In our household, a thank you note was required 24 hours after receiving a gift. After the frenzy of opening Christmas gifts, we were often behind closed bedroom doors writing thank you notes before we could play with our gifts.
My dad’s side of the family was militant about them. I remember my grandmother sending my thank you note back (during college) with spelling and punctuation corrections. My husband and I visited my father & M in late June 2013. Knowing how much he enjoyed reading a heartfelt thank you note, I took my time to make sure I touched on all the highlights of our visit: M’s great meals, our lunch & visit to Edgefield, the two Camellia’s they sent home with us, etc. About a week later, he sent me an email.
For my retired military father to say “it was the best you’ve ever done” is a big deal, personally. Even in your 40s, a parental “well done” means a lot. I was glad I did a little something that he appreciated before he passed. Sending a thank you note is always a good idea.