Manners? What manners?


Once upon a time, it was taught that you sent a thank you note for a birthday card (with/without cash or check enclosed) and that was in addition to a verbal thank you, if you happened to receive it in person. These days I notice that besides the kids not knowing about manners, the adults seem to have forgotten as well. One adult told me she required her child to write a thank you note only if she really liked the gift. Otherwise, a verbal was sufficient. What do you teach or practice?


A thank-you note for a birthday card?

No, that’s not necessary… verbal thanks or an email is enough…
Otherwise it can get repetitive…
“thank you for your thank you note for…”

If there was another gift involved besides the card (money or otherwise), then yes, a hand written note would be appropriate.

EDITING to add…
Now, you mentioned “if you received the card in person”…

That depends… if that person were attending your party and they handed you a card… then YES, a thank you note would be appropriate…
“thank you for coming to my party… and for the nice card”…

But if the card was just handed to you, outside of an “event”… then no, a written note would not be necessary…


I believe in a hand-written thank you note for gifts, but not for just a birthday card (unless maybe if the person wrote a very special message in the card or a photo or something). I know some very proper people who would put “Miss Manners” to shame, and they don’t send thank you notes for a simple birthday card, although they do give verbal thanks. I think you’re getting yourself upset over nothing. Do you send thank you notes for Christmas cards? :smiley:

Now telling kids they can send thank you notes only for extra special gifs is not a good idea. If they got $2 in a simple card, they should send a thank you note. And this goes for adults too :thumbsup:

And I think it is nice for kids to write a little bit in the birthday cards TO the people who gave them cards. They don’t have to send a separate card by themselves, just a “Happy Birthday Aunty Sue! Love, Billy” in some leftover space after the parents have written in it.


How’s this for an idea:

“You’re Welcome” cards…sent to people once they have sent you a Thank You card…think it could fly? :smiley:


I can’t say that I send a thank you for a card or taught my children to do so. It is a nice gesture however. But I do sent thank yous to hostesses who have invited me to some occasion or to dinner, for all gifts no manner how small. Kids were taught the same. I remember that my Mother (God rest her soul) had 15 grandchildren that she remembered with a gift or money on every birthday and Christmas. She got no thank you’s from a few of them and she would call and ask if they got the gift. After the second time, she simply did not send a gift. That got their attention and the thank you’s started coming again. IMO in these days and times we have forgotten the little polite acts that make for a civilized environment.


Well, I was raised writing thank you notes for gifts, but I don’t remember receiving cards without money/gifts attached. However, I do send out thank you notes for cards generally. My children will be raised the same.

With that said, I got married in July and DH and I are STILL writing thank you notes from the wedding :o . My birthday was a few weeks ago and I think those will go out before the other ones are finished. :eek:


I had never heard that, is it something that is in etiquette books?
I do see how if an old friend or someone out of the blue sends you a birthday card you may want write back and thank them in a letter, but if someone you see frequently or keep close in touch with gives you a card (without a present or any special pictures, poems, etc) in person, I should think a verbal thank you should suffice. I do agree, though, that any present does deserve a thank you note.


I had never realized, until recently, how much my early training has influenced me in my life. Nothing in particular happened to cause me to start this thread. It was just something I was thinking about and I wondered how others handled it.

It was an elementary school nun who taught us that we should send a thank you note even for a birthday card because:

Someone took the time to go to the store, pick one out, write a nice message, put a stamp on it and mail it. That took effort, therefore, you must thank them. After all, they didn’t have to bother, you know!

But that was many years ago, and life is different now.



I had manners crammed down my throat and now I am doing the same to my children.:thumbsup:


I cant tell you how mnay times I reminded my 8 year old last night to say thank you after receiving candy:eek: I was sick of hearing myself speak. But, he was doing it:thumbsup: I had a teenager be rude to me last night while trick or treating:mad: I know some 8 year olds that are down right rude at 8:eek: :eek:
They are in my son’d cub scout den and they shock me every time with their level of rudeness. Their mom is in the room and says NOTHING!! There lies the problem. Parents arent teaching their children manners anymore.

Well, not my kids. I have been told they are polite when at other people’s house. PHEW I say. At least what I am saying is sinking in.:smiley:

Oh back to topic-- A thank you note should be sent for a gift(Whether the child likes it or not). I have never heard of responding to just a card. My kids can write their own now It’s GREAT!!


