OK, this summer has been busy. That's an understatement, and normally I try to hit every party I'm invited to. I try to make at least an appearance because I feel like if someone took the time to invite you, you should try to be there.
Except the last two kid birthday parties? No. Let me emphasize that- these were KID BIRTHDAY PARTIES. Not that what I'm going to tell you makes it right for adult ones, but I haven't encountered this with an adult one. Just two kid ones.
Folks- it is never, ever OK to post a REGISTRY for birthday gifts. Never, ever. First off all, a one year old birthday party will include cake mess, cute outfits, and toys they'll outgrow by Christmas. You don't ask for a fucking bed, you don't ask for an Xbox, you don't ask for a PS3, you don't ask for a fucking iPod. Quite frankly- I feel like birthday gifts aren't a big deal. You should not be telling people, "Hey- you are invited to my party and you can bring me an iPod." No.
You just don't do that because it is rude. It is obnoxious and there is no way to turn this so you don't look like an asshole.
The argument of, "It's for family that doesn't see the kid often". OK- I have that issue with my kids as well. Do you know what I say? I say anything you give them is more than enough and it's just fine. If they prod me more on what to get, I say what size clothes they are in, I say something generic like chapter books, Barbies, craft stuff, etc. I never say anything more than $20. Do you know why?
Because I am not an asshole, that's why.
It's best to teach your kids early on to be grateful. You need to teach them that you will sometimes get lame gifts. It's not about the actual gift, it's about the fact that someone went out of their way to buy you a gift to help celebrate your birthday or even Christmas. You teach your kids to be gracious and say thank you. You teach your child to enjoy people coming together for an occasion and if they bring you nothing at all, be happy they brought themselves. Because life isn't about things, it's about relationships and the connections we make with others.
You know what else sets me right the fuck off the edge?
The lack of god damn thank you notes.
And I don't care if you think an email, a text, a Facebook message, or tweet is enough to say thank you. It's not. It's impersonal and quite frankly, it is unbelievably rude.
If you have the time to receive a gift? You have the time to write a thank you. Each and every time.
I hate when I go to a wedding or send a wedding gift and get nothing. Do you know what I did for my wedding? Our wedding was a Saturday, our honeymoon started Wednesday. I divided up my thank you's for each night and those things were in the mail Tuesday night. Checks were not cashed until I put the thank you in the mail.
When I had my kids? I wrote my thank you's while in the hospital when the baby was sleeping. Kid birthday parties? I have my thank you's ready to go before the party and the kids and I sit down and get them done the next day.
Because it's the right thing to do.
There is absolutely NO excuse for not sending a hand written thank you note in the mail. None. I don't care what argument you have, it's inexcusable. You be grateful when somebody does something nice for you and/or your family and you show it.