Carlyle Catering
What To Do When You Don’t Receive A Mitzvah Gift

Lisa Gaché from Beverly Hills Manners Inc. recently helped us with our Mitzvah Manners, we are once again turning to her for some help. A Mitzvah Mom wrote in with this sticky situation:

“My daughter’s Bat Mitzvah was a few weeks ago. I remember my husband and I getting lots and lots of gift envelopes as guests were leaving. It’s very possible that some were misplaced. Now that my daughter is starting to write thank you notes, we have noticed a few people who appear not to have given her a gift. We think it’s possible that those gifts could have been misplaced. How do I approach those guests and ask them if they forgot to bring a gift or if we lost it?”

Lisa tells us this is more common than you think and has the following suggestion on how to handle this solution:

As a gracious host, the most important thing you can do is to give every one of your guests the benefit of the doubt. When you have a big party or event, it is very plausible that several gifts may be accidentally lost or misplaced; however, before you make this general assumption you may also want to bear in mind that some guests treat a Bar/Bat Mitzvah similar to a wedding in the sense that they will take up to a month or so to send a gift.

Because we cannot be certain of our guests’ thought process and behavior, it is always best to send a thank you note to everyone in a timely manner regardless of whether they sent a gift. If there is no accompanying gift, you may concentrate on stating how happy and appreciative you are that your guests were able to attend and share in your celebration. Most people assume that if their gift is received the recipient will make mention of it in the thank you note.

If your guests are astute and they read the note carefully they will be able to deduce whether or not their gift was received. If there is any doubt on their part, they may want to initiate a conversation with you to double check if the gift was indeed accidentally lost or misplaced.

If you are really keen on doing the detective work yourself, I would suggest sending a thoughtful note thanking your guests for coming and very gently making mention of the potential lost gifts. However, if you do this, you must be extremely mindful of the personality of your guests so as not to offend. Perhaps they intended to bring a gift, but just haven’t found the time yet or they may have accidentally left the gift at home or in the car and then it inadvertently became lost in the shuffle.

If you wish to address the matter in your thank you note, you may want to say something like “We were so thrilled that you were able to be a part of our daughter’s Bat Mitzvah celebration. We realized during the course of the event that a few of the gifts might have been misplaced and we would feel terrible if we did not acknowledge the generosity of our guests. Although, your presence at the Bat Mitzvah was the greatest gift of all, kindly let us know if there may have been anything else that we overlooked.” This may at least alert them to a possible mishap. If not, maybe it will inspire them to high tail it out to the store for that AMEX gift card pronto.

Great advice! Thanks Lisa. To learn more about Lisa and Beverly Hills Manners Inc., visit their Website.


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