Say thanks

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

ONCE more with feeling
requests my sister.

So once more, I not-so-gently remind all godchildren this holiday season to take the time to acknowledge the gifts they receive from their godparents—the godparents who work themselves to the ground all year to earn the money to buy you these Christmas gifts you take for granted.

No need to write verbose letters of gratitude. A text, a tweet, a PM (this means private message in case you belong to another era) or post will do. No need to display to the entire world either what you received from your godparents. A simple, heartfelt “thank you” will suffice.

Please, I beg of you, millennials, to listen.

I’ve been the recipient of countless emails, text messages and face-to-face tirades of friends who’ve been perennially snubbed by their godchildren year after year. They have grown despondent over the galling ingratitude of their godchildren and the
tragically atrocious manners of the parents as well.

Hate to say this but the parents of these millennials are our friends. Yup, people we grew up with, went to school with, hung out with once in our lives or maybe until now and yet, can you believe their utter lack of manners?

And you will be shocked at who they are. Some are actually important & distinguished members of the community. But allay your fears, I shall withhold your precious names, though with great regret I must say. From my experience, the shame game can be quite effective.

But perhaps, these people are beyond hope and so I desperately address this column to the millennials. One day, you’re probably going to be parents. Please do not pass on this ugly sense of entitlement and ingratitude to your children. Have them acknowledge the gifts they receive.

It’s called breeding. And as I know now, breeding truly cannot be bought. But it can be taught.

Good manners dictate that when a gift is received, it is acknowledged. You might be shocked to know that some people I know have actually been sending gifts to godchildren for years and these gifts have never been acknowledged since baptism.

Neither the parents nor the children when they were grown have ever acknowledged receiving any of these gifts.

Someone told me that when gifts are not acknowledged, for all intents and purposes, they were never received. A simple solution to this heartbreaking situation is to cross these people out of your list.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while now but I think that is what I will finally do next year although I have only one delinquent now on my list. There used to be more but they probably read my column through the years and were sufficiently shamed by my unapologetic pronouncements about their lack of breeding.

I write most often about godchildren not acknowledging gifts of godparents but the reality is that this horrible practice cuts across all relationships—personal and professional. According to someone I know who has been giving gifts annually to most of her colleagues at work, most of them never acknowledge receiving these gifts. She said, it’s almost as if they expect it hence it’s a non-event. No thanks are necessary.

Wrong. Please say thanks.

(Email:, Twitter:

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 15, 2013.


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