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tertia you totally crack me up!!!!!

I'm sure I didn't put a card on - not only to make you feel better but also because I don't do cards. If I'm up to it, I'll blow up a balloon and tie it to the prezzie and write a birthday message on that. Looks better than a card, but it's a lot like writing on the wrapping paper.

Hanging head in shame.....I write thank you notes. Sorry Tersh. I will go sit in the naughty corner for 32 and half minutes now.


PS. If it is any consolation, I never EVER expect tham back from other parents. I just dig doing them. *ducking, before you wack me!*

PPS. Jessica - I am LOVING that idea with the balloon! How clever. Will being that in the future, for sure!!

Tertia, take the eco-green-enviromentaly-friendly route. Say that you don't do Birthday/ThankYou/Whatever cards because it's a waste of paper and trees and that you're trying to save the planet (points given if you can make a smug/snob face). Then just sit back while Yummy Mummy goes speechless and you think to yourself: "take that, bitch". :o) Works everytime.

I am so with you on this one! I actually thought a few years back I would also do the obligatory Christmas cards... bought them, wrote in maybe one, and stuffed them in the drawer, which is where they remain until today. I hardly buy birthday cards, let alone Christmas cards! And generally there is no time to wrap the present before the party - I buy it on the way :) totally useless :)

i think we going to need another book from you... life after infertility with twins including the special feature of fallin preggies naturally...

> we end up wrapping ourselves in shiny paper with
> beautifully handmade cards stuck all over the
> important bits.

sounds like the sort of thing that could land you on the couch. better watch out.

Be yourself. Do things the Tertia way. Don't conform! Enjoy the beautiful invitations and thank you notes, but don't try to "keep up". You'll only drive yourself crazy. You're you, they're them. End of story.

I'm one of the 'write name with black pen on wrapping paper'mums. My children always give great presents and they have great parties - you want birthday cards or thank you cards then go to another party! You can't have it all.

I do write thank you notes but not after a kid's party.

I am with you Tertia and am just so glad that the whole kids birthday party thang for me is OVER!

What happend to the alcheapo days when we had parties in the back yard with ice cream and cake and played games like pass-the-parcel?. I agree things have definitely got out of hand. On Saturday my girls went to a party and were served mini gourmet hot dogs and chips????? As we sat down Hannah asked in total dismay "wheres the cake and sweets mommy??" I think at their next party we will do the ice cream and pass-the-parcel bit, bugger to the "fancy pancy" moms.

Thank-you notes are good manners, especially when the kid's 7 or 8 and old enough to write the notes him/herself.

Fancy-ass invitations tell me that (a) the person has way too much time on their hands, and (b) she values prettiness more than judicious use of resources. Really. Those tiny bows and baskets all have a carbon footprint unless she made them out of plants from her backyard.

I don't like all these cards and wrapping. Lots of paper wasted and money that culd go into better gifts if you ask me. The cards I receive always end up in the wastebasket after my daughter has chewed them up or made a ball out of them. When needed, a blank card nicely decorated by the little one is more personal and teaches children to write and draw. Ultimately, it's proper to say thank you, but voice and email are more environmentally friendly.

You crack me up! I can appreciate the pretty present but can't be bothered myself. I write on the paper or make a 'card' by cutting a piece of the wrapping and fold it in half.

The scroll invitations for preschoolers is absurd.

You crack me up! I can appreciate the pretty present but can't be bothered myself. I write on the paper or make a 'card' by cutting a piece of the wrapping and fold it in half.

The scroll invitations for preschoolers is absurd.

Well, my kids do write thank you notes for gifts received at birthday parties, but we don't buy birthday cards to attach to presents because they are a total waste of money. Usually the kids make cards out of construction paper for their friends.

And, I hate to add one more thing, but there are People out there who think that your scrawl shouldn't read "To Susie, Love Adam and Kate..."....but instead:

To Susie, Love Kate (one one gift)
To Susie, Love Adam (on another)

I don't happen to be one of those parents, but I know there are some out there! I don't have twins, but I am one, and we never brought two presents for the same child when both invited to birthday parties while we were growing up.

We do now though ;).

I can't add anything to the discussion because I'm the Mom who borrowed a bread maker to make PINK! bread for my daughter's Princess Party (she turned 4).

