just wanted to throw this out there. As a young teen I received a gorgeous handmade blanket as a gift. I loved it, I used it and I never thanked her for it. When it finally dawned on me to want to thank her she had passed. It has always bugged me because I adore this blanket. I still have it, still use it and still wish I would have thanked her. This blanket has been a reminder to me to be grateful and thankful for gifts. Sometimes we don't know the effect something will have on someone. I think giving, even without gratitude is still important even if it hurts. In the meantime, I have my kids write thank you cards and letters to begin building a skill I never learned.

 

And sometimes it takes a while to appreciate a gift. When I was a teen/young adult I was not happy when I got presents that I considered boring. I would much rather have a book, a game etc. than something useful like towels, a lamp, a blanket etc. Now, I am fairly sure I did say thank you to my parents for these less beloved gifts but probably not with a lot of conviction. However, now, 25 years later, my parents are long gone and so are the books/toys/games I got back then. But I do still have that towel and the blanket and use them regularly. Truth be told they are starting to look pretty ratty but I am not planning to get rid of them anytime soon as they remind me of my mother (and are so much more useful than a long ago book). So even though I wasn't exactly ecstatic when I got them (yes, I was a spoilt only child) I think my mother would be pleased to see me still using and enjoying them.

ETA: And sometimes gifts go unexpected ways. When I was little I got a hand-knit sweater handed down to me by some neighbor child. I didn't really want to wear it as it was rather scratchy. However, I loved snuggling with it and couldn't go to sleep without it for many years. So even though the original recipient may not have appreciated the gift (or maybe they did - I do not know) it was probably my most beloved possession ever.

Edited by Twolittleboys
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