By Diane Forrest,
Every year during all the holidays I had a great aunt who would always send greeting cards. I always thought how great it was that she remembered us during those times. When I got married, my husband would occasionally pick up a card when he went shopping...just because. When my aunt's husband passed away she began sending cards to my husband. By that time he had been injured, and was not able to get out. Those cards were so special to him, made him realize that someone had been thinking of him, and that was the best feeling in the world.
While I was grateful to my aunt for making my husband's day brighter, there was also a bit of guilt there. I had never been a card person. I love getting them, but have always been on the bad side of sending them. When my son started college, I would try to find some "Thinking of You" cards, and then I had to send some to my stepsons too. There were also the birthday cards, holiday cards and get well cards too.
I did get better with the wonderful invention of email cards. I was able to send cards to all my friends and family regularly with just a click of the mouse. However some of my family members do not have email, so they got neglected.
It was not until my husband passed away a year ago, that I had for the first time spare time on my hands. When the time came to write thank you notes for the flowers, memorial gifts, food and visits after my husband's death, I couldn't find anything appropriate. The funeral home supplied me with those little cards. Where you write in the name, but since my handwriting is atrocious, I decided to try my hand at making a card, and typing my sentiments. It wasn't as hard as I thought, and the results were fantastic. After that I decided to try my hand at more cards. I made Valentines, Mardi Gras, Easter, Memorial Day and July 4th cards, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each time improving on the design and adding ribbons, lace and vellum paper. Now I can send friends and relatives handmade cards to let them know that I am thinking of them, without spending a fortune, and who doesn't like getting something in the mail besides bills?
Today is Send a Card to a Friend Day. Greeting cards can be traced back to the 15th century. The Chinese would hand deliver congratulations on the Chinese New Year, and the Egyptians would deliver handwritten sentiments on scrolls of papyrus. In the early to mid-15th century, Europe started sending Valentines; the oldest is on display in the British museum. By the 1850's greeting cards were relatively inexpensive to make, and the introduction of the postage stamp made it easy to send greetings. Today there are many types of cards available. From a simple post card to a musical card to an electronic card, the sender has a wide choice.
So today, send a greeting card, and brighten the day of someone you know.
Here are some good web sites (Google list over 36M hits):
Blue Mountain http://www.bluemountain.com/
American Greetings http://www.americangreetings.com