I 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.