Ask Alice: Can I Ask My Friends to Retire Our Thank You Note Tradition?

January 11, 2019 Ask Alice

Dear Alice,

I have a lovely group of friends who always do nice things for each other for birthdays. We've been friends for five to 10 years now (varies by friend), and with each birthday, the gift recipient sends thank you cards, even though we are all there to give, receive, and thank for the gift in person. My understanding of thank you cards is that they are generally for major events (showers, weddings, etc.), or when the gift giver is not actually present for the gift receiver to directly thank.

After five to 10 years of this, I'm over the constant expectation to send cards after having gushed over the gift in person already. I love sharing love and thanks, but after a while, the messages have gotten repetitive and stale, and the whole tradition feels unnecessary, especially with such a connected, accepting group of friends who have already shared thanks. I want to ditch this expectation, but how can I bring it up without seeming lazy and ungrateful?

Our group includes a woman who is very etiquette-savvy, and I feel like she's the driving force behind it, but it's been going on so long that I don't even know anymore.

Sincerely,

Ready to Hang Up the Pen

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