The other day I spent over half an hour selecting birthday cards at my local store. I can get lost for hours in a Hallmark store or the greeting card section of a drug store. Often I find myself laughing hysterically at some of the clever quips on these cards as I search for the perfect one for a family member or friend.
Greeting cards sometimes get a bad rap. People disparage “Hallmark holidays” as artificial and insincere. And it’s true that shelling out $5.00 for your expression of love can be a little hard to take. But giving and receiving these prepackaged missives can still be fun and meaningful.
My mother always prided herself on selecting just the right message when she picked out cards for her 11 children and many more grandchildren. Despite the size of our family and the challenge keeping track of our addresses once we moved away, my mom never failed to send me a birthday card or wedding anniversary greeting. I knew she had spent some time reading each card before choosing the sentiment that best expressed how she felt. I find myself doing the same with my loved ones and friends.
I myself am partial to humorous cards. While not every card is a comic masterpiece, there are some that just tickle my funny bone and make me cry laughing, which is embarrassing in the middle of my local Jewel-Osco store. And it’s surprisingly hard to come up with good lines for these greeting cards.
Years ago I was put on freelance status with Hallmark’s Shoebox line of greeting cards. In order to attain freelance status, I first had to submit ideas for birthday greetings. Once I passed that gauntlet, I was allowed to submit potential card ideas for $250 per clever quip. Despite my best efforts, none of my ideas was ever picked up by Hallmark.
Not everyone is an eloquent or clever writer. A well-written greeting card can express our love for another in a way we never could. A cute or lovely card propped on our desk or kitchen counter can cheer up our days. That’s why I have a fondness for greeting cards and respect for the people who design them. That’s why you’ll find me in the greeting card aisle searching for just the right one to put a smile on someone’s face.
No matter the season, you can find the greeting that’s perfect for you and the ones you love.