Your house is a disaster. There’s cupcake icing on the door handles, wrapping paper shreds strewn across the living room, a sink full of dishes because even though it was a potluck, you overcooked, again; the once spotless floors are now covered in grass cuttings that came in attached to wee sets of feet running in and out of the house and a cluster of small, sugar-high children are all playing with the newest toys the birthday girl or boy just tore open.
Who attended this part-ay? Well, your child’s friends of course, but also your friends. Now tell me, would your friends, good friends anyway, really want to inflict more work on you than you already have laid out in front of you? She knows that after everyone leaves, you’ll continue to plug along, cleaning up all the mess, taking out the recycling and trash bags, washing dishes, vacuuming and chugging your now acceptable, after-party-beers, or wine, for you fancy folk.
That friend? She receives the small envelope you send out a few weeks later to say “thank you” for the gift that my darling offspring opened that fateful day. Yes, she opens it and reads it with good-ole fashioned friend loyalty and promptly throws it in the trash, but you know what? You could save that $100 stamp, some trees and the added pressure of writing out those notes by just saying NO to Thank You Cards.
Let me explain. I’m not advocating that we neglect teaching our children gratitude and thankfulness, however, when they are too young to write their own thank you’s, or too young to truly understand why they’re scribbling inside a card you shoved in front of them, then maybe it’s ok to give each other a little break.
I have begun writing inside the cards that accompany the gifts we give to friend’s children, ‘No Thank You Note Necessary/Expected.’ And you know what? Those moms are soooo grateful. Let’s be real here, WE, meaning MOMS, are the ones that ALWAYS do this. Eventually, I will expect my children to follow through with the task, you know, when they can read and write. But right now? Not only are we wasting money on stamps, we’re wasting each other’s time. I don’t have time as it is, and writing out “Thanks for the coloring book and markers! ‘So-and-so’ loves it!” is not how I truly want to say Thank You for being a great friend who cares enough to drag her own kids to my child’s parties. I would rather take you out for a drink. So, let’s all raise our glasses, and say NO to Thank You Notes. At least for now. It will be just a few short years before we can drink while commiserating about the whining our 8 year olds did when we asked them to sit down and write out their own fandangled Thank You cards.