Birthday Card as Time Capsule

The headline on a recent story had me thinking, “so what?” After all The Daily Times was reporting: “Mail Call: Friends swap birthday greeting back and forth for 20 years.” I was thinking, I have plenty of friends I have been wishing birthday greetings to for more than 20 years!

But I did read on, and I’m glad I did. It’s a fun thing Sherry Hillis and Patsy Lunde have done for decades. They’ve been sending the exam same Peanuts cartoon birthday card back and forth. The same one — for 20 years.

“Roses are red, cookies are chewy,” it says underneath her picture. On the inside, “A Year of Your Life has just gone Ka-Plooey! Happy Birthday!!”

But, what really makes the card special is the things they have written to each other over the years. Lunde even added pages to the card so that the two women could continue to catch up with one another every year.

Hallmark’s Loss

Lunde first picked out the card first for Hillis’s Sept. 1 birthday. Hillis turned around and sent it back to Lunde for her birthday just days later — Sept. 5.

That’s what they’ve been doing annually even as their careers took them in different directions — they started the tradition while both employed at the same hospital — and the children that they first met through (the girls swam together in school) grew up.

“Hallmark is losing money on us,” Lunde said.

I want to start this tradition with my friends right now! I love the idea of having an annual catch-up outside of the now obligatory Christmas card. The card that serves as an annual reminder also of what has come before and how much we friends continue to mean to each other.

Really, find someone you love, and start sharing a time line birthday greeting today. It will add even more to both of your special days.

Smart Birthday Card Marketing

Birthday cards

Photo credit: Texican Chick via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

There are still some of us in the world that buy and send birthday cards. Judging by the size of the greeting card section in various retail outlets, this habit isn’t yet dead. In the past I’ve written about a great idea of having birthday cards give back.

Another option is to give a birthday card that is more than a message. For instance, you can shell out a few more dollars for a card that sings “Staying Alive” to the recipient on their over the hill birthday.

Recently one of this blog’s readers sent an image of a different kind of birthday card creativity:

Birthday cards

Yes, those are “delicious greeting cards” for a reason…they come with jellybeans. The marketing for this lays it out for you: “Your message” and “Their treat.” Clever packaging and making the birthday presentation all the easier? Score one for this birthday card marketer!

Birthday Cards as Marketing Tool

At the same time, birthday cards can be used by a company to spread goodwill. A reader also sent me birthday cards coming to her child from a summer camp. Her daughter’s birthday is in April, yet the counselors had written personalized birthday cards to their campers during each of her weeks of summer camp. Then, come April, she received four different, individualized birthday cards from the counselors of each of her weeks of camp!

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This is a fantastic reminder of camp fun and can keep the kids engaged with the experience year-round. What a simple way to make kids happy and foster camper loyalty! If I ever ran a kids camp (which will NEVER, EVER happen) I would steal this idea for sure.

 

 

 

 

What to write in a birthday card

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Looking on the Hallmark site recently in the hopes of finding some of its archived treasures available for view online, I came across a blog on what to write in a birthday card.

I’m a writer. That’s what I do for a living. Yet, even I’ll admit to struggling sometimes to come up with the personal statement to add in the birthday cards I still love to send (in the mail — as opposed to relying on social media posts).

In putting together their guide, Hallmark’s writers acknowledge a few aspects of writing in a card that make the added personal message more difficult: “the card has already said it all” or you are trying “to keep things short and sweet.”

They go on to offer some interesting tips:

  • Pick the card carefully so that it suits the birthday person in particular, then you can let the printed message and design do the talking for you.
  • Kids love to see their age; so even if the card doesn’t have the exact number write the years old in your personal message.
  • Writing your private nickname for the card recipient instantly personalizes it.

Suggested Personalizations

Nevertheless, some of the examples they offered for what to write did seem laughably obvious:

  • “Happy, happy birthday, [name]!” — because ah, yes, that added “happy” makes all the difference. 
  • “Hope you make your [25th] a birthday to remember!”
  • “[Year] never looked so great!”
  • “Happy Birthday…a little late!”
  • “Happy Birthday, [Mom]. We love you so much!”
  • “Let the b-day fun begin!”
  • “Here’s to you!”
  • “Here’s to a great birthday!”

