Hump Day: Let’s hope greeting cards never go out of style

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

In the past several weeks, I’ve been making a concerted effort at sending out greeting cards to people to say “Hi”, to congratulate them on achieving something, to offer sympathy, to make them laugh or just to keep in touch.

I’ve always been a greeting card sender. For years, I’ve sent well over 100 Christmas cards every year. While I know that (most) people enjoy receiving the cards and newsletter that I include, I was always befuddled by the fact that I had to spend a lot of money buying cards that I didn’t particularly like.

Recently, I began using an online system that allows me to send cards or postcards individually or in bulk. I can choose templates or create cards from scratch and include my own photos. I prefer to create them from scratch to make them more personal.

As much as I love social media – I’m completely addicted to Facebook and am often on Twitter and YouTube – the art of the greeting card is one that I hope doesn’t die. It’s like I tell people, “When was the last time you printed an e-mail and put it on your refrigerator?” If you’re like me, the answer is likely, “Never!”

Greeting cards, though, whether computer generated, handmade or purchased in the store, are tangible. You can touch them. You can hold them in your hands. You can display them on your mantel, on your coffee table, or post them on your refrigerator.

I wish more people were in the greeting card habit. Just sending out thoughtful cards to people can make a huge difference in their day, not to mention your own karma.

What you send out into the world is what comes back to you. Your mood is like a rubber ball being thrown against wall. If you throw it angrily, it will come back quickly, hit you in the head and perhaps give you a black eye. Toss it gently and kindly, and it will bounce back gently toward you.

So, my goal for the next couple of months is to send greeting cards to people I know – and even some I don’t know. A good chunk of those will be Christmas cards, but I want to do more than that. If someone I know is sick – yup, they’re getting a card. Happy? Getting a card. Sad? Getting a card. Upset? Getting a card.

There are cards for every occasion. Reaching out and touching someone by telling them that you’re thinking of them is a lost art. Sure, it’s done often online. We’ve sent messages online to friends – a happy birthday here, a happy birthday there. But a card in the mail with a real stamp – something that you took the time to actually put together online or go out and buy… I mean, wow!

I know I’m impressed when I receive one. It’s such a treat to open a card rather than a bill or junk mail. I don’t know about you, but I certainly get my fair share of that stuff! When I get a greeting card in the mail – especially one for no particular occasion – I just melt. Come to think of it, I’ve never received a card for no particular reason.

So, dear readers, I’m sending out some karma your way. If you e-mail me your mailing address, I’ll do my best to send you a nice card. Do you know someone who needs some cheering up? Maybe you don’t want or need a card, but you know someone who does… I’ll do it! Let’s get the positive karma going.

Does your kid need a card from Santa Claus? You got it. I can do that. How about an apology from the tooth fairy for forgetting to put money under their pillow? I can do that, too. Know someone who needs a pick-me-up? Let me know who it is and I’ll send ’em a card! Since I can customize anything online, all that stuff is possible.

I’m going through my lists, too. I’m reaching out to people. I’m doing my best to send out some good vibes that come in the form of a greeting card.

Expressing gratitude and thanks to people is a lost art in this age of electronics. You never know in what state people are when they hear from you. Your card may come on the exact day they need to know that someone cares. It may come when they need a pick-me-up more than you’ll ever know. It may just put a smile on their face. It may just make their day… maybe even their week.

Join me in sending out more cards. Make a handmade one. Go to the store and buy a box to keep on hand. Join an online service like I did. Reach out to people. Tell them you’re thinking of them.

Facebook and Twitter are great. I love them both. Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with family and friends who I would have never been able to maintain relationships with had it not been for that wonderful, maddening network that drives everyone crazy with constant changes. But it’s practically become an indispensible part of life, as with e-mail.

What has fallen by the wayside, though, is the good old-fashioned greeting card. In the thousands of e-mails I receive every month, I can barely remember one of them by the time all is said and done.

The special cards, though… the ones with the personal touch… those are the ones that hold a special place in my heart. I’ll cherish them as keepsakes forever. As great as e-mail is, there aren’t many that I hold near and dear to my heart.

3 Responses to Hump Day: Let’s hope greeting cards never go out of style

  1. Glad to see that there are others doing what I’ve done for years. I think I own shares in Hallmark, at least I should. I love your article, very well written. Have a great day!
    You could send out a card to my hubby. He is sick & really could use cheering up.
    Roger Bevans
    35 Runneymeade Rd, Riverview NB E1B 1C8

  2. Thanks for this message, Brian. You’ve made a couple of people I know very happy- one works for Carleton and one works for Hallmark:) It is true, though. A card in the mail holds more value to me than an electronic message. My dearest friend, who passed away last year, made the most beautiful hand made cards you could ever imagine. I have kept every one of those works of art and will treasure them always. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Fantastic Post Brian.. Sending positive messages in a not so positive world does make a difference. :) Like you, I do love receiving personal cards.