But you know what? I didn't do it to impress the other Moms, I did it to knock my daughter's socks off. She was pleased as PUNCH with her Pretty Pink Princess sandwiches. Although my husband was less than impressed with the 'practice' loaves!

I didn't do separate thank you cards, but I did put a thank you note in each goody bag. I wrote "Thank you for coming to my party. Love Zoe" and Zoe decorated them with crayons and stickers. It was more of a craft for her than anything else.

Do your own thing and do it for YOU and for your kids. And please don't beat yourself up when *I* do my own thing too okay? Let's make a deal, I won't judge YOU, you don't judge me!

Sheri Bheri

Thank you notes are a big american thing (coming from a South African living here) - it would be highly frowned on if you didn't write them!

I feel compelled to write the thank you notes, but cards? No way - I usually have enough trouble going out to get the gift. And why would I wrap, when I can throw the gift in one of the 500 gift bags I have laying around my house? (That's called recycling!) I know I'll have to change to actual invitations (which will be purchased in bulk, as cheaply as possible) when we start having kid parties, but for the friends and family? E-vites. If you don't have email, I guess you just can't come to the party!

And those kid parties? I think they'll be at my house, with some cake, and no particular activities scheduled...just lots of playing.

Who has time for all of that crap? Hit the high points the kids dont care and that is who all of our hard work is supposed to be for. Be yourself and you and I can be the mom's who marker the presents together.

dont do gift wrapping . ibuy one of those gift bags that come complete with a card attached. this xmas CNA is doing nice xmasy ones that COME with ho ho ho tisuue paper to nesstle the present in. I have baught loads.

I hate wrapping
I hate signing cards

Most of all I so hate crapy presents from family. Better none or a voucher than one of those punch dishes that come with 12 glasses. I mean what's up with that hey. I have 6 of them and i hate them all

Good thing I read some of the other comments before I wrote mine. I was going to chide you for not teaching your children the importance of thank-you notes, but I see above that this is more an American thing and not really such a big deal in SA.

So -- carry on! (For the record, I LOVE getting gift certificates. Much better than a gift that I do not like/cannot use/is silly, etc.)

I thought I was the only one who scrawled in marker on the package, "To Samantha, with love from Ivy" I am glad I am not alone! Congrats and thanks for posting so regularly, I love having something new to read each morning!

I do thank you cards. I like gift wrapping. But my son's party invitations were sent by evite. So I figure that kind of evens out.


I also don't expect it from other people, I just do it cuz I hav way 2 much time on my hands

Tertia, I'm going to be with you in this camp. At one time even here in America, you only needed to write thank you notes for presents that you received when the person wasn't there when you opened them. I also think that if your grandmother sends you a birthday card or gift in the mail that it is better to call her that day to thank her instead of killing a tree and wasting gas with the postal service to deliver a card. At least I'll think it's because I'm green. Honestly, I just can't see how people have time for really pretty invitations, thank you cards, homemade halloween costumes, etc.

I fall somewhere between black marker on wrapping and thank you notes for kids birthday parties. There is a happy medium. Somewhere. I think.

I've heard tell of it, anyway.

I agree that this are way OTT these days. Here is what I am planning to give my 10-month-old at Christmas: A couple of big boxes (taken from the grocery store) all wrapped up so she can enjoy unwrapping them. Then iside each one I will place her favourite toy/stuffed animal, so she can find her "friend" inside.
I don't think so.
She wouldn't appreciate a brand new expensive toy anyway, as she much prefers Tupperware boxes and wooden spoons to play with.
I do like to make things myself, but really, all this wrapping and frills and obigatory gift-buying...Who are we doing it for? Really?

Tertia, as different as you may think we are, I am with you 100% on this one. Last birthday gift I gave I wrapped just cos I didn't want my daughter to see what it was before hand but the one before that was given as is. Sometimes I buy a gift bag and pop it in there, kids always like to drag their gifts around for a day or two.

As for thank you notes, I only heard of those recently nobody I grew up with ever did that, we say thank you when it is given, don't we??? Do I need to send a thank you for the thank you too?

I'm a big believer in thank-you notes...even though my son doesn't quite have the skills to write them, I talk to him about them and have him 'help' by signing his name or doodle on the envelopes.

You'll probably hate me for this, but he's been warned for Hanukkah that no thank you note = the gift is taken away until the note is written.

