Why do we send a greeting card?

Who doesn’t like to receive a handwritten greeting card in the post?  Funny, personal sentiments, touching or sad, they all evoke a vast range of emotions including helping to combat loneliness especially during the current COVID-19 lockdown.  With social distancing regulations and guidance to “stay at home” within UK and Ireland, loneliness and associated mental health difficulties are on the rise.  So it’s more important than ever to reach out to our friends and family by sending them a thoughtful greeting card to show that you care.

A greeting card shows you care about someone  

The small act of sending a card truly shows a person that you are thinking about them so much more than sending a quick WhatsApp or text message.  In a world of instant gratification, sending a greeting card shows that you really care about someone.  After all, you have had to take time out of your busy day to go to a shop, select the most appropriate card, craft and handwrite a thoughtful card message, buy a stamp and then pop it in a postbox.  Even the cheery hello from a friendly postman as he delivers the card will brighten up someone’s day as well as the surprise arrival of a mysterious card.

The joy of ripping open an envelope  

We all remember the feeling of receiving a card personally addressed to you through the post.  No matter what age you are and whether it’s for a birthday or an unexpected surprise card, we all receive pleasure from a greeting card. The physical action of tearing open an envelope to reveal the personally chosen card inside, creates that warm and fuzzy feeling, knowing that someone cared enough about you to send a card.

A greeting card makes memories  

Having a physical card in your hand gives you something tangible to cherish which a text message can never do. I actually keep every card which I receive and they bring back sentimental memories for the future.  This could be reminiscing over a loved one’s handwriting who is no longer with us and it also lets us share those precious memories with our own children.

Greeting cards are definitely not “a thing of the past” 

Recently I shared my thoughts about the importance of greeting cards with my husband and I was shocked to hear that he thought greeting cards are “a thing of the past”!  To be honest, I was absolutely horrified to think of a world without greeting cards, knowing how much comfort they bring to each person who receives one. 

Not only that, I think every family has at least one person who you wouldn’t dream of not posting a physical card to every Christmas and for their birthdays, a family member who would be very upset if you just sent them that quick impersonal text message or Facebook timeline post.  We all have at least one person in our family who prefers a sentimental card with a ‘nice verse’ over a gift.  That one person who would notice if you didn’t send a Christmas card to them that year.  That one person who treasures each personal handwritten card and saves each one beside the last.  I wouldn’t dream of sending my Granny or Mum for that matter just a quick instant message for any occasion and I hope my children feel the same towards me as they grow up.

Most greeting cards can be recycled  

Should you decide that you don’t want to keep all greeting cards (unlike me!), most cards can now be recycled.  In recent years, the greeting card industry have made conscious efforts regarding waste and climate change and packaging (if any) is biodegradable.  Indeed many cards are made from recycled paper which is good news for the environment too.  

When should you send a Greeting Card?

There are lots of reasons and occasions to send a greeting card and not just when it is someone’s birthday.  It could be to celebrate the safe arrival of a new baby, congratulations for an engagement, wedding or anniversary or other more poignant times such as a sympathy card or wishing someone best wishes to recover from an operation.  And don’t forget the seasonal cards we send too – Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and for the romantic among us, Valentine’s Day.  

Quite simply, there is a card for every occasion but I personally believe you don’t need an occasion to send a greetings card.  It can just be to say that you are thinking of someone and thought they would like a nice card to brighten their day.

Supporting local artists too 

The card itself can be an inexpensive way to purchase a small piece of an artist’s work.  You may wish to keep it yourself or to post it to someone.  The card can even be framed so it can bring you many months of pleasure in the future.

You’re not only supporting an independent local artist such as Under the Willow Tree or Daisy & Joy, but by purchasing a greeting card from your small local gift shop such as 2020 Art in Whitehead, it is a small step to ensuring that small businesses survive in the longer term.  Every card sale really matters to a small local business so please support them rather than buying cards from the big multinational supermarkets.

A greeting card is so much more than just a piece of pretty card with a message – it can mean so much to the person who sends it, the person who receives it, the artist who designed it and the small business where you bought it.  So the next time you think about someone who is going through a tough time, send a thoughtful card from a local gift shop to brighten up their day.

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