A reader has been in touch about the "thank you" note issue, especially as it pertains to grandchildren and more especially to older grandchildren who may be gifted with a check on a birthday or during the Holidays. It is not surprising that the issue would rear its head again since, in these days of covid-19 shelterings, it is less likely that gifts will be presented to our Grands in person where they can thank us directly and in the moment.
The reader wants to make clear that an acknowledgement counts. She is not hung up on form--at least to a certain extent. She'll accept email or a text or a personal phone call. (A handwritten note? That's a wish too far. but see Gold Standard above from Grand still young enough to pen a note.) What the reader is against is the lack of any response or of receiving only a background shout out when she is on the phone with other adults in the household. That is, she has been on the phone with her grown child when a teenage grandchild in the background will shout out, "Thanks for the check, Grandma."
She does not consider a shout-out an acceptable form of acknowledgment, and this grandmother has taken action to support her belief. She has warned her grown child and her grandchildren that there is a price to pay for the lack of a thank you that shows some thought and appreciation. She told them she would reduce the amount of the gift if acknowledgements weren't forthcoming. She has been as good as her word. She has sent checks in smaller and smaller amounts as a teenage grandchild fails to make even a feeble attempt at a personal thank you.
Kudos to her for not making empty threats. And for taking a stand on what's important to her: an acknowledgement that neither she nor her gift should be taken for granted. It's a life lesson as well: When people help you out or are especially kind--be it a co-worker, friend or a server in a restaurant--a bona fide "thank you" goes a long way.