the importance of greeting cards

When is the last time you mailed someone a physical card of congratulations, thanks, or support?

greeting-cards

People who know me well know that I love to send and receive cards–of all types! I have a drawer in which I have various categories of cards that I send out to friends, family, and colleagues when the occasion arises. When I travel, I pick up greeting cards unique to an area or any that are particularly beautiful, so that when the need arises, I have something nice on hand. And when I spot a card that reminds me of a specific individual, I may adhere a yellow ‘sticky’ to the card, so that I know that card is perfect for that friend’s birthday, etc.

I admit I’ve slipped a bit in recent years, falling habit to using e-mail to communicate with people more than physical mail or the telephone. But I do know that whenever someone takes the time, makes the effort, and absorbs the cost of sending me a card in the mail, I really like it. And almost every time, will take the time/make the effort to acknowledge the card by way of a e-mailed thank you or a phone call. I really believe that a kind acknowledgement deserves a reciprocal acknowledgement of gratitude, and encourage you to do the same. As simple as an e-mail saying, “I rec’d your card. Thanks so much.”

greeting-cards

Awhile back, I had the great pleasure of receiving a congratulatory card from the Chair of the Writers’ Union of Canada in acknowledgement of my Readers’ Favorite Award for volume I of Chocolatour. I was thrilled to receive this card from the leader of our prestigious association of authors! I save special cards that I have rec’d from throughout my lifetime, and this one is definitely a keeper.

greetings-cards

Another friend recently sent me a personalized card (pictured above) on which she featured the cover of one of my other books. I loved that, too, as it was so personal, and it was so cool that she had made the special effort to create and mail me the card. It was one of those SendOut Cards in which you can create a personalized message with a unique font. I loved it, and will always cherish this card.

How do you feel about greeting cards? Am I a dinosaur to appreciate them? Do you like it when you receive a card in the mail that acknowledges a special moment in your life, or is simply an acknowledgement of gratitude, an illness, death in the family, or accomplishment ?

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Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

42 Responses

  1. Ceci Snow says:

    The art of writing letters, or even notes, to dear friends seemed, to me, to have begun its demise when photocopiers became inexpensive to use – hence the annual Christmas Letter epistle we’re all subjected to from well-meaning relatives and friends. Then came email and ecards and the increase in cost for printed cards and now, at least in Canada, the exorbitant cost of postage. Luckily for me I have some friends who STILL actually write letters and, like you, search for and find the perfect greeting card for all occasions. It is something I like to do too!

    When I returned from Brazil I had some of my photos made into 5×7 greeting cards and they’ve proven popular so I know that note writing, as an art, is not dead – yet.
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  2. Pat Amsdn says:

    Although, I too, have fallen in the habit of emailing rather than sending cards I believe physical cards are much more meaningful to the recipient. It just means that much more care and time have been taken with making sure you have the right card that will be appreciated by the person receiving it. And if you’re the lucky recipient, obviously makes you feel special.
    Pat Amsdn recently posted…Because Everyone Needs A Little FantasyMy Profile

    • Right on, Pat. Thx for getting the conversation going. I was surprised at how few Christmas cards we got last Christmas compared to years gone by. But I admit … we sent far fewer as well. I do love receiving cards for special occasions, and when people take the time to thank me for a card, I continue to send them cards. If I don’t receive an acknowledgement for the card, they get dropped from my send-cards-to list.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of greeting cardsMy Profile

  3. Esther says:

    No Doreen, you are not a dinosaur. NEVER could that be said of you! I like sending greeting cards as much as you. Our world is never too busy to keep connection with those people we love. Admittedly, websites with ecards are now plentiful, so sometimes I will send an ecard. But an ecard still carries a sentiment! Nonetheless, there is nothing quite like getting snail-mail card delivered to your door. It’s always exciting to know that someone you love and care about is thinking of you or acknowledging you in some way. We have 50 people on our Christmas Card greetings list, and at the very least, those people know we love them, think about them, and appreciate having them in our life. In fact, some of those recipients have now begun sending us cards with messages in their Christmas cards! I believe in being the change…and that’s a good thing. <3
    Esther recently posted…Review of Eternal Abundance CafeMy Profile

  4. Irene Gordon says:

    Hi Doreen,
    Our family used to be great for sending cards, but over the years we have gradually got away from it for several reasons. The main one is that my mother is gone. Another is how expensive postage is now. Then too I have the feeling (perhaps wrongly) that a lot of people look at a card for a minute or two and then throw it out. That does not mean that I don’t appreciate cards with notes. I received a number of congratulation cards when my first book was published. I was very pleased and have saved them.

    Christmas cards are a whole other issue. My husband Don and I write an illustrated Christmas letter and have been sending fewer and fewer Christmas cards. I personally am very disappointed now if I only receive a card with no letter or at least a brief note.

