One of my biggest peeves is not receiving a simple thank you for a gift given lovingly and willingly to another.
Grandma asks a child what he wants for Christmas or his birthday and gets a long wish list. After the child opens the present, he tosses it aside and grabs another without acknowledging or thanking her. The time, effort, and money spent in the process is treated inconsequential, a right and not a privilege.
The following holiday, again the child does the same. Grandma’s gift is lost among the many others. No acknowledgement. No thank you.
If the outcome is the same whether the giver offers a present or not, then why bother?
I use the example of a grandchild, but my experience has been wide and varied. This incident has happened repeatedly to me with family and friends where a celebration requires a gift.
What happened to the formal thank you note? Why is it considered antiquated when the giving of gifts hasn’t gone out of style? We complain about the entitled generation, yet we teach (and accept) entitlement to our children. How many of us write a thank you note to those who give us presents?
I do. I send thank you’s to those who remember me at Christmas, my birthday, and other holidays. When I forget to write a note, I make sure the giver knows personally how much I appreciated their kindness. I tell others about my gift and brag on the present and the giver. Yes, a gift should be given willingly with nothing expected in return, but shouldn’t appreciation and delight be acknowledged?
I have gotten wiser and meaner as I age. My memory is as sharp as ever. I will continue to acknowledge those who give me presents and who thank me in return for mine. Their names will go on my “Nice” list, while the others, well, there is a reason it is called the “Naughty” list. Why bother if my gift means nothing to them?