Ask Kari: Should I continue to send gifts to family members who never say ‘thank you’?

Dear Kari,

I am done with giving gifts to my husband’s family. I am fed up with sending presents to my nieces, nephews, and in-laws and having to beg them to say thank you to me. My husband and I have been fighting over this issue for the past few years, as he tells me I have too high expectations and I should let it go, which just infuriates me more. How can it be that you purchase and send a gift to someone and the never openly acknowledge receiving the gift with a call or an email to say thank you? What is happening to people’s manners today? Do you feel that I should keep sending them gifts like my husband wants me to?

Lost the Giving Spirit

Dear Lost the Giving Spirit, 

I support you in stopping the process of sending gifts to people who do not thank you for them. The only exception would potentially be young children (1-10 years of age), who most likely cannot thank you without some form of parental support. I am unsure why manners have gone by the wayside today. A simple thank you can be made upon receiving a gift from a friend or a loved one, and it should and can happen without much effort. I suggest you continue sending gifts to those who you feel appreciate them and move on from sending gifts to people who have not taken the time in the past to even acknowledge your efforts.


As published in the May 2016 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

This column is for entertainment purposes only. If you are in crisis and in need of support please contact the Crisis Clinic at 866-427-4747.

Email your Ask Kari questions to [email protected] or use our online form. All email user personal information will remain confidential and not be public.