Recently I celebrated a birthday, and I won’t tell you how many cards I got, but I will tell you that I treasured each and every one of them. I looked carefully at the cover, read the sentiment slowly, and then once again. Certain ones I copied into my book of quotes. If there was a personal note, that was a bonus! The next step was displaying the cards: not for anyone else, but for me to enjoy as I looked at the pictures each time I went by. Later, when I took them down, I re-read them. No, I don’t save them, unless there is something exceptional about them. However, if there’s a cat on the cover, I add it to the collection on my computer room wall.
But it’s not all one-sided. I really enjoy sending birthday cards which I shop for year-round. I take particular pleasure when I can find exactly the right card for someone. Occasionally I find a clever card that I like so much, just in general, that I’ll buy it in multiples and even ask the store to order more.
So you can imagine my reaction when Nick Bolton reported on NYTimes.com that “Birthday greetings, once sent as physical cards, have slowly been replaced by digital greeting cards.[Sorry, Jacquie Lawson, I truly like your cards.] Now it seems even that is too much as people wish many happy returns over text message and Twitter.”
No texts or twitters for me. I didn’t even have text capability until after a birthday gift. Twitter? Not that famous. But let me clarify: I did enjoy receiving birthday greetings, however brief, on Face Book because those senders are ones who would not be apt to send a physical card. Most of them are former students and casual friends, and I love hearing from them, if only two words. But for me, from my closer friends and family, nothing can take the place of that hard-copy card!
A while ago I wrote about the demise of Campbell’s Tomato Soup and Twinkies, and they have both made a comeback, so I can only hope hard copy birthday cards will as well.
© Dorothy C. Judd
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