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Thank You! But No ‘Thank You’

This week I have made some good progress in distributing five of the remaining ten thank you cards that my daughter wrote for her birthday gifts….in July….2014…..almost 10 months ago.

I wish I could blame my daughter, but I can’t. See, we made this great rule for her birthday this year: She couldn’t open her next present until she had written a Thank You card for the last one she opened. She was done with her cards the day of her party, yet, as of April 2015, over half of them still remain undelivered (even to friends who live two doors down and that we see almost every day.)

Here my daughter's birthday Thank You cards are celebrating Christmas on the kitchen counter, where they have been for the past 9+ months. People have had babies in less time than it has taken me to deliver these across the street.
Here my daughter’s birthday Thank You cards are celebrating Christmas on the kitchen counter, where they have been for the past 9+ months. People have had babies in less time than it has taken me to deliver these across the street.

At this point, I think we’ll just hand them out at her next birthday party.

Better yet, I think I will post this note on the front door at her party for all the parents to read as they drop their children off.


Dear Friend’s Parent:

Thank you for coming to our child’s birthday party. I see you brought a gift. Awww, you shouldn’t have.

As a parent, you should know how truly grateful I am for your gift. Sure, my kid will mumble “thank you” before ripping the packaging open, enjoying a brief endorphin rush while throwing it in a pile to join the rest of their toy abyss.

But I thank YOU.

I thank you for going to your re-gift/emergency toy closet and working through the thought process of “would little Johnny actually like this present or am I just trying to get it out of my closet?”

I thank you for taking the time to go through the memory retrieval exercise required to figure out “Oh damn, Johnny’s the one that gave us this gift in the first place!”

I thank you for suffering through the daily struggle of asking your child “What would Johnny like for his birthday?” only to have to them provide a lengthy recap of all the things that Johnny ate for lunch that week.

I thank you for trusting that I’m a good enough friend to not judge you when you text me 24 hours before the party asking what Johnny wants, since your kid has proven to be utterly useless.

I thank you for having to think about things like “Do we like Johnny $10 or $15 worth?” and “Will Johnny’s mom stop inviting me to wine nights if I buy something that makes annoying sounds or could require stain removers?”

I thank you for taking the time to drag your kids to Target after soccer practice (and after bedtime, on a school-night) and spending your car ride giving explicit instructions about how you won’t be buying them anything at the store when you should have been ignoring them and zoning out to Taylor Swift songs.

I thank you for having to live through the hell of saying “No!” to approximately 74 items that your own kid does the “just this ONE thing??” about while shopping (despite their verbal agreements in the car.)

I thank you for having to go through the in-store economics lesson with your child about how you could buy that present for 33% less at Amazon (while getting glared at by store employees.)

I thank you for making an emergency gift purchase on the way to the party since Amazon Prime decided to deliver the gift you already bought at 2:00 when the party starts a 1:00.

I thank you for still putting the receipt in with the gift even though I will clearly see the time stamp showing that it was purchased at 1:17 for a 1:00 party.

I thank you for now having to store the original Amazon present in your re-gift/emergency toy closet until the next party, when this whole damn process will start over again.


Please consider this note as your official ‘Thank You’. As you know, the process of purchasing presents for, and attending an average of 2.3 birthday parties per weekend does not allow adequate time to write and deliver actual Thank You notes.

But I want you to know that I know that this present is not merely a present but is the thing that was responsible for at least 23% of your stress this week.

No crayon-scribbled, speed-written card from my kid could tell you that.

So, truly, THANK YOU, but there will be no “Thank You”.

Thank You but No Thank You


Once upon a time, Susanne Kerns was a Senior Account Director at an advertising agency working for two of the top brands in the world. Nine years ago she traded in her corporate life for a life as a stay at home mom, raising two of the best kids in the world. She started her blog, The Dusty Parachute as a way to dust off her online advertising skills and begin her job search. Instead, she now uses it as a way to spend lots of time on the computer so her kids think that mommy has a job.

Susanne’s essays have been featured in Scary Mommy, BonBon Break and Redbook and she is also a contributor in the upcoming books Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!  and It’s Really 10 Months, Special Delivery. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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13 thoughts to “Thank You! But No ‘Thank You’”

  1. Ha! I love this! I’ve done that before with thank you notes that sit on the counter for months. I’ve also had my children slave over cards for family members only to forget to give them on the proper occasion.

    I love all the thank you reasons… so true.

    Thanks for sharing (and for making me chuckle)!

    1. Yes, I had a big stack of them ready to take on our trip to Grandma’s house a few months ago and of course forgot it (with all the school photos & art magnets the kids made) and the stack still remains on my dresser. 🙂

  2. We tried to do the TY notes for the December party but it was the day after I had a car accident and I can’t even tell you what kids were there let alone what they brought (BTW: mother of the year moment, I forgot to get a cake). Give me strength…

    1. My favorite was the year I told my daughter that it was important to “read the cards before opening the gifts” and she came to me after the party with a giant pile of cards that she had removed from all of the gifts so we could “read them first”. I had to send out an email to everyone to ask what they had given for a proper thank you. 🙂

  3. I used to do handwritten thank you notes, and then baby #2 came. Still haven’t done those baby shower notes. I suck. I still believe in them though!!

    1. That’s the hard part, I still think it’s important for the kids to do them and show gratitude. Maybe I should just have everyone fill out a self addressed stamped envelope as they leave – kind of like the dentist does to remind me about my next appointment. 🙂

  4. Omg, yes! I used to be so good at writing/sending thank you notes before having kids and now I truly wish I never had to send them at all as they have just become an added thing on my to do list. I love your note above and think I may need to use it the next time I need to send out thank you notes.

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