If you're not into etiquette, you can just skip this post. It's going to be a bit of a rant regarding this topic. Don't say I didn't warn you. (And furthermore, if you're a close friend, family member or neighbor this post has nothing to do with you. I love you. You're wonderful.)
I have found in recent years, with the rise of things like e-vites, e-cards, and the ever famous e-mail, that we as a culture have become so accustomed to communicating via the world wide web that we've forgotten what it means to pick up the phone to respond to an invitation, write a thank you note, or even send a card through "snail mail." Now, I often utilize the aforementioned methods, so I'm not saying they are bad, I'm just saying that the good old fashioned methods of communication are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Example: Almost two years ago, I sang in a wedding as a gift for somebody, but I also gave them a separate wedding gift that they could open as well. I never received a thank you. Over a year ago, we sent a baby gift to good friends who'd just had their first baby. It went quite a distance, and over time I began to wonder if they'd gotten it. It was such a cute gift, I thought sure I'd hear something. Nothing. A year later my husband called about a different matter but happened to ask, "hey...did you ever get our gift?" to which the recipient replied, "uh yeah, thanks!" I mean, there's such a thing as a grace period of a few months, especially if you're new parents, but come on. A year or two??? How hard is it to write out a thank you card and throw it in the mail???
Now, let me just say that I don't need a thank you card everytime I do something nice for somebody. I really don't. But if I've gone to the effort to get a gift, wrap a gift, and mail a gift, it would at least be nice to know that they received it...or even just a phone call to say "thanks!"
Cody's teacher wrote us the most beautiful thank you note for the gift we gave her for Christmas. We made a donation to Samaritan's Purse in her name that benefits children in impoverished countries. A gift as small as $15 can educate one child for a year! Well, she was so touched by the gesture, and she shared from her heart what it meant to her in the note. Her response to the gift meant so much to us as a family. Jerry read the note to us over dinner and we all said, "wow." As the giver, it made me want to go out and do that for ten more people!
And then there's the matter of RSVPs. Actually, I'm not even going to go there. You've probably already experienced this for yourselves. I'll just simply say this: If I send out an invitation, it's almost guaranteed that I'm going to have to pick up the phone and call most of the guests because they failed to reply.
I hope that I am the kind of mom that encourages gratitude in my kids. I hope, when they are out on their own, that they will take the initiative and send along a note of thanks when somebody blesses them in some way. Ultimately, we can thank the Lord for those that have blessed us...but it sure is nice to be told personally that what you did and what you gave was appreciated.
And that wraps up this rant for the day. If you got to the end, thanks for sticking with me! And if you've experienced this for yourselves, please share in the comments. I'd be interested to know your thoughts on the matter. Just call this Etiquette Thursday!