The cost of not saying thank you for presents

After the last of the Christmas presents have been unwrapped and all the cards have been opened, you may be wise to spare a thought to writing your thank you letters if you want to avoid being given a cheaper gift next year.

New research by Royal Mail has revealed the true cost of not saying thank you for Christmas presents.

Of those people expecting thank you letters, over half (52%) say they’d reduce the cost of their gift by up to £10 next year if they didn’t receive a thank you letter.  A further 10% said they’d cut their budget from £21 to £25 if they weren’t thanked properly in writing.

The survey found that 20% would be so offended that they wouldn’t bother buying their loved one a gift again. Meanwhile, 39% say they’d be disappointed if they didn’t receive a thank you letter, with 9% feeling their friends or family were being rude.

However, the findings also showed that people could be better off next Christmas if they send a thank you letter, with 82% of those polled expecting thank you letters, saying they spend up to an extra £20 on the person who had expressed their gratitude in a letter.

Children should put pen to paper Almost three quarters (73%) of those surveyed said it’s important for children to say thanks via a note, while over half of adults (53%) think thank you letters are important too.

The poll found that almost two thirds of parents (63%) will ask their children to write thank you letters for gifts they received over the festive period this year. The majority of people say receiving a thank you letter makes them feel loved or appreciated (83%) with over half saying they are more special than receiving thanks via Facebook or Twitter (53%) or a phone call (20%).

The research found that thank you letters should be sent promptly after Christmas with 60% believing they should be posted within a fortnight of the big day. Meanwhile, 20% said they’d be disappointed if they received a thank you letter a month after Christmas on January 25.  

Royal Mail has teamed up with Debretts, the authority on social etiquette, to advise the nation on when to send thank you letters. Jo Bryant, Etiquette Advisor, Debretts, said:“In our digital age, a handwritten letter is always appreciated so, when it comes to saying thank you for Christmas presents, always put pen to paper. Letters of thanks should be sent promptly, preferably within a week to ten days of receipt of a present, so should arrive by the first few days of January.

“It is appropriate for parents to respond on behalf of their offspring before the child is able to write. The child should, however, write their own thank-you letters as soon as they can.”