Dear Miss Manners,
What is the appropriate way to say "thank you" for a gift, even if you may not fully appreciate it? In other words, how can one acknowledge the sentiment without being too effusive?
You want a second class thank you to go with what you consider a second class present? Charming.
Miss Manners hopes that it is only that you don't want to gush about the item itself, fearful that this would encourage the giver to give you similar presents for the rest of your life. In that case, you should state your thanks but direct your gushing to how kind it was of the person to think of you.
Charming, indeed. We have received a few gifts already that we just don't care for. Registry people, the registry is in place for a reason! No really, we appreciate the sentiment and the thoughtfulness, but some received gifts don't fit our style, our personalities or our beliefs. One gift was from a family member (Fi's side, not mine!) and was an expression of beliefs of which Fi and I walk the line. Um just think like someone gave us a Burger King sign. We were both raised on fast food, but different kinds of fast food. I still eat McDonald's once in a while and try other kinds of fast food too. But Fi, he doesn't eat fast food ever. Unless I ask him to, once a year, on Fast Food Eve. Aesthetically the Burger King sign is lovely, but because of what it represents it'll never hang in our house. (Luckily it could be used as a garden ornament too...so some day, it'll go there).
Luckily my momma taught me how to right a thank you note, so I haven't had trouble writing these notes out (although I still have a few from my shower (sigh) to finish up). The thank you notes I have had the most trouble with are for the people I love. I inevitably cry as I write them out and never feel like they really contain the gratitude that I feel.
Planning a wedding becomes a very selfish act in some ways and in other ways an expression of appreciation for your loved ones. It is also an emotional roller coaster. We have been planning this for over a year now, and I don't think there has been a week that I haven't broken down in tears due to something wedding related. However, the emotion that I feel more and more often is gratitude. I am so thankful to be marrying this man. I am so thankful that out of towners have said that they will travel to be with us. I am so grateful to my parents for their contribution and to my friends for being sounding boards and punching bags. Never have Fi and I felt so loved by everyone around us and I look forward to feeling that love on our wedding day too.
So I guess, to bring this rant back to Miss Manners, is to receive a gift that isn't "you" is still a gift because a gift is really an expression of love, joy, gratefulness and support.