Posted by: anglopole | September 3, 2008

Thank you for the ‘thank you’ card!


Last month two of my friends had babies and so I was thrilled to go shopping for some pressies for the new tiny arrivals, not forgetting about customary greeting card. Some time after I’d handed my gifts to the happy mums, I received ‘thank you’ cards from them… Even though I am quite used to it now, it still surprises me as I don’t really give presents to people to later get a card from them – I find pleasure in the getting of the pressies, packing them and delivering on whatever occasion may be coming….

It is quite characteristic of the Brits, though, to be conveying various wishes and so often by means of greeting cards and the ‘thank you’ ones are among the most popular. I have been wondering if this is by any chance connected with the naturally reserved nature of most Britons?



It is, after all, easier to express one’s emotion in writing rather than face-to-face, isn’t it? Nevertheless, you’d hardly see any extra note from your friends on the greeting card, apart from the already printed poem or wishes of some sort. So, even the English greetings are very concise in form. There was a time the addressees of my greeting cards used to welcome them with eye brows raised and and surprised smile on their faces as I can’t seem to limit myself to the ready made wishes offered by card producers. I always want to personalise a greeting card, but have noticed it is a rather original habit here. So, sometimes one might get confused and struggle not to ask themselves a question, to what extent the generous giving of greeting cards is motivated by a desire to express emotion rather than a mere custom?

A thing worth mentioning is that some people here turn the card making into creative art and I, personally, love getting such cards as their author’s personality is imprinted on them.

It is not a surprise to see greeting card displays in the living rooms of people you visit in Britain as if the cards were some sort of trophies 😉


Whatever the motivation behind it, it is nice to get a card every now and then, isn’t it? Well, at least I like them…. 🙂


  1. It’s not just in the UK, I think it’s an anglo-saxon tradition. I was taught it was simply good manners to send cards, and thank-you cards were a must. And then I moved to Japan. If you think people in Britain are big on the whole greeting card thing, you should see the Japanese. They made me feel so uncouth and inadequate. LOL!


  2. Yeah, I am aware that the whole Anglo-Saxon world is into greeting cards for every occasion imaginable! 😉 I didn’t know the Japanese were passionate card givers, though – no wonder they work so much; they need to earn for all these greetings they want to pass on…. ;p That again brings back the question whether this tradition is somehow facilitated by a reserved character of a particular nation (the Japanese are not too candid or affectionate, are they?) – what do you think?


  3. I love getting, and sending, cards. In general, I love real mail and I miss it now, because it is now falling into disuse.
    So, I’d love that British habit you tell us in this post.
    Greetings from Peru.


  4. In the Internet era sending cards via snail mail is a bit of an effort, isn’t it? But it is indeed nice to receive them, isn’t it?
    Thanks for your comment, Gabriela! 🙂


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