Gransnet forums


AIBU to expect birthday cards?

(78 Posts)
Sunnysideup Sun 21-Mar-21 17:20:47

I have three grandsons, 12,13 and 16. I recently celebrated my birthday and received lovely presents from my son and daughter. Usually, my grandsons names are included on the cards their parents send but not this year. Therefore I thought I would receive separate cards from them, after all, they are old enough to buy them themselves. But I didn’t and I feel a bit hurt. Am I wrong to feel like this? I know COVID makes everything difficult but cards are sold in every corner shop and supermarket. Would value your opinions.

cornishpatsy Sun 21-Mar-21 17:29:26

Granddaughters may have sent cards but grandsons I would say is highly unlikely.

I am not saying it is right however in most families I know it is the female of the relationship that buys and sends the cards.

I also think that younger people do not send cards at all, they tend to send greetings via social media or text.

Peasblossom Sun 21-Mar-21 17:53:26

Did you get a text, WhatsApp, Facebook, anything like that? If so they’ll consider that job done.

Different world🤔

grannysyb Sun 21-Mar-21 17:58:52

Always get a card from DD which always says from her, her DH and from her children. Fine by me.

V3ra Sun 21-Mar-21 18:05:18

You're not being unreasonable at all, but equally I'm not surprised the boys/young men didn't send any 😕

Mollygo Sun 21-Mar-21 18:05:27

Âge 12 and 13 and maybe even 16, probably no income for buying cards. I wonder why their parents decided not to include their names this year.
My younger GC -up to 17 are still included on the parent cards. Oldest GC sends me a FB message and sometimes a text. I’m not sure the 17 year olds will bother with a card in the future unless my DDs remind them.
Happy Birthday anyway!💐💐

Hithere Sun 21-Mar-21 18:08:11

What peasblossom said

H1954 Sun 21-Mar-21 18:14:29

It does seem odd that the GS's names weren't on the card, could their parents have forgotten?

Doodledog Sun 21-Mar-21 18:25:14

I agree that it is a different world. Cards are bad for the environment, costly to buy and send, and a bit pointless when people can text or leave a message on social media. A lot of young people have stopped buying them for that reason, and whereas I sympathise if you are disappointed, I don't blame them.

I think that they are dying out as a 'thing', as is the emotional blackmail attached to sending them. I remember when I was a young woman and my (lovely) MIL expected me to send Easter cards to her neighbours, who duly sent them to us. I have never sent Easter cards, as I am not religious, and said that I would rather not. My MIL bought them, wrote them for us if necessary, and posted them herself, because she said she knew that the neighbours would be hurt if they didn't get them.

Lucca Sun 21-Mar-21 18:25:55

Once my sons grew out of the “drawing a card for granny” phase I wouldn’t have expected them to send grandparents a card.
I don’t think you are being “unreasonable”, maybe a tad “unrealistic.!

wildswan16 Sun 21-Mar-21 18:38:55

I have never wanted anyone to spend £2 or more on a piece of card for me. I will be delighted with a text, quick phone call or visit - dependent on who and where they are.

I don't think I would ever expect a grandchild to spend their own money on a card for me. If they did, I would of course be happy to accept it, but never expect one.

NotSpaghetti Sun 21-Mar-21 18:48:42

I visited my son a week after his birthday a couple of years ago. He had a stack of unopened mail and I pointed it out to him. "Oh yes", he said, "they're all just cards".

Included in one of the cards was a hefty cheque. 🙄 It was a combined birthday and "New Home" gift from his grandmother.

Most young people don't see the point of cards. Some don't even open them!

NotSpaghetti Sun 21-Mar-21 18:49:41

BTW, this same son does call his grandmother on her birthday so it's not that he doesn't care.

Septimia Sun 21-Mar-21 19:09:05

I don't think you're unreasonable, but I do think it's up to the parents to nudge the children.

I agree that it's usually the womenfolk who remember birthdays etc. However, DS spent some time as a single parent (well, 50/50) so he managed to remember to send cards and to organise DGD. This has continued even thought he has a wife now to help him remember.

