In spite of the growth of technology in society, and explosion of social media, American Greetings and Hallmark cards are alive and well in our shopping malls and outlet stores. The last time I was at Target, K-Mart or CVS, I’m pretty sure I saw a few aisles of greeting cards, from birthday to anniversary to Thank you cards to funny cards.
The past few months, I’ve been on the receiving end of lots of kindness. That came in many forms, such as people bringing me food, running errands, calling, texting, emailing, and visiting. And people sent cards. I love getting cards, and it gives me warm and fuzzy feeling to read them. The knowledge that the person took the time to find the right card, fill it out and mail it, is very special to me.
A card takes a certain amount of effort. Let’s say you want to buy a wonderful birthday card for your favorite mother-in-law. Unless you have a stack of Hallmark cards filed away in your home, and you know exactly where they are when you need them (I know some people are annoyingly organized…ahem!), you will likely have to remember to buy a card when you’re shopping for milk or juice. Now, if you’re like me, you don’t exactly think of going down the greeting card aisle when you’re thinking about eggs and cheese (in my store, the greeting cards are not far from the eggs, but still..)
So chances are you have to make a special trip to get said birthday girl a perfect card. Then, you have to pull out and read through the various types of cards and figure out what fits the person you are buying one for. Not too mushy, not too serious, not too funny. Just nice. Simple. To the point. If you are really buddy-buddy with the person (we’re not talking about the mother-in-law anymore), you might opt for one of those really corny cards. You know the ones that have strangely exaggerated illustrations and somewhat in-your-face humor.
If you’re cutesy, you’ll buy a Peanuts characters cards or a Ziggy (remember those?) card or some other cartoon strip. And if you think your person is extremely serious, you’ll buy one of those long winded poetry cards with flowers all over the cover and inside, and long, flowery messages.
Then, the question is whether to put your own message in the card. Hello, you can’t exactly send a card and just write, “Dear Mom,” (should you say, “Dear?” or just “To,” or just “Hi?”) and then sign off under the printed message. You just can’t. That would be really insulting, wouldn’t it? You have to write something like “Happy Birthday, Mom!” Now, that’s very personal. Right? Better than leaving all that blank space.
Finally, you have to decide how to sign the card. Should you write, “Love,” or “Sincerely,” or “Yours truly,” Or xoxoxo… or “Love and kisses…” I mean these are important decisions. Really crucial. You really don’t want to mess up, do you?
So after all that, you have to look up the person’s address and zip code, find a stamp (again, if you’re organized that’s a cinch), and get to one of the 2 mailboxes that exist in your entire neighborhood (because the USPS has ripped out those friendly blue corner mailboxes, which are now few and far between). Otherwise you drive by the post office and mail the letter there.
Now you’re done. Hopefully you’re pleased and proud of what you’ve done. You’ve accomplished something amazing, especially in this era of text, emails, and singing e-cards. Yes, you’ve risen above the temptation to send an e-card, and you’ve gone the old fashioned way of sending a greeting card.
You’ve made someone happy by thanking them, wishing them a Shana Tova or Happy New Year, a Get Well, Happy Birthday, or whatever occasion. And that’s something to be proud of.
How about you? Do you send greeting cards? Or do you use e-cards, texting, or emails. Or do you sing Happy Whatever on the telephone message machine?
What is your mode of greeting carding?