Politeness and good manners are important, don't you think?
Some of you may consider me old-fashioned in saying this, but I still think saying thank you for Christmas and birthday presents is necessary.
However I'm guilty these days of just saying thanks in person, on the phone or by text for my gifts - but I always ensure my daughter puts pen to paper and sends proper thank you notes.
She doesn't always feel as enthused about this task as I am in making her do it, but I tell her what my mother told me, and I'm guessing what her mother told her too - 'If somebody takes the time and effort to buy you a gift, the least you can do is write a thank you note.'
I don't make her write them on Christmas day after the turkey and before the Queen's speech or anything like that - Boxing Day is fine. I'm joking of course, but I think finding some time before New Year to put pen to paper isn't too much to ask.
I fear I'm in a minority with this though, and I dare say the art of writing anything at all will soon die out completely.
Does anyone else send and receive handwritten letters anymore? I remember checking the post being one of the highlights of my day, the joy multiplied if you'd received a handwritten letter or a postcard from a friend, rather than a bank statement or a bill of some description. Not quite the same these days with the computer just going 'ping' when an e-mail is received.
Which leads me on to one of my pet hates - people not replying to e-mails. In my mind, there's really no excuse for this as it takes all of two minutes to hit reply and type something, even if it's just to acknowledge receipt and say a more fulsome reply will follow in due course if time is an issue. It's just good manners to respond, isn't it?