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People Have Lots of Feelings About Baby Shower Thank-You Notes

Photograph by Twenty20

During a baby shower thrown for her earlier this month, Laura Turner got the best baby shower gift ever, and it didn't cost a penny. The 32-year-old California mom-to-be was surprised when a friend of hers announced on a whim, among the group of 30 women, that they would all offer Turner the gift of not having to write thank-you notes.

Can you imagine the relief Turner must have felt? Though meant to be a thoughtful gesture, thank-you notes can seem like a total burden when it's hard to create the time and mental space needed to hand-write piles of personalized notes. From weddings to birthday parties, parents across the country have carried the shame and guilt that comes with the expectation to convey their gratitude within a short amount of time.

Sometimes life gets in the way and things get stressful. For baby showers especially, relieving an expecting mom of the thank-you card duty gives her more time to enjoy her pregnancy, her new baby or to take that much-needed nap. And honestly, as one Twitter user noted, that baby shower might be the last "shower" she gets for a while.

So, it's no surprise that moms everywhere have praised the genius idea, one Turner hopes to pay forward when her friends are expecting in the future.

Not everyone agrees that Turner should abandon the thank-you notes, arguing that they're an important and meaningful part of maintaining relationships. Plus, if someone's willing to spend time on finding and giving her a gift, the least she could do is spend time on writing a personal note.

The thing is, it doesn't have to be one or the other (thank-you notes or no thank-you notes). There are plenty of ways to show gratitude. Others have suggested that a hug and "thank you" in person, especially when the gift is given in person, is a much better show of gratitude than a handwritten note. Or guests can bring already self-addressed stamped envelopes along with their gifts to help with the letter writing and sending process. Or, if you can't get to the note until months or years down the road, don't worry about it until then. Sending a thank-you note later shows you're still thinking of the giver or using the gift, and it can feel much more meaningful.

If you're still not feeling any of those ideas, we have five other ways to avoid the hassle of thank-you notes. You're welcome.

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