Do You Send Thank You Cards?

Do You Send Thank You Cards?

I frequently battle with the guilt of being socially irresponsible when it comes to sending cards.  Our family does not send out Christmas cards, birthday cards or even thank you cards.  I prefer the personal aspect of a phone call or visit over sending a card, but because it is so common to send cards, I often feel as though I am hurting feelings or doing something wrong.

This year, my oldest child is old enough to benefit from the tradition of sending thank you cards, and I am beginning to question my reasoning for not sending things like that.  We hate wasting paper, which is another main reason we stopped sending cards, but is that really a good reason to avoid a social nicety such as thank you cards?

Sending a thank you card is a very good opportunity to teach children responsibility and gratitude, and the recipient of the card gets the chance to know their gift really was appreciated.  I am trying to teach my children to be good stewards of the earth and not waste things, so thank you cards seem to go against the principles I am trying so hard to instill.

On the other hand, we have no problem buying new items and throwing away their often excessive packaging, so maybe I am simply being a hypocrite who is too lazy to put out the effort involved in sending a thank you card.

What do you think?  Is sending cards an outdated social requirement, or are the lessons it teaches and the good feelings it generates worth the effort?