Since Owen arrived, our family has been inundated with a gracious overabundance of gifts from coworkers, family, friends, friends of family, friends of friends, friends of coworkers, friends of coworkers’ friends, family’s coworkers, family friends of friends of family, and complete and utter strangers (Make no mistake: I am not exaggerating). The outpouring of love and care for us has been truly overwhelming.
In keeping with her fine upbringing and her acute understanding of social etiquette, Leslie has spent an incredible amount of her time as a new mother writing thank you cards (over 150 now, with two baby showers yet remaining). Leslie’s take on this seems to be that if a person can be so gracious as to go out and take the time to find a gift for us, spend their own money, and attend a shower for her and Owen, then the least she can do is send a small token of thanksgiving in the form of a thank you card. Hers is a truly selfless and praiseworthy attitude.
I think thank you cards should be outlawed and cast into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Make no mistake – as I said above, I am truly overwhelmed by the response from our family, friends, coworkers, church, etc. Obviously, it’s not giving to which I am deeply opposed. It is, rather, the social convention that makes it almost incumbent upon a young, tired, time-strapped mother to spend hours and hours developing carpal tunnel syndrome just so that someone can be assured that we’re thankful for their generosity before said thank you card goes directly into the trash (unless, of course, it spends a week magnetized to the fridge before its inevitable journey to the trash, which is a rather small consolation), rather than catching up on sleep, Bible reading, other neglected reading, and maintaining our home.
I suppose, in the end, from my perspective, I would rather have the giving of the gift be its own reward and joy. If I send you a gift and you don’t send me a thank you card, if I have any degree of regard for your character whatsoever, I already know you’re thankful, and I would like to offer you the additional gift of not having to take the time, expense, and physical duress of writing me a thank you note, which I would no doubt otherwise promptly discard.
So, help us to resolve this question. What’s your take?
(DISCLAIMER: Leslie did not approve this blog post, and will most likely have some choice words for me about it this evening.)
NB: In retrospect, it was probably a mistake to write this post today, as it will surely overshadow the (much more important) previous post.