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Responses from etiquette question

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Remember this recent blog post on October 11th?

Never know what  will come up next….Etiquette Question….

Your Question?/My  Answer

Q: On the subject of children’s birthday parties. “ When it comes time to open the presents, there are always so many gifts that my elementary aged child just tears into them and we don’t know who gave him what. Is it ok to give a general thank you after all gifts are opened to all the kids and call it a day and go to play?

A: Some of the children at the party could have spent a lot of time figuring out exactly what your child might want and what to buy him/her. It really might cause hurt feelings if your child does not acknowledge the birthday gift. A better solution is to open the gifts one at a time and thank each child for the gift. It takes a little more time, but your child learns a lot by saying thank you and the gift-giver knows that his gift giving (and maybe package wrapping) efforts were appreciated.

A thank you note from your child is always appreciated.

There were several comments worth sharing about the subject of children’s birthday parties and thank you notes. Here they are…

Their answers:


Dear Helen,
RE: Etiquette Question?
I am a certified etiquette consultant, a graduate of The Protocol School of Washington (DC), and I agree with your answer! Children can learn acknowledging and showing appreciation at an early age if given the opportunity. It might be nice for the parents to have a conversation prior to the party about how the process will work and how one behaves with all of the excitement of birthdays.
Best regards,

Hilarie H. Blaney, OKC

Carey Sue….


You are spot-on with your answer!!!!  I love it!!!

When we talk about thank-you notes in class, that is similar to the example I share with the kiddos….how long did it take to figure out what they were going to buy for your gift, they have to go out and purchase it, then wrap it.  That takes quite a bit of time.  How long does it take you to write a thank-you note???  Not near as much time, energy and effort as the person who gave you the gift!  :-)

:-) Carey Sue

Etiquette Expert and director for the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Chapters of The National League of Junior Cotillions and The International League of Corporate Cotillions.

Alan…from twitter

aherz @hfwallace Nice post http://tinyurl.com/ygwh4ek – You didn’t scold in the blog response as harshly as you did when asked in person. :-)

Alan Herzberger, Digital Managing Editor

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Helen Ford Wallace

Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for... Read more ›

Alan Herzberger

Alan Herzberger is the Vice President of Audience Development at The Oklahoman Media Company. He focuses on digital strategies for The Oklahoman and for NewsOK.com. He’s been with The Oklahoman since 1997, when he joined the sports department.... Read more ›