We do text family members and friends on the mornings of their birthdays as well. Texted greetings, though, somehow aren't the same as a card, hence doing both.

BlueBelle Sun 21-Mar-21 19:09:25

Young people don’t do cards when I commented to my daughter that my granddaughter didn’t seem to have many cards for her birthday she said... but she gets all her congrats on social media they don’t do cards any more I only have two out of seven of my grandkids send me cards and presents but I have one other granddaughter who sends me random moonpig cards or little presents, the other four just send fb good wishes or nothing
I love cards and miss them plopping through the letterbox but I had 16 birthday cards come through the letterbox recently and it was lovely to find them sitting on the mat instead of the very occasional advert leaflet or mostly nothing

Gwyneth Sun 21-Mar-21 19:56:27

I feel the same about cards bluebelle . Not bothered about presents at all but love to have birthdays cards. I just think that for the few moments it takes to write the card they are thinking about me!

lemongrove Sun 21-Mar-21 21:27:30


It does seem odd that the GS's names weren't on the card, could their parents have forgotten?

That’s what I thought, written in a hurry? My AC always include the DGC’s names at birthdays and Christmas.
See what happens next year?

justwokeup Sun 21-Mar-21 22:23:46

I don't think parents including GSs on the card is really an alternative for them sending their own - GSs may not even realise they do it. I remember having a strop years ago and telling DC I wasn't sending any more 'thank you' messages for them. Unfortunately that meant that one of them never sent one again! Maybe your AC have decided GSs are old enough to be responsible for sending their own greetings but, if so, they probably should have let you know. However, I agree GSs are not likely to send cards and if they sent a text that would be lovely.

welbeck Mon 22-Mar-21 00:32:23

there was a lively and quite entertaining discussion on MN recently re rejecting the expectation, usually from MIL, that the wife would send cards for/to all her husband's family.
the consensus was, why would/should i.
he sends his, or not, nothing to do with me, and i send mine.
most seemed to think it reasonable to prompt/remind minor children to contact GPs.

Calendargirl Mon 22-Mar-21 07:09:23

It’s DS’s wedding anniversary today. I put a card through their door. We never get one from them, I don’t expect to.

This post has made me think, why do I, I could just text them. When we meet up again, I’ll see what they say.

jusnoneed Mon 22-Mar-21 08:21:46

I have never had a card from any of my grandchildren (oldest in her 20's) and as a family we have largely stopped sending birthday cards. The only person who gets one, hand delivered, is sis in law who cannot take the hint to stop - we thought she had finally when no card came for my January birthday, but no she simply forgot it and turned up with a bunch of flowers the following week!
I send a birthday card to a couple of old school friends and a couple of craft friends but that's it.

Lolo81 Mon 22-Mar-21 10:19:50

Agree with others that cards are becoming an outdated tradition. Did the boys call or text to wish you happy birthday OP? I personally haven’t sent cards for anything for almost a decade now and will text or call anyone I care about to wish them happy birthday etc. My own children prefer messages either text or on social media. It seems to me that the world is changing.
What I have always done though is ensure that my DC make an effort to reach out to family for birthdays, I’d hate for my mum to be upset like you have been or to feel like an afterthought.

grandtanteJE65 Mon 22-Mar-21 10:48:45

If cards and postage areanything like as dear in the UK as here, where a card costs the equivalent of £1.50 and a stamp about the same, yes, you are being unreasonable.

Your grandsons could have send you a text message or an e-mail though, but at their ages one of their parents would need to have reminded them.

I doubt any of their generation thing in terms of letters or cards.

Have you asked whoever signed the card why the boys' names were omitted? Perhaps they were meant to send you a greeting.

Theoddbird Mon 22-Mar-21 10:51:40

Life is too short to worry about such things. You could of course forget their birthdays....hahaha

jaylucy Mon 22-Mar-21 10:53:58

If you can't get to a shop, you can easily buy a card online and get it posted to where you want .
Maybe it's either in the post or their mum made the mistake of expecting at least the eldest to get it done - the card is probably in their pit they call a bedroom !!!