Thank You Gifts: When Do You Give Them?

thank you

Once or twice a year my dad invites a few of his friends down south to spend five or six days at our beach house. My parents always arrange the date around a convenient time for us. In essence, they make certain that we won’t have a need or desire to stay at our house during that time.

My husband and I are happy to share the house with my parents and their friends and because they stay during the off season we’ve never asked them for a rent check or any other form of payment.

My parents typically invite three other couples to the beach with them. The first year two of the couples bought us a thank you gift. They purchased the gift together and wrote both of their names on the card. The same thing happened the following year. This time around we received a very generous gift from one of the couples, but nothing from the other couple. The third couple didn’t provide a gift this year or any other.

For the record I don’t expect a thank you gift from any of the couples. I do find it interesting though that some couples always think to send us a gift and others never do.

I am not always great about providing thank you gifts, but I do send cards and notes quite frequently. Do you have a rule for providing thank you gifts to others? If you stayed in a friend’s beach house do you think you would provide a gift to them?

6 thoughts on “Thank You Gifts: When Do You Give Them?”

  1. Maybe since your parents are the ones inviting them, they feel that they should send their thank you’s to them, and leave it to your parents to compensate you for the use of the house, especially if these are not people you know personally.

    Hard to say without knowing the relationships, but if someone invited me to another person’s place, I wouldn’t feel obligated to track that third person down to thank them, and would leave that to the person who arranged it with them.

    • Thanks for your comment. The couple that provides gifts to us typically just hands them over to my parents so clearly the other couples could do the same.

      I agree though that they may think saying thanks to my parents is plenty thanks enough.

      I don’t expect more I just found it interesting that one couple always gives and maybe more so that one couple did give us gifts and then stopped doing so.

  2. If I was staying at the house for no cost, then yes, I would make sure I leave a thank you gift.

    Even if I personally did not know the owner of the house, I would leave the gift (ie: wine bottle or card or something) in the house. I’m going to assume that someone would come around to check the house soon thereafter.

    • Actually a lot of renters leave gifts for us this way including people we don’t know and have never met. Great point!

  3. I think it depends. In the case that you’re describing, yes I think the couples should provide gifts, bc they are friends of your parents, not you.
    When I stayed with my friend in Austrlia, I didn’t get her a thank you gift. But when I stayed with my friend’s parents in New York (my friend was there too), I sent them a thank you note and a gift card afterward.
    Whenever someone that I am not totally aquainted with, ie a friend of a friend, does a favor for me, I always send thank you cards.

    • That’s interesting. I am the same way. I think a friend or family member who is a bit more removed deserves a special thank you. When my husband’s aunt provided us with baby gifts for my son I sent a much more elaborate thank you card then the one I sent to my in-laws or close friends. I still thanked them for their gifts, but I put a lot of extra emphasis on the people who provided gifts that weren’t really expected to.


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