I have an etiquette question, and I want you guys to be honest. You are going to pretend you are Emily Post and tell me what to do. Only, you’re going to be slightly less snooty, because we’re all living in the real world here.
The deal is . . . my kid’s birthday party was nearly four months ago and I’ve yet to send out thank-you cards. We had a pretty big party, and there are two of them, and they got a rather large bounty of gifts. I was pretty intentional about documenting the gifts – I even took a picture of my kids holding each individual gift with my trusty iGIFT app. I ordered those photos and have the thank-you cards in hand. All have to do is fill in the cards. But I can’t seem to find the time to sit down and write them out. I’ve also been stressed about the prospect of delivering them, since the preschool doesn’t give out a roster of addresses. I’ll have to deliver them by hand at pick-up, which is a rather stressful time of my day even when I DON’T have a task to complete.
Every week these cards get shuffled to a new pile in the house, and this item gets added to an updated to-do list. It’s been nagging me for months, and finally I decided I should just let it go. I reasoned that maybe this thank-you card tradition was a hold-over from days gone by, and that I was holding myself to some Martha Stewart standard that was unrealistic and unnecessary for a busy mom of four. I mean, really, is anyone sitting around fuming that they didn’t get one? Or even noticing at all? Surely I can’t be expected to hand-write thank-you cards for all four of my kids, none of whom can write yet. I was just about to abandon the project when I came across this post at Babble on the subject, and read the ensuing comments. Wow. Apparently, there are a whole lot of people that think it’s completely barbaric to forego the thank-you cards. Some people even gauge future gifts and invitations by it? Sheesh.
So – then I felt pressure to complete them again. Not pressured enough to have found the time, mind you. Just enough to have it nagging in the corners of my brain when I lay down to sleep at night.
I’m curious what you guys think. My personal opinion is that thank-you cards are nice but not necessary. In fact, when I receive one from a friend of behalf of a kid, my first thought is, “Oh, I wish she didn’t feel like she had to send me that”. Hand-written correspondence is awesome and has it’s place, but two moms sending each other notes on behalf of each other’s children just seems like adding a lot of extra work to our already busy plates. On the other hand, my kids are at a very diverse school and I would say 80% of the gifting families are first-generation Asian, India, or Persian. There seems to be a bit more formality, culturally, and so I feel some added pressure not to offend.
At the same time . . . I’d really like to just be done with stressing about it and scrap the whole thing in favor of preserving a small ounce of sanity, because boy, I have bigger things to deal with right now. Like the fact that the semester starts again this week. And my Christmas tree is still up. And the hamper is taking over the bedroom.
What would you do?