Life generally...

Old Fashioned Birthday Cards

img_1127I have a wall calendar hanging in my kitchen.  It’s hanging right over my coffee maker, so
I’m guaranteed to look at it at least once a week.  This is an important calendar to my life, because the only dates marked on it are birthdays.

And once a month, I make the pilgrimage and buy birthday cards for all the birthdays on my calendar.  I bring them home, write a little birthday note, address the envelope, put on a REAL stamp and put it in the REAL mail.

There’s nothing really special about them.  They’re not expensive or particularly special, but they’re real, paper-and-ink cards.  And in our social media-saturated world, in which we are absolved of any responsibility for actually remembering the birthdays of anyone remotely close to us, and a flippant “Happy Birthday!” on a digital wall lets us feel we’ve “remembered” people, there is something nice about a good ol’ fashioned birthday card.

In my view, putting it in the mail is also important, even for the people who I see at work on a daily basis.  I know there are some of my fellow Frugal Peeps out there who will say, “But you could save 49¢ and just hand it to them!”  This is true.  But there is a certain amount of forward planning and intentionality involved in the traditional mail.  What I hope people think when they get my birthday cards is that there is someone who cares about them–who went out and bought the card, who looked up their address, and put it in the mail so that it could be there by their birthday.  I don’t have money to buy nice gifts for all the people who are important to me, but I am hopeful that thoughtfulness can make up for a lack of finances.

It’s old-fashioned, but that’s okay, I reckon.  Sometimes the old ways are good ways.

12 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Birthday Cards

  1. This “old way” is most certainly a “good way.” I do believe the intentionality and planning mean a lot. I know it does to me. Thanks for a wonderfully, persuasive post on behalf of good, old-fashioned thoughtfulness.

  2. What a beautiful practice, Emily. Now you have me thinking. There is nothing old-fashioned about it; it’s a thoughtful gesture worth more than any other gift. I liked this line, “And once a month, I make the pilgrimage and buy birthday cards for all the birthdays on my calendar.” The use of the word pilgrimage carries importance. Thanks for sharing this tip!

  3. I love mail! Birthday cards are a delight, so I am so thankful to know there is still someone out there who sees the value in setting into motion a mini celebration for each person who holds a date on your calendar! Awesome slice!

  4. Yes, I imagine every person you send a card is thrilled you took the time to mail them a card. Everyone enjoys the good old fashioned letter or card no matter how much they say they love technology. 🙂

  5. What a wonderful practice! I think it’s cathartic to search for cards. One of my favorite things to do is to stand in the card section of the store and read cards.

    Bonus for your people…it’s so fun to get mail!

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