My mother always told us that manners will carry you far in life and they don’t cost a dime.
She was so correct!
I taught them to my kids too.
Even though they are in their 40s, I STILL get compliments on how polite my kids are.


I totally understand the sentiment!.. you were well taught! :thumbsup:
But a heartfelt vocal “thank you” or an email would also be appropriate…


I taught my kids from a young age to say their PLEASES AND THANK YOU’S. But most importantly to greet. Some kids today do not even know how to greet. They are rude and have no manners at all.

I take public transport to work. And there are alot of young high school kids in the bus. Do you know that these kids will never get up for somebody who is older than them. It is so disgusting what do people teach their kids today. Never mind that you will never get a man getting up for a women. They feel that they also paid their transport money so why should they.

But going back to the topic about sending a note or saying thank you when receiving a gift. What is wrong with picking up the phone and saying thank you or sending a email. Why is it necessary to send a note that the person is going to chuck in the bin eventually. I would get bent out of shape if the person did not even bother to say thank you. But I guess people do things differently. If you go to a party and give the present the person says thank you is that not sufficient enough. Or even the person sends the gift via mail would you not pick up the phone and say thank you or is it more convenient to send a note.


I once gave a birthday gift in person to someone who is in her 60’s and she wrinkled her nose at the gift, looked at it and said nothing more. More recently, this same person brought out a gift that she received from her sister-in-law, commenting that it was the most useless thing she had ever seen and making fun of it. The gift cost $25, and was meant to be a timesaver. I no longer give her gifts OR cards because there is no appreciation. Thank you is not in her vocabulary. She does, however, make a big deal about things that she gets from people that she feels superior to. So I guess her SIL and I know how she feels about us! Age has nothing to do with manners. Some old folks can be incredibly rude, thoughtless and insensitive. I guess that they have always been that way.


Generally, I would say that a verbal thank you is required when you receive anything, even a card. A written thank you though, I think that depends where you are from. Other than for things like wedding and shower gifts, I generally have never received, nor expected written thank yous (And never really expect them for the others, I just receive them).

Ultimately while we might decry the decline in manners, we should be careful. I want to be polite and to say thank you because I want to appreciate that someone has taken effort for me. I have to be careful not to hold others to the same standard because I don’t know why they may not offer thanks. They could be very distracted by something else in their life, or just not know what the appropriate response is. Ultimately, we don’t have the knowledge necessary to judge the behavior of others in situations like this. I would also not stop giving a person gifts simply because they did not thank me. Ultimately, I want to make sure I give gifts because I want to do something nice for the person, not because I want to receive a thank you.



Excellent points:thumbsup:



I was taught to write a thank-you note for a gift of any kind. I was taught to write a thank-you note when I return home from a weekend/vacation visit with a friend. I was not taught to write a thank-you note for a card.


I think a verbal or email thank you works well enough. (any type of acknowledgment)

One thing to remember too is the cost.

My sister and brother in law are in quite a bind money-wise (not that the rest of us are rich by any means!) We help them buy food even. I would feel just awful if I asked her to buy a thank you card (often close to a dollar each), an envelope and a 39 cent stamp. A verbal thank you or email thank you is more than enough for me. And like another poster mentioned, you don’t need to send a thank you for a thank you for a thank you :stuck_out_tongue:


I think it depends on the card. Most cards nowadays are store bought and simply signed by the sender. Such a card does not require a thank you, in my opinion. But if you can tell that someone took great pains to make a beautiful card just for you or took time to write a lovely, thought-filled letter to you, then by all means send a thank you.


Would you stop giving the gifts if you found that they ended up for sale at her next yard sale? Would you stop giving the cards when you saw that everyone else’s was on display, but yours was not? Gee, what more does it take to get the message? I gave the gifts and the cards because I wanted to show that I remembered. But if there is no pleasure received from my efforts, then I will stop.

I’d just never met anyone before who was so disdainful.


If I repeatedly never got a thank you for a present ( let’s face it, sometimes people forget), I would stop sending. Not to be a jerk, but obviously the person doesn’t appreciate the gift. BTW, we should send gifts because we want to, whether we are thanked or not, but me, I would feel like not sending a gift if no thank you’s followed after a few times.

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