It is both refreshing and exciting to receive a good old-fashioned card in your mailbox. It transports you back to a time when everything seemed to move more slowly, and friends and family didn’t rely on social media to be reminded of birthdays. A “Happy Birthday!” on your Wall doesn’t give you a warm fuzzy feeling, just an obligatory urge to click “Like” to make sure your friend doesn’t get offended. On the other hand, receiving a post notice makes you feel a rare human connection to the sender. A folded piece of paper may not seem warm and personal at first thought, but to the recipient, the care necessary to send that piece of paper is a priceless gesture—that cannot be duplicated digitally.
Each year people receive fewer birthday cards in the mail and more digital birthday messages. Don’t be a statistic. Taking the time to send a card to your closest friends is a meaningful gesture that has a big emotional impact. Start the process by purchasing a calendar specifically designed for birthdays at your local card store or online. Birthday calendars do not include years, so you can use the same calendar until the end of time. You can always input dates into an electronic calendar if you want to go paperless, but I recommend a separate calendar for birthdays so that the special days do not get lost among doctor’s appointments, dinner parties, and play dates.
If the cost of cards and postage is an issue, postcards are significantly cheaper to buy and send, and are equally fun to receive! A postcard is approximately fifty cents, and postage for postcards is still less than fifty cents (currently thirty-three cents but gradually rising), making your thoughtful gesture under a dollar! Another option is to buy bulk blank note cards that can be instantly personalized with a handwritten greeting inside. Cards can run up to ten bucks these days, but it’s always the thought that counts. People don’t need a singing, dancing, errand-running greeting card; they just want to know you care.
- Write it down. Compile a list of all the birthdays of your close friends and family. Place the dates in a birthday calendar. Count how many birthdays you want to commemorate with a card for the year.
- Buy for the year. Purchase the total amount of cards and postage for the year so you don’t have to run out to buy a card every time a birthday rolls around. Buy a few extra cards in case you decide to add a last-minute birthday to the list.
- Check your calendar. at the beginning of each month and look into the first week of the next month so you don’t miss a birthday on the 1st when the 30th rolls around. Send cards a week in advance (two weeks for international mailing) to ensure the recipient receives the good wishes a few days before the celebration.