Ask Theresa

Dear Theresa,

The holidays are over and we exchanged gifts with family and friends. What is the protocol on thank you notes during the holidays? Are they expected? A friend says no, that you don’t send thank you notes for Christmas or Hanukkah gifts.

Molly H.


Dear Molly,

While I am of the opinion that all gifts require a note of thanks, admittedly I am an 80 year old woman trapped in a 27 year old’s body. However, if the holiday gift is given in person by a family member (i.e. parents, kids, spouse, etc) and sincere thanks is verbally communicated, you are good to go. That being said, you can never go wrong giving a personalized thank you note. It can be simple, short, and sweet. If you exchange gifts with friends, co workers, or extended family, a thank you note is a must. The giver deserves to know the gift was received and appreciated. Two to three days is the appropriate amount of time to allow lapse before sending your notes. This rule applies to gifts received via mail as well.

*As a side note, if a child is old enough to sign their name, they are old enough to write thank you notes. Again, short and sweet is appropriate. Let them draw a picture and you add an explanation of their artwork. Gratitude is a lesson better learned at an early age.

Dear Theresa,

I got an invitation to the wedding of a friend I know from high-school summer camp. It was addressed to myself with no mention of a plus one. The RSVP card has a space asking for the number attending or declining. Would it be ok to bring a date and reply that two will attend? The wedding is out of town and I will not know anyone at the wedding outside of the groom.



Dear M.B.,

Yikes. I know that the idea of attending an out of town wedding, sans date, and not knowing any other guests can be overwhelming. However, I am afraid if there is no mention of a date, it’s not ok to bring one. Consider that the couple has a budget and may only be able to accommodate a certain number of guests. In addition, you were important enough to them to be included in their special day. In the end, you have to decide whether you are comfortable enough to attend on your own. Here’s to confidence and a life of happiness for your friends!

Dear Theresa,

What is the appropriate response when asked if/when my husband and I are going to start a family? I can’t be the only one who deals with this question. What if it is a sore subject for whatever reason; health, financial, not ready, etc?

Kaci L.


Dear Kaci,

I hear ya! I have dealt with this issue as well and regardless of how many times the question is posed, it still takes me off guard. It is important to remember you are under no obligation to answer personal questions. However, just because someone asks a rude question does not mean you are free to answer in kind. Try to smile and say something along the lines of “We are a family!” or “I’m not sure” and then change the subject to something more general. Most will take the hint that the subject is off limits and move on.

Theresa Garcia Robertson is a native of Columbus, Georgia and resides in Cataula with her husband, Randy, dogs, Oscar and John Wayne, and several chickens. She reads the Sunday New York Times cover to cover over the course of the week and could eat a McDonald’s Southwest salad every day for the rest of her life without tiring of it. The Robertsons are members of First Baptist Church.

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