Bar/Bas Mitzvahs are often large parties, and as such present some additional challenges. To facilitate gift tracking and storage, it is recommended that you leave a box on a table or some other place where you can store the presents. Take away the presents early in the evening and place them in a locked room to help avoid lost gifts. At the end of your party, check all around and make sure that no gift was left behind. You might want to choose one family member that will be responsible for gathering the gifts and seeing that they are kept safely.
When you open the gifts, write down a list of what you got from whom. You will need the list to write the thank you notes.
Thankster is particularly useful for Bar/Bas Mitzvahs, as children of that age are already more comfortable typing on their computers and will generally be even more loath than adults to adhere to the discipline required to get so many thank you notes written. Writing thank you notes can be a tedious way to come back to earth for the young celebrant; after all, how many different ways can a child write, "Thank you for the check. I enjoyed having you at my bar mitzvah"? Naturally, the Bar/Bas Mitzvah child should write the thank you notes, but you should probably spot check them to be sure the notes they write (well, type) are both warm and personal.
The actual wording of the thank you is, perhaps, the hardest part. Following are some general suggestions, along with some specific suggestions for text.
Guests with no Gift, or Gift with no Guest
For People Your Child Barely Knows
For People Your Child Does Know, but Doesn't Get to See Often
For Friends of Your Child Who Will Be Celebrating Their Own Bar or Bat Mitzvahs
For The Parents' Business Associates
Other Useful Sentences
For Those Who Gave Money Gifts
Thank You Notes to Out-of-Towners
It can be difficult to know what to do if you’re missing a gift from one of the guests. It’s possible the gift was lost, or simply misplaced or misapplied. Before you assume you got stiffed (which is unlikely), check to see if gifts or envelopes were left behind at the party hall. If it cannot be accounted for, wait around 2-3 weeks to see if a gift comes; it is not unusual for gifts to come even months after the event!
Some recommend sending a thank you note even if there was no gift. You can make a generic thank you note saying something like:
Thank you for helping me to celebrate my Bar Mitzvah [or Bar Mitzvah party]. It was great spending time with you and I appreciate everything you've done...
Whether or not you want to follow up further is a very personal choice, and there is no right or wrong answer for every situation.
"Thank you for the generous B. Mitzvah gift. I plan to save it for my college education.”
"I'm so glad we had the chance to meet at my Bat Mitzvah. I hope you had as much fun as I did!"
Notice the amount of money is not mentioned. Saying what you plan to use it for makes the giver feel as though it meant more than just something to spend at the mall. Of course, the child can be saving toward college, starting a fund for computer equipment or donating money to a favorite cause. Also, the full note should generally be more than two sentences (though it needn't be many more - four sentences is probably a reasonable rule of thumb for most cards), even for people that are not close.
It was so great to see you at my Bar Mitzvah. I wish we could have spent more time together. Perhaps we'll be able to get together soon….
The earrings you gave me are so special! Thank you for taking the time to choose such a beautiful gift. I'm sure we'll have a wonderful time at your Bat Mitzvah. Don't be nervous, you'll be great!....
It was so nice to meet you at my Bas Mitzvah. Thank you for the generous gift, which I have put in an investment fund….”
Meeting all the people from my mom's office was fun. Now I can put faces to the names she always mentions. Thank you again for being part of my celebration.
Thank you for the thoughtful gift. It was a pleasure to meet you and the rest of my dad's co-workers. I hope you all had as good a time as I did!
My Bar Mitzvah was so much fun. I'm glad you were able to be a part of it. Thank you for the generous gift, and for being part of this special day.
“With your gift I will be able to purchase a [insert item] I have been saving for.”
“Seeing you at my celebration was such a treat, and the [insert gift] you gave me was awesome.”
It is recommended that your child mentions in the notes what the money will be used for (college fees, a new laptop, books, etc). For those who gave gift certificates, mention in the notes what you plan to get from the store. See other sections for specific money thank you note samples.
Talk about what it meant to you that they made the effort to travel to the event. You might want to close with something sweet like:
“Hoping to see you at my wedding!".
Again, try to keep it brief (but generally not fewer than four sentences), try to make it personal, and mention the gift specifically, except for an amount of money.