A.W. asks from Doylestown, PA on March 11, 2008
Researching Etiquette on 1St Birthday Thank You Notes
I'm a first time mom and my daughter is about to turn one and have her first birthday party. Now, I've been to parties and have received thank you notes from this age group. Some moms/dads write the thank you as if it's the child writing it and sign their child's name for them, others write it from the parents and sign all their names or just the parents. What is best? What do you do? What is proper?
Also, when writing the return address on the envelope, should it be from the child or parent/s? It's obvious, that the parent is sending the thank you on behalf of the child, but also from them as well, so I'm just not sure what should be done in all these cases. Any insight would be great!
J.E. answers from Pittsburgh on March 14, 2008
Any way you choose to do the notes is perfectly fine. You can't please everyone, so do what you feel is appropriate. The important thing is to send a thank-you note. It's amazing that some people don't know that this is standard etiquette. They think that if they say "Thanks" to you at the party, then that's all that's required!!!
J.C. answers from Pittsburgh on March 12, 2008
A., I am an older mom (kids are 20 and 13) but when they were little, I would write the thank you notes telling the giver how well they seem to enjoy playing with the toy, or how precious they looked wearing the outfit, etc. Then I would take finger paint and make finger prints with my baby and then sign my names as well.
E.S. answers from Pittsburgh on March 12, 2008
I don't know what Emily Post says about 1st birthday thank you notes, but I think that it's appropriate to send a thank you note. It makes more sense to write from the parents and mention the child, such as "Thank you for the toy lawn mower. Jimmy just loves using it to learn how to walk." I think this lets the giver know that the gift was appreciated.
B.K. answers from Pittsburgh on March 12, 2008
Hi A.. A simple thank you note from the parents for the child and the gift is great until the child is old enough to actually partisapate in the thank you note project. You can give your notes a personal touch by taking a scribble picture your daughter makes and scaning it into your computer to use it as the paper for your notes. I always have my kids write thank you notes for all their gifts, birthday and christmas as well as misc gifts other times. Good manners are a great thing and do not go unnoticed!! :-)
H.W. answers from York on March 12, 2008
From where I sit, any attempt at etiquette in this lazy "whatever" day and age is greatly noticed and appreciated by those who feel it is important - and it serves as a subtle reminder to those who do not deem things like this to matter much. Please don't take that as a high-horse statement...I just think that as a society, we have really slipped on letting people know we appreciate things about them and it isn't doing any of us any favors. I have always made a point of sending thank you notes - even for small things - and the effort is recognized. I also do this to set an example for my children.
My kids are 5, 7 and 12. My 5 y/o is developmentally delayed and cannot write yet. He had a b-day party in February and I wrote his thank you notes. My 7 year-old now writes her own - I have to stand over my 12 year-old, but he writes his own as well. I have always encouraged my children to do as much as they could. If they could write their name, they would do that. If they wanted to dictate the cards and I did the writing, that worked too.
I generally put the child's name on the return address, but I have both sent and received them both ways and don't really give any thought to it either way. From where I sit, the point is in the effort and the acknowledgement of the gift and participation in the party. I do write the notes from the child's point of view and to giver - even and especially if the giver is a child, regardless of how hold the child is, e.g., "thank you for coming to my party...I am really excited to play with the XYZ" rather than the parent thanking the parents/children.
Finally, I have a good friend who has a rule for her children...if a thank you note does not come with a stamp, it doesn't count - so she makes her children write them and mail them via USPS. It seems a little silly...especially in a neighborhood like ours where my children all have numerous friends who live across the street or down the block...but kids LOVE to get mail and her feeling is that the extra effort shows that you mean it - you aren't just doing it because you feel obligated and it's convenient.
Just my two cents...
S.B. answers from Pittsburgh on March 12, 2008
I understand your question. I always write the note from my husband and I. Thanking them for coming to the party, and that my child will enjoy what they gave him for a gift. Now that he is 4, I still write the note from me and my husband, but allow my son to sign his name. My 7 year old writes his own thank yous.
Hope this helped you out a little.
S.H. answers from Philadelphia on March 12, 2008
My daughter just turned two. I write her thank-you notes as though she was writing them. I also tell her what I'm doing, so when she is older she can do them.
In regards to the return address labels, ours just have our family name. That way any one of us can use them.
I hope this helps.
J.Z. answers from Lancaster on March 12, 2008
I sent thank you notes after my son's 1st year birthday, because I think it is appropriate to do so. I wrote them as if my son was responding, nothing to wordy, just noting the specific gift and something about him enjoying it or if it was clothes, how much he will be needing them. Don't overthink it, but in this day and age, I do think they are appreciated.
For the return address, I just simply wrote our last name and address. That solves that problem:)
S.P. answers from Buffalo on March 12, 2008
I wrote the cards from us as a family and included a "picture" he had colored in each. I used our families return address label. Personally, I think it would be a little goofy to write it from the child's point of view since they don't have a clue as to what is going on. I highly doubt you will offend anyone by doing it any way that you have described, usually (myself included) people are just thankful to receive the thank you note (it is getting quite rare these days to receive one).
M.N. answers from Philadelphia on March 12, 2008
I wrote the thank you notes from my daughters point of view. I thought it was cute and nice.
C.H. answers from Allentown on March 11, 2008
I sign it from the name of child and parents with my regular signature. I've sent a picture of the child as well, but not necessary.
Return address fine from you, parents who have excess money get all the other stuff, don't worry about that at all.