    • Hi Irene. Thx for sharing your thoughts. Reg and I both love cards. We have a place that we display cards we receive, and we often leave them up for a few weeks. I can’t imagine people receiving a beautiful card or one with a handwritten note and then ruthlessly disposing of it without thought. But I guess that does happen.

      I do love getting your Christmas letters. Perhaps that is something Reg and I can incorporate in future, although most people who are online know what’s we’re up to in detail via facebook and the like. Cheers!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of greeting cardsMy Profile

  5. Donna Janke says:

    There is something special about a paper card received in the mail. I used to send a lot of them and still have a drawer of cards, but over the last couple of years I’ve sent less and have opted for ecards in a number of instances. Cheaper and less wasted paper. But there are times when a paper card in the mail seems more appropriate. I have a friend who makes beautiful cards and it is always a pleasure to receive one of her personalized cards. Congratulations on your book award.

    • Thanks for the congrats, Donna, and for your thoughts on greeting cards. Yes, when you receive a special card, it really does cause you to pause and enjoy the moment. I hope that feeling/process never goes away completely, but it is indeed becoming a less frequent occurrence. See you Saturday at the chocolate dinner!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of greeting cardsMy Profile

  6. andleeb says:

    I feel so special when I receive a greeting cards from a friend or family. It shows special care and love on someone who have really taken time to send it.
    Time has changed and we just send messages and stuff and no one cares about sending physical cards, but when you get one your happiness can really tell the difference.
    andleeb recently posted…How to Improve Mathematics?My Profile

    • Right on, Andleeb. The physical card is something I really appreciate because I like to touch and feel something. I think that’s why I prefer hardcopy books as opposed to e-books. Yes, there are definite advantages to e-books and e-cards, but they don’t have the same emotional impact on me. Thanks for visiting my blog and joining the conversation.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of greeting cardsMy Profile

  7. I LOVE cards and am a proud Hallmark Gold card member:) Okay you can laugh, but they actually have great coupons and over time it reduces the cost of my greeting card habit:) I love to send cards and do so frequently. My opinion is that it has taken on more importance in this high paced, high tech world today. To let someone know that you took the time to shop for a card especially for them lets them know how important they are to you. And I want to convey that…that they ARE important to me.
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…Social Media Becomes Big Brother… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  8. Greeting cards will never be obsolete to me. They’re like little commercials. Sometimes I stand in stores reading them for 15 minutes. It’s enchanting that, like advertising, someone found a way to get others’ attention, keep it, and evoke emotions. That’s impressive.
    Deidre M. Simpson recently posted…Six Ways Unqualified Parents Can Help with HomeworkMy Profile

    • Thanks for your comment, Deidre, and welcome to the blog! I’m glad you enjoy cards, too. It’s encouraging to hear from so many people who still love cards. I hope you’re right, and that they never become obsolete. I just wish they’d keep the prices down! I can’t believe nice cards cost these days!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of greeting cardsMy Profile

  9. Tim says:

    I know I have written about this before but I still remember vividly the day when I opened an email account and gone were the days of poste restante for me. To this day I swear it eliminated some of the romance of travel. A time now remembered fondly. As for greeting cards they have always been a statement of thought and effort; especially these days.
    Tim recently posted…Arriving in the IndiesMy Profile

    • So true, Tim. In the introduction of the internet, most people have all but abandoned the traditional postcards that were both fun to mail, and to receive. I remember the days when we used to send out about 10 postcards when we were on a trip. Now, I usually only mail one or 2, and those are to people who don’t use the internet.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of greeting cardsMy Profile

  10. It’s really important to continue to give “real” greeting cards instead of “virtual” ones for several reasons. First of all, it shows you care. Secondly, it demonstrates that you want to maintain a personal connection with that person. Finally, who doesn’t like to get a nice “surprise” in the mail?
    (It’s so much nicer than getting a bill.) 😉

    Congratulations on your award, too, Doreen. Way to go!
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted…“F.I.T.S.” SERIES: Featuring #freelancewriter Harleena SinghMy Profile

  11. Lenie says:

    Congratulations Doreen – how wonderful that you receive the reward – very deserving.
    As to cards, I often share cards with our young grandchildren. They’ll send me a picture or a drawing and I send them a Thank You note – makes both of us feel good.
    Lenie

  12. Diana Hardy says:

    Hello,

    Greeting cards are the best way to express your feelings for someone. I always send greeting cards to my lovely friends on their birthdays, special occasions etc.