People like that have WAY too much time on their hands. Though, being American, we had to write thank you notes right away or no playing with our gifts!
Love love gift certificates!

I bought cute stick figure stickers (www.pjgreetings.com) that say "To _______. From X" (X being my child's name) for all 3 of my kids. Now I just slap a sticker on the gift, use that black marker to write the birthday child's name on it and I'm done. I also make my kids wrap the gifts (they are a bit older, youngest is 7 but I've done it for a couple of years now). The gift is clearly wrapped by the child (no one thinks I could possibly be that sloppy (I am)) so no judgment on my gift wrapping skills.

We also forgo all ribbon and bows. Because what is a mom supposed to do when a child wraps the gift? Not my fault there is no bow or ribbon. :)

OMW I can relate. I'm also one of those moms that write with koki on the wrapping paper! Who keeps cards these days anyway? Waste of money IMO

Umm... I was with you on the whole thing (tiny golden baskets?????? lord save me) until you got to the no thank you notes things ...

Maybe I am a bit of a stick in the mud but I always write thank you notes for the kids' presents. And I am usually a bit peeved if I don't get one in return ...

Sorry bout that. Carry on!

Thank you notes are important (imho) and I wrote them for my kids when they were babies, then had them include a drawing (when they were old enough to scribble) and now that my son is 6 1/2 he writes his own, the same as my mom always had me do. However, I have exactly two friends who also do that - the rest of my friends have never had their kids send thank yous. On the other hand, the rest of my friends never even ACKNOWLEDGED gifts, so their kids stopped getting them from us.

It may be more of an American thing, but imho it's just good manners.

However, I'm totally with you in that gift cards are AWESOME. In fact, we do give those to kids (my kids LOVE having "money" of their own to spend on the toys THEY want.)

I am moving to South Africa! I never knew that sending thank you cards wasn't an absolute requirement before! It's never made much sense to me - I thank the person sincerely when I receive the gift, and we have a nice little interchange about it, but if I don't send a card I know I will be seen as the lowest life form possible.

It does make sense to me to send a thank you when you don't open the gift with the giver, but it is sooooo over the top here (in America). It makes me feel better to here it's not like that everywhere.

My kids both had their own sets of stationery at age 2. I was determined to use them and have not .. so even the best intentions go awry sometimes.

As others said above, think of how much more environmental your methods are! I wouldn't change them - I cringe at how much waste some of the others sound like they were making!

Huh, how about Christmas cards? In my kids kinder some mother put cards from her kid into everybody pidgeonholes. With sweets stuck to them... Now more mothers did it. Each day there are cards. and sweets stuck to envelopes. I have to admit, kid decided she is really liked after receiving so many, so it was nice for her. But now, I'm afraid, it should be my turn. Aaaargh.

Relax.. That mother sounds like she has WAAAY too much time on her hands.

I write on the paper, I don't send out thank you cards for kid parties, and I once wrapped my mom's Christmas present using duct tape, since I couldn't find any regular tape. I was 25.

Whew. I feel better knowing I'm not the only one. You are not alone!!

PS - I LOVE Gift certificates! Getting them AND giving them!

Gift Certificate = Perfect Gift! I loved it as a child to receive one and then have fun going to the book store to choose a book or so.

Thank You Notes = A must. I get annoyed when I do not receive any form of thanks from a child. it can be written, emailed or called especially to say thanks.

I just sent some gifts in the mail and exactly wrote the kids name on the parcel with a pen.

I don't like to receive cards from people I see often / same city. But do from those that live far away.

The invite you mentioned = sounds more like an OTT wedding invite than a kiddie party. Waste of money me thinks in this day and age.

Now I divert to another topic....Since when did kiddie parties become so grown up and OTT. Read an article about a baby shower and the writer bought some lovely babygros but then as everyone elses gifts were opened she realised that she was the minority as they all had bought designer goodies. Dior Babygrows, Tod shoes etc etc she was horrified. Some of these designer goodies for kids cost more than I spend on an article of clothng for myself.

Jane x

I'm an American in America and I think cards are a major waste of time, energy and resources. Thank you cards or otherwise. What's wrong with having your child thank everyone individually on their way out of the party?

The rule is over here "if you open the presents in front of everybody and say thankyou - no thankyou card is required".
Sorry to be a pest but the other rule is "if both your children are invited to a party then two presents are required"!

