Dear Snarky – Dealing With the Thank You Note Police

dear_snarky_logo-1Dear Snarky,

My aunt is a real pain in the you know what. She spends the better part of Christmas talking trash about family member’s kids who didn’t send her thank you notes. Last Christmas she made a big thing about it and didn’t give gifts to the children that hadn’t sent her what she thought was a decent thank you for her crappy Dollar Store presents. Last year two of my sister’s kids got toothbrushes.

Do you have any advice on how to stop my aunt from ruining Christmas morning?

Signed, Not Happy

Dear Not Happy,

Nothing kills the holiday mojo like a relative hell-bent on being the thank you note police, even worse if the relative is the bearer of gifts that deal with personal hygiene. To stop your aunt from her campaign to ruin Christmas morning I would give her the one thing she desperately wants for the holidays – attention. You’re going to have to shut her down with love.

First thing Christmas morning give her a huge thank you note from the entire family expressing everyone’s extreme gratitude for all she does and what she means to you. So what if you have to maybe fib a little (or a lot) about some of her positive attributes. Remember, it’s all for the greater good.

Hopefully, this thank you note group hug will calm her down enough so everyone else in the family can enjoy Christmas. If this doesn’t work your family needs to rethink your Christmas gift giving strategies. For instance, maybe it should be suggested your aunt  make a donation to her favorite charity in lieu of giving everyone individual gifts.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With An Attitude – email me at or private message me on my Snarky Facebook page.

9 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – Dealing With the Thank You Note Police

  1. Charlotte Weaver says:

    People need to get over the handwritten thank you. If a kid gives you a big hug and tells you how much he or she likes the gift that should be enough.

  2. Elise says:

    I totally disagree with you Charlotte. Thank you notes are what separates humans from other animals. It takes all of 5 minutes to write one. Who doesn’t have 5 minutes to thank someone?

  3. mamalion3 says:

    If you are insistent on handwritten notes, you are living in cave man days! In this time of computers , Internet, and cell phones, this generation has evolved to those media. We even created a thank you video to send to grandparents, which was well received. It’s really important to understand that not everyone passed penmanship 101 with flying colors and they would truly rather receive nothing instead of having to write a note! It’s that painful of an experience! So cool it on the thank you note judgement!

  4. Carla says:

    I’m all for sending thank you cards for birthday, baby or wedding showers. These are a celebration of an individual or couple. There is no reciprocation of gift. But Christmas? Does this woman give out thank you cards for the gifts she received? Christmas gifts are, for the most part, an “even” exchange. if everyone gave everyone a TYC back and forth I would have to just give up on gift giving!

  5. Kasstet says:

    Although I can see this woman’s point, she then goes on to refer to “crappy Dollar Store presents”. That is very tacky of her. She should be reminded that some children get nothing at all for Christmas, NOTHING. I was one of those kids! I would have been happy to receive something from the Dollar Store. She should just tell her aunt to stop buying presents for her kids because they do not need anything.

  6. Shane says:

    A few years ago, my child was invited to a birthday party for a four year old. So I bought some coloring books and crayons at the Dollar Tree store. Its a four year old, after all. I didn’t think they’d mind too much. Apparently, the mom may have. I never got a thank you from her for the gift. I don’t care if I get a card or not, but there was no verbal thanks or acknowledgement of the gift. I wonder if snootiness was the issue here? I’m not going to spend a lot on a four year old’s present. In fact, I also buy toys and things for my own child at Dollar Tree. My advice to anyone who is unhappy with Dollar Tree gifts for their child is: just get over it. Stop being a snob. Someday you might be grateful for anything you can get.

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