    Thanks
    Dr. Diana Hardy
    Diana Hardy recently posted…Creative Spring CleaningMy Profile

  13. When I was a kid, 60 Minutes profiled Hallmark’s card writers during a brainstorming session. I never forgot it. They were working and enjoying themselves. Who knew all of that went into cards?
    Deidre M. Simpson recently posted…Six Ways Unqualified Parents Can Help with HomeworkMy Profile

  14. Susan Cooper says:

    In this day and age it is so rare for someone to take the time to send a thank you at all, much less a handwritten card that has been sent in the mail, it just makes it that much more special when you do receive one. Maybe I’m just living in the past, but that’s just what you do when it is someone’s birthday, anniversary or of course the huge Christmas card list. Email and text has ruined that I’m afraid. I still love a nice card in my mailbox.:)

  15. Linda says:

    Doreen, the Postal Service needs you! I do try to send birthday and Christmas cards. Like you, some folks fall through the cracks. Electronic communication is so immediate and spontaneous, but like you say, the effort involved in real mail means more.

    I have one friend who sends a brief card for EVERY holiday, including St. Patty’s Day. Usually I’m blind-sided by her diligence. I used to think she kept track of all these holidays because she was an elementary teacher. But she carries on with the tradition even now that she’s retired.

    It is always a little thrill to find a real letter or card tucked into the mailbox along with all the advertising.

    Congrats on all the honors you are reeling in!
    Linda recently posted…Raptors, the kingpinsMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Linda. It’s always great hearing from you! And thanks for the kudos re my book. It’s been a lot of hard work, but with the support and encouragement of friends like you, it has been fun and worthwhile.

      Re cards in the mail. So true. If we didn’t get some “nice mail” like greeting cards from time to time, who would want to open their mail box ???
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of greeting cardsMy Profile

  16. I was just thinking about sending a card to someone yesterday. I like to send cards it lets people know you are thinking about them.
    Niekka McDonald recently posted…My Vitamin D DeficiencyMy Profile

  17. Ken Dowell says:

    One of the times when receiving cards was most meaningful to me was when I lost a close family member. Because of that I also try to be conscientious about sending sympathy cards, though I admit to being a bit lax about other types of greeting cards.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…Digital Deception: Wikipedia’s PR ProblemMy Profile

    • Hi Ken and thanks for your comment.

      Yes, I think when we are sick or hurting is when we appreciate the cards the most, as it lets us know others are feeling our pain (whether physical or emotional) and are there to help us if needed. But I know that I and others also appreciate cards that show support for celebratory reasons as well, so you might like to think about sending the occasional ‘happy’ card as well. Cheers!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of greeting cardsMy Profile

  18. I love receiving them. I could be better about sending them.
    Suzanne Boles recently posted…BlogMy Profile

  19. Kim Chomiak says:

    Hi Doreen, I never knew or understood the value of sending a personalized card to someone. Until last January (that is) when a new friend introduced me to a company called Send out Cards. She showed me how to create the card online, then the company does the rest (prints, stuff, stamp and sends to your recipient). I had never considered sending a card for no particular reason before, but she got me looking at photos and I came across a fun picture of my cousin, mom and aunt, then put that on a card with a little note and sent it to my cousin. When my cousin received the card she called me immediately to thank me and told me that I made her day. Which in turn made my day. What a great feeling! Anyway, then I couldn\’t wait to make another one and send it, yup I\’m hooked now, I send cards daily haha. I am now a distributor for this company and absolutely love showing people how easy and fun it is to send a card to someone. I was looking for like minded individuals online when I came across your blog today and just had to share this with you. I\’m not soliciting my business, I just really enjoyed reading all these comments of people that understand the value of taking the time to share a memory or kind words with someone to make them feel special. It\’s a wonderful feeling to brighten someones day! and it DOES make a difference.

    • Thx so much for your comment, Kim. That is a really cool story, and I will definitely look into Send Out Cards, as it sounds like a great service! Cheers!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Ste. Anne’s Spa nurtures your body & spiritMy Profile

    • Hi Kim: Are you still involved with Send Out Cards? I’ve recently updated this post and included a photo of a Send Out Card that another of my friends made for me. I will definitely have to check out this company, as she, too, is a distributor for the company.

      • Kim Chomiak says:

        Hi Doreen, it’s a great company, I’m still a customer but no longer a distributor. I found it too difficult to do 2 NM businesses at the same time. I am a distributor for LifeVantage for the last 2 years. I was able to grow a lot faster with them, I guess I’m more passionate about their products.
        LifeVantage is a biohacking company leading in the field of Nutrigenomics. Our mission is to biohack the aging code to enable people to not only live longer but a better quality of life. We’ve already made significant progress and I’ve been able to add tremendous value to the lives of many people. If you would like to hear more about this let me know. I’m always looking for super sharp professional people to partner with. This may not be for you, but once you see what it is, you may know someone that would be perfect.
        Take Care, Kim
        kim@secrettosuccess.ca

  20. I like how you mention that when someone sends you a card it deserves a reciprocal acknowledgement of gratitude! In my opinion, this would allow the correspondence to continue and the friendship to grow. Hand drawn cards that we can send to friends and family are a great option, too.

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