The digital climate of WhatsApp forwards and group emails can never be a proxy for the unmatched lure of gifting handwritten greeting card that remains to be an unadulterated emblem of love, praise, reverence, clemency, and gratitude.
When the ongoing Covid-19 spree has forced us to remain cocooned in our mundane spaces, it has become way more significant to connect with people and sympathize with their experiences in the pandemic. When we cannot meet in-person, purchase gifts, or are too stressed to engage in phone calls - sending cards is the best way to pray for someone who has lost a job, endured a break-up, or suffering from depression or physical illness. A small note is a powerful gesture. You can encourage your forlorn companion to scout for new opportunities, find a new partner, or simply stay put and heal. A greeting card is, therefore, a firm testimony of your loyalty and a great way to declare that you are not a fair-weather pal or in contemporary lingo, fake friend.
Kay Kepley is a co-founder, manager and PR person for Resonance Cards, a Washington DC-based notecard company with passion and purpose. She says:
Sending notecards is truly a major way to connect and enhance lives and not just now with Covid causing separation, loneliness and stress, but always has been, always will be. There is something about a pen and paper note that is different than the digital connections we are learning to make. A note card involves more of your senses including smell and texture. With cards that use an actual photo print on the card, the eyes are involved too. It is the visual image that helps make the connection and takes feelings directly to the brain and the heart. Even more abstract imagery can open this pathway. It's a plus for the sender as well as the receiver.
For a receiver, a note can transform an ordinary day into a remarkable moment. Reading greeting cards is proven to increase one’s well-being and naturally alleviate the feeling of loneliness.
But preparing a greeting card too is very beneficial.
Our health and mental wellness are contingent on our ability to initiate and celebrate inter-personal relationships. The realization that we have the ability to express our feelings benefits us psychologically. Writing down your emotions significantly boosts your confidence. With practice, you can even become fearless as a public speaker, communicator and social butterfly.
When you write a notecard, you relive a positive memory spent with another person. Consequently, you are able to align yourself with an utmost sense of gratitude and optimism. You fully engross yourself in the present moment, filtering yourself of all the worries and unwanted distractions. Handwriting a greeting card stirs your empathy and galvanizes your hidden creative energy. Composing a greeting card is a gentle craft. It lets you practice the soulful wisdom of slowing down and focussing on a single outcome, away from the hustle of crashing schedules.
You don’t need to be a novelist, blogger or journalist, but simply a person who is driven to be a dedicated friend, lover or parent. So, sit down, tune into a melodious song, drink coffee and enjoy the creative experience. For aesthetic appeal, add a picture of yourself or of a significant event around you.
Gordie Jackson is a UK-based blogger who regularly presents home-made greeting cards. Mr. Jackson explains:
A few years ago, I decided in an attempt to recycle to cut out photographs from newspapers that I liked. I would then glue such a cutting to a blank card and then write my greeting. Not only was this recycling but it was giving something of personal touch. I would always credit the newspaper and photographer. In the UK receiving a handwritten letter is rare as we have become accustomed to communicating via email, text and video messaging. A greeting card does not require us to write a long letter but does provide us with the space to greet another in the uniqueness of our handwriting. It stands on our shelves like no email or text can reminding us each time it catches our eye that someone took the time to buy, purchase, write and post just because they wanted us to know they were thinking of us.
Festive greeting cards distributed on Christmas, New Year or Valentine’s Day are more than just celebrating the occasion. It is a powerful way to tell someone that you're not invisible, you are noticed, felt and tangible. Time is the most precious gift anyone can receive. If someone contributes their time writing, decorating and sending a greeting card, the recipient feels gratified that he is deserving of someone’s time, attention and friendship. Conversely, if someone doesn’t receive a card on birthday, anniversary or engagement, he might feel distanced and ignored. It is unfortunate that people often delay till one’s funeral to express their feelings about another human being. Greeting cards are our aid in relaying our goodwill and well-wishes to friends, co-workers, neighbors, clients and family members while they are alive. If we all follow this tradition of sentiment, then every community, culture and country have the potential to thrive in harmony.
Mariko Amekodommo is an international culinary expert, Tv host and communications strategist, connecting people around the world through brands and content. She comments:
Greeting cards have always played a significant role in my life. As a young child, it was the only time I would receive anything in the mail personally addressed. As I grew older and lived on my own, it was the only piece of mail I would receive that wasn’t a bill or official document. Greeting cards always brought me so much joy - I loved seeing the personal notes and the givers handwriting and signature. Most of all, it was the thought that went into picking out a greeting card that could speak the words so perfectly. I was always surprised at the greeting card section of the markets that had hundreds to choose from, but there would always be that one card that could say exactly what you wanted, even when you didn’t have the words yourself. Before I relocated from the United States to abroad, I received a birthday, Christmas, and congratulations cards from my friends and family back home. Those messages mean so much to me; the fact that the people I love touched those cards and wrote their heartfelt messages. I still carry them with me. I’ve moved to a few countries since then - and so has that collection of greeting cards. Yes, I still receive social media messages and emails from my family and friends all the time, but nothing makes me feel as special as that collection of greeting cards.
Greeting cards are not a mere stack of papers, but a collection of memories with people who have touched your life with an intense quantum of impact. Even after centuries of civilization and technological advancement, the joy of reading or writing a friendly card cannot be leveled with the fleeting amusements of Netflix movies, Spotify playlists, VR games or Instagram reels. The desire for greeting cards is unabated because the desire to be cared for is unabated. Being modern, career-oriented or progressive doesn't mean that being sensitive is out of fashion. A greeting card demonstrates to people that your empathy is not dead. Your ability to approach others, step into their shoes and make them smile is still thriving. You're warm, affectionate, and welcoming of people in spite of their imperfections. A handwritten greeting card is a poetic tribute to the human in us, who enjoys molding the elusive feelings of heart into the concrete wonder of a language - engraved in eternity.