Personal Thank You Note

Do You Have to Send Thank You Cards After a Birthday Party?

It used to be the case that after any birthday party, be it a children’s party or an adult’s 50th shin-dig, the ‘done thing’ to do would be to send out a ream of thank-you notes after the event. These are designed to express gratitude to everyone who came and/or brought gifts.
However, in the age of mobile technology the art of the hand-written note seems to have fallen out of favour. Many people now, rather than sending out hand-written thank-you notes, will instead send texts or emails thanking people for the pleasure of their company. You can see why. Hand-writing numerous thank-you notes can be a bit of a time-consuming task!

However, we think it’s still important, even in this more digital era, to send out thank you cards after a birthday party – whether you’re young or old. Today, we’re going to explain the benefits of sending thank you cards, and discuss the proper thank you card etiquette.

What’s the Point of Sending Thank You Cards?

We all know how important it is to show our appreciation for the important people in our lives.
Many people enjoy and appreciate the personal, thoughtful touch that a hand-written note conveys. There’s just something so nice about opening a physical card that someone has taken the time to choose, design and write just for you.

Having your kids write thank you cards after their birthday has the additional benefit of teaching them gratitude and good manners – important skills that they’ll take far in life.
But expressing gratitude (as opposed to just feeling it) is more than just politeness. Receiving a thoughtful and genuine ‘thank-you’ triggers positive responses in the brain. In other words, the time and effort that it takes to write a brief thank-you note could really make someone’s day.

Personalised thank you cards make an even bigger impression – because you’ve taken the time to design them yourself, rather than just grabbing a generic card from a supermarket shelf.

When Should You Send Thank You Cards?

Here are some examples of occasions when it might be appropriate to send a thank you card.
1) After hosting a large party (e.g. a landmark birthday or anniversary) which your guests had to book time off work or travel some distance to attend
2) After any party where guests brought gifts – e.g., a kid’s birthday party or a Christmas party
3) When anyone has given you a gift for any reason (even if there was no party)
4) After your wedding, bridal shower or baby shower
5) When someone has done you a favour, for example they allowed you to borrow a household item, or they ran an errand for you to help you out

Essentially, if you feel thankful for someone who’s gone out of their way to help you or give you something, a thank you card would be the perfect way to show it.

Do You Always Have to Send Thank You Cards After a Birthday Party?

Birthday parties are the classic example of when you should send a thank you card. When people have taken time out of the day to attend your birthday celebration, sending thank you cards to everyone who attended is not only appropriate, but expected. This goes double if they bought you a gift!

Sending thank you cards after your birthday, whether you’re young or old, is a great way to practise expressing gratitude. Your recipients will be so grateful that you’ve taken the time to write them a personalised note, and this can help foster your relationship with them.
In the digital age we are living in it is now more commonplace to send “thank yous” in a digital format, which may be acceptable in some situations. For example, at very casual, last-minute-put-together gatherings at which no gifts were exchanged, it may be appropriate to send a thank you text.

The actual thanks is the important thing after all. However, the thought that goes into a hand-written thank you card should not be underestimated.

What Should You Write in a Birthday Thank You Card?

What you write in a birthday thank-you card depends on who you are sending it to and who is writing it!
If your child is writing a card, keep it nice and simple. For example:
Dear Joe,
Thank you for coming to my party, I had a great time and hope you did too!
Thank you for my new remote-control car – I love it!
From Sam
If your child is old enough, it’s also a great idea to mention something they like about the gift, or in the case of money, how they’re planning to spend it.
However, if you are writing the note yourself then you may choose to be informal or formal depending on the occasion and how well you know the recipient. Here are some examples.


Dear Samantha,
Thank you so much for the pleasure of your company at my recent birthday celebration. I hope you enjoyed the event as much as I did.
Thank you also for the incredibly thoughtful gift. The photo frame is simply beautiful and looks lovely on my mantle. Your kindness is very much appreciated.
I hope to see you again soon.
Best wishes,


Dear Suzie,
Thank you so much for coming to my birthday party last Saturday. I had a blast and it was so great to see you again.
Thanks also for the Starbucks gift card. You really shouldn’t have. I can’t wait to spend it on fancy coffees!
Let’s get together for brunch soon!
(Love) from Emily

What If the Birthday Party Guests Didn’t Bring Gifts?

Depending on the nature of the occasion some guests at birthday parties may not feel that it is necessary to bring gifts. Indeed, many adults are genuinely content with the pleasure of their friends and family’s company, and would not expect a gift.
If you are going out for informal drinks for a your birthday, for example, and have extended the invitation to work colleagues and acquaintances, they probably won’t bring gifts. In this scenario, while you certainly can send thank you cards if you wish, they wouldn’t be expected.

If you held a intimate gathering and some of the guests didn’t bring gifts then you should still be courteous and thank the guests for the pleasure of their company. They have still made an effort to come and spend time with you, after all. It’s still polite to send a note thanking them for attending. This goes for kids’ birthday parties and adults’ alike.
After all, presumably you are having a party to celebrate the occasion with people you like, not just to get presents. They have still made an effort by the very fact that they are there!
If you’re sending a thank you card to someone who didn’t bring a gift, here’s an example of wording you might use.

Dear Jackie,
Thank you so much for coming to my recent 40th birthday party. It was so lovely to see you again and I had so much fun. I really appreciate you taking the time to celebrate with me.
I hope to see you again very soon!

How Soon After a Birthday Party Should You Send Thank You Cards?

If you choose to send thank-you notes after a birthday celebration then send them as soon after the event as possible. That way, you can be sure that you will remember what gifts each person has given you.

This will allow you to personalise the card by mentioning the specific gift they got you. The memory of the party will still be fresh in your mind, so you can also mention a special moment you shared with each guest.
The sooner you can send a thank you note the more personal and thoughtful it seems for the recipient. If you leave it too long, your party guests may think you’ve forgotten about them, or aren’t bothered thanking them – and this could leave a sour taste in their mouth.
However, if you had a large party with lots of guests, or you’ve got a very busy life, then your guests will completely understand if it takes a while for them to receive their thank you.
In any case, aim to send out your cards no later than four weeks after the event.

Where Can I Order Personalised Thank You Cards?

Although any thank-you is better than none, a generic pre-printed card is not as thoughtful as a personalised card, even if it is really brief.
It is much more pleasing to receive a personal note than a mass produced one. If you include specific details such as a special time you shared at the party, and mention the gift that they gave you, it will mean a great deal to the recipient.

You can order professionally printed, personalised thank you cards from 123Print. We’re an experienced UK-based printing company specialising in greetings cards and business stationery, and we stock hundreds of thank you card designs. We have templates suitable for weddings, birthdays, and any other occasion when you might want to say thanks.
Once you’ve chosen your favourite thank you card design, simply click on it to begin the customisation process. You can add your own text, upload pictures from your device, and alter the font style and colour. Make sure to leave room to add a handwritten message to each recipient!

Our thank you cards can be ordered in quantities of up to 120 – so why not order extra to have on hand for emergencies?


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