Good manners says you should send a thank you for each present received. Apart from anything, it also lets the person sending the gift know that “Yes, you did spot the £5 note tucked inside the card, No, it didn’t end up in the rubbish”.

So make sure that your child only opens presents when you are present and when you are armed with a pencil and paper. Record name, gift, and if you can manage it, whatever expression of pleasure your child expresses at the time.

Choose your thank you ‘cards’. These can vary from pre-printed packets of 8-10 to hand-written letters. Unless your child is naturally inclined to letter-writing (mine never were!), it seems harsh to me to expect them to sit down and write 10-40 letters!

I’ve always gone for some form of D-I-Y document with a bit of clip art, the basic wording cut and paste many times with a bit of personalisation – this is where that ‘expression of pleasure’ comes in. There are packages out there that will get you started if you want. The older the child, the more I expect them to do, but even a 7-year old finds it hard writing their name 40 times!

At least give them a few days to get it done in. Personally, I’d hope to get “thank you’s” out within a week. Much longer and I’d start to get embarrassed. Besides, people start to ask you ‘Did Jamie like the present we gave him?’ If you can remember one present out of 30-40, your memory is better than mine!

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