My god, 2 presents from 2 kids??? Totally disagree with that one - my kids arent twins, but are v. close in age and they're often both invited to toddler birthdays/christmas parties. Every present is from both of them - it would cost me a small fortune otherwise. Ok, so when its their birthdays (seperate occasions) others have to pay out for 2 presents - but thats once for them, I cant afford 2 presents every bloomin party. And I bet they dont get seperate invites, but a "to George and Ewan" - so why shouldnt they have one present "from George and Ewan"??

And I dont mind cards (though always forget to give out Christmas cards apart from family, who get a nice photo of the kids!) and birthday cards - but dont bother with thankyou cards. If we get a present from someone who's not there to see it opened we ring, or pop by to say thank you, but no mail.

My pet peeve at the moment with parties is bloody party bags. Whatever happened to a piece of cake and a balloon?? Now they're specially picked for each individual child, and cost about £5-£10 each - I cant be asked with that. I didnt even give them out this year. I'm a mean mummy obviously.

Stick with what you want and know - other wise it will just grate you for the next 18 years

I also disagree with the this "rule" - "if both your children are invited to a party then two presents are required". This is not a rule. No presents should be required at all in first place. You're celebrating your child birthday, invinting his friends to have a good time, to have fun. People give presents because they want to, not because it's required. Besides, wouldn't it be nicer if your child gets 1 lovely present from 2 kids than 2 crappy ones from each one of them? I don't know, kids parties are become more and more like a business event for the social aware than what they're supose to be: fun.

Gah, I am totally with you. I don't have time either. I usually have a very nice party for my daughters, good food for the kids, pass the parcel and other games, good food +wine+beer for the parents. Everyone has a good time, the house and the garden get trashed, people usually stay more than a few hours and I end up ordering asian food and/or pizza for all the extended guests. I don't do thank you cards. You know what, I spend a ton of effort and money on making sure everyone has a good time, and frankly, you should effing thank me that I gave you tons of wine, lots of good food, and your spawn the opportunity to trash my house.

However, I am married to an Englishman. Cards, we must.


I agree with what others have said. You need only write a thank you note if you weren't able to thank the person in person (say they mailed the gift). If they are in front of you watching you open the gift and you thank them....no note necessary.

PS: I have been to several showers recently where the guest of honor did not thank each person as she opened the gifts. I'm sure she was nervous and had no idea she wasn't doing this.

I get my daughter who is three to 'dictate' her thank you cards. I ask her to say a few words about the gift and the giver and write down verbatim her somewhat random answers. It's all pretty amusing and I get to find out why she likes certain presents and what she likes about certain givers. I have no idea what the recipients think but it passes the time for me and makes the chore easier. Also for special gifts/givers (such as godparents and grandparents) we draw thank you pictures which I mail to them.

I'm delurking because all that wrapping paper drives me bananas as well.
I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and it affects my hands badly. At the best of times I need several pairs of hands to wrap a pressie but when my hands are really sore, wrapping becomes a nightmare.

But I have found the solution. I go off to The Crazy Store and buy gift bags. They have loads and loads in every colour for every occasion.
I just pop the pressie in and voila! It even has a little "card" attached to the rope handles.
Pure bliss!!

Thank you notes are an American thing, and being from the South, I pretty much feel the need to write a damn note for every single thing someone gives me. We are a rare breed, indeed. However, if the person who gave the gift is AT the party and can be thanked for it, I don't think you need to write a note. Only if they send a gift and are not there to see the reaction and hear your kids say, "thank you" do you need to write a note.

Also, I save birthday and Christmas cards and cut them up to make bookmarks for my students. I teach middle school language arts (reading and writing). The kids love the bookmarks, and especially like it when they have writing on them and try to see what kind of dirt they can get on me :) And, it's a good reuse of the cards, which I like.

I do invites by email and write the names on the wrapping paper and never do thank yous handwritten. Depending on the present and the person, I will send thank yous by email, simply because it's easy on the blackberry, but that's me.

And most of all, I like gift certificates for stores because my kids have enough cheap plastic junk anyway and it's good if they get certificates so they can put them together and buy something larger they really want. Cash is good too.

The invites that get me are the ones that come with a birthday present "wishlist"!! We get so many party invites now that I've had to put a dollar limit on how much we spend for each gift.

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