A guest at a California baby shower inadvertently sparked a national debate over thank you note etiquette earlier this month.
The conversation began on Twitter when an expectant mom named Laura Turner revealed that one of her shower guests, a friend of her mother named Amy Arnold, surprised her with the ultimate gift: not having to write thank you notes.
Turner, 32, who is expecting her first child in June, recounted the unexpected turn of events in a now-viral tweet. “At my baby shower yesterday, one woman said, before I started opening gifts, ‘Can we give you the gift of no thank-you notes?’” she wrote. “And everyone gasped and I DIED and now I’m going to be that lady at every shower I go to.”
At my baby shower yesterday, one woman said, before I started opening gifts, “Can we give you the gift of no thank-you notes?” And everyone gasped and I DIED and now I’m going to be that lady at every shower I go to.
— Laura Turner (@lkoturner) April 15, 2018
"At first everyone was kind of stunned," Turner told ABC News. "Pretty quickly it turned from a sense of surprise, to a sense of excitement at this new and relieving idea."
For the most part, people reacted similarly on Twitter, although plenty of traditionalists chimed in with their dissent.
Yes! For me, this is a must for new moms. You have far more important things to do in the next year of your life! Please do not send a thank you note for any baby gift I ever give you.
— Bethany HallFitelson (@bfitelson) April 15, 2018
There’s already way too much lack of gratitude. Thank you notes should NOT become extinct. It’s the right thing to do. Someone took the time to get you a gift, it’s the least we can do to take a few moments out of our day to show appreciation.
— Laurie Ayers (@laurieayers) April 16, 2018
Turner, who doesn’t plan to give up writing “thank you notes” in the future, admitted that she sees both sides of the argument. Nevertheless, she told ABC News that she appreciated the gesture, especially since she's had a tough pregnancy. "While I like writing thank you notes, to remove the obligation felt like such a relief to me," she said.
"Life is really busy and hectic preparing to have a baby," she added. "To feel the guilt piled up because people haven't received the thank you notes, it weighs on people. And so, the gift Amy gave was the gift of no shame or guilt moving forward and that's pretty huge."