Hallmark also reminds us that “a warm closing before you signature is like the bow on top of the birthday gift.”

How about a warm closing on a blog…what would that be considered?

With blogging affection…. me.

 

Birthday Cards Welcome — Kids and Critters Edition

Last week I shared some of the more entertaining birthday card examples I found in a great stationary shop in Charlotte, Paper Skyscraper. Go if you have the chance. It’s a fun place to wander for cards, gifts, wrapping paper and books, too.

I didn’t want to overload you, so this week is the kids and critter edition. So much cuteness in this collection. Enjoy.

This juxtaposition makes me smile:

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Oh, I was so this girl:

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(Except there is no way I would have worn yellow shoes. Only did that once, for a play, and felt like I had banana feet).

Here’s for the cat lover:

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And fun for fans of Happy Feet’s penguins:

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But really, I can’t resist returning to the humorous cards that are more my style. This one is for the wine-lovers amongst us:

The favorite of this post is funny one likely targeting the friend you share too many Cosmos with:

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OK, now having seen all of these, don’t you just want to head out to your neighborhood independent shop and actually find a paper, folded, card to sign, stamp and send to a birthday boy or girl?

In the future I plan to share some of the original cards I find in etsy shops. So let me know if you have suggestions. Plus, I’m always happy to check out a cool gift shop, so tell me if there’s one with a great selection of birthday cards that I can peruse and possibly share.

Birthday Cards Welcome

The trend these days is to post a birthday greeting on a friend or family member’s Facebook page or other social media — and that’s it. Yet there remains a minority of people who reach out in other ways.

I’ve written in the past about:

Today, though, I thought I’d share some of the actual paper birthday cards that I found at a Charlotte shop — Paper Skyscraper — to demonstrate the wide range of options out there if you took that extra step to send birthday mail. Yes, this could be considered a hint as my birthday is less than a month away!

This one is right up my birthday princess alley:

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Then there’s this familiar take from the not-so-humble card sender:

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I also appreciate the humor in this one:

Or this one’s pretty funny too:

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But there is a plethora of even more risque ones that I don’t need on my mantelpiece:

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The sarcasm of this one probably makes it my favorite of this gallery:

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Look forward to the animals and small children collection of cards I’m sharing next week! In the meantime, there’s still time to take my crazy short survey on birthdays which I am using to non-scientifically sample people on my favorite day of the year.

 

Birthday Wishes in the Digital Age

Image source: Blogcdn.com

TIME magazine weighed in on birthdays last month with its 6 Rules for ‘Happy Birthday’ Etiquette in the Age of Facebook. Karol Markowicz claims “Facebook has changed the whole birthday game.” She notes remembering the day is no hardship since you’ll get an alert and a follow-up from Facebook. You know you’ll probably see several other friends posting about the birthday on your newsfeed too.

She says “social media should be complementary to other kinds of interaction, not in place of it.” Her advice? Say something at midnight to someone really special. If you’re a sibling you might also call at midnight. Call friends and family on the day. Prefer a call, but texting is OK, for new friends. Posting on Facebook is TIME approved only for old acquaintances with whom you only keep up via social media.

Personally I can’t believe any etiquette involves calling someone at midnight. I love my birthday more than most, but I don’t need calls in the wee hours. Sleep is my first birthday present to myself!

She also makes no mention of sending an actual birthday card. You remember those? They’re paper with folds and often have a funny sentiment inside. You stamp an envelope that goes in the mail (snail mail even!).

Image source: Cartoonlogodesigns.com

We get so little mail that matters these days. Spend the few bucks to send a birthday card to someone who makes you smile.

BTW, you can even order paper greeting cards online these days. Or rely on e-cards if you really must. Michael Bolton is not the only answer.