Greeting cards are invaluable for keeping us connected. Here’s 7 thoughtful reasons why the giving of birthday cards is so important in our digitally driven lives.
Why do we give cards when it’s so quick and easy to send a text message? There’s nothing wrong with using technology to wish someone happy birthday but there’s more to greeting cards than just tradition. Here’s why you might consider sending a physical birthday card to someone special this year.
1. A sentimental keepsake
Particularly for milestone birthdays, sending a fancy card is a pretty traditional way to mark the big occasion. But these cards can be precious keepsakes too. Just like photographs, cards can be cherished to remind us of significant days, but they also hold the lovely messages written by our family and friends.
Since my Grandad passed away, birthday cards that I’ve saved over the years, full of caring messages in his illegible handwriting, now have even greater sentimental value to me. His distinctive, flamboyant scrawl is my Grandad on paper. These cards have become treasured possessions, because I can hear his voice as I read the words and they remind me of the fuss my grandparents would create around my birthday as a child. Cards can be throw-away items, but some carry vivid memories from different stages in our lives. Handwritten cards from loved ones will be those pieces you’re thankful for in years to come.
2. A card is a physical display of affection
Each year Andy’s Mum makes a point of recounting how many Birthday cards she’s received, this is usually followed by notes on whether that’s more or less than the previous year. Receiving cards and being physically surrounded by them, makes her feel loved. There’s a lot of joy around discussing the cards, the different designs, who they’re from and the ritual of decorating a room full of cards makes her feel special.
It can be easy to forget the pleasure a card can bring someone and the value of proudly displaying that tangible love from family and friends. Giving cards is a relatively quick and easy gesture that makes the receiver feel cared for and a card is a prominent reminder.
3. Stay connected over long distances
A greeting card is an easy, letterbox friendly way to stay connected with friends and family across the globe. Sending gifts long distance isn’t always possible but a thoughtful card decorated in an array of colourful stamps can mean just as much to the recipient. Like holiday postcards, a card that’s travelled miles and takes days or weeks to arrive can feel extra special and curiously exciting to receive. It’s an inexpensive but thoughtful gesture that will be appreciated as much as any extravagant gift.
4. An easy way to support small business
This is a slightly different take on why you should consider buying cards, but bear with me, because it’s still a great reason to send a birthday card especially if you love championing small businesses!
Swerving the supermarket selection and buying even just a couple of greeting cards from independent card designers can make a huge impact. Shopping small means you’re directly supporting an individual or small team who are passionate about their products and are genuinely appreciative of your purchase. Spending a few quid on nice cards is an easy way to do that – just ask the guys running the Just a Card campaign!
Stocking up on cards from independent makers will most likely be an environmentally kinder option too. Like so many small businesses, here at The Moonlit Press we don’t mass produce our greeting cards. We avoid unnecessary waste, use eco-friendly materials, recycle and focus on making products that are sustainably made in the UK.
5. Greeting cards nurture human connections
In our technology focussed world, it can be really tempting to fire out ‘Happy Birthday’ text messages or even emails and think that’s just as good as sending a physical greeting card. And while that is a quick and easy way to communicate, it diminishes the sentiment and purpose of a birthday card.
We send text messages and emails all day, to anyone and everyone. A birthday text isn’t that much different to an ordinary text - a regular, everyday habit. Giving and receiving handwritten correspondents including cards has become less common and because of their rarity, receiving a card can feel incredibly special.
Giving a birthday card will always be more personal than a digital counterpart. It feels more genuine and nurtures real human connections especially when it’s not possible to physically see family and friends. Keeping in touch with loved ones is undeniably important and a birthday card is a thoughtful way to nurture the bond you have. Receiving a text will always feel a bit mundane in comparison.
6. Receiving cards in the post is exciting
No matter how old you get, the surprise of receiving a birthday card creates a little buzz of excitement. Recognising the handwriting or post mark is all part of the fun and as with hand delivered ones, opening them will always be an enjoyable past time on the run up to your birthday.
Receiving birthday cards in the post and ripping open, colourful envelopes is oddly satisfying. Maybe because you know it’s definitely not a bill, but like the thrill of ‘Deal or No Deal’ there is a level of anticipation and joy in seeing who it’s from. Opening good post from your favourite people is one of life’s simple pleasures!
7. Fun in finding the perfect card
Choosing a card for someone’s birthday can be a fun activity in itself. Like finding a thoughtful gift, picking the right card is a lovely way of showing how much they mean to you, how you see them and how you feel about your relationship.
It’s a brilliant opportunity to reflect on your shared sense of humour, experiences or interests. A physical card shows that’s you’ve spent time and effort to celebrate them. Giving a card that perfectly reflects them, feels incredibly special and it shows how well you know them. Once in a while, a card will jump out at you, and you’ll instantly think of a specific person in your life - the perfect card you know they’ll love. Who wouldn’t feel amazing to receive something so thoughtful!?
Cards keep us connected, nurture friendships and make a fuss of birthdays. When we can’t physically be with our loved ones a greeting card can bring great comfort and joy. It’s really easy to send a text message but nothing beats that perfect, handwritten card, that you’ve spent time carefully choosing just for them. A small gesture that will always make them feel loved and thought of - something a routine email doesn’t quite achieve.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, you can find our card collection here.