Sunday, December 4, 2011

Greeting Cards

I was recently invited to a gathering with some of the moms from my MOPS group. One of the organizers prepared a bunch of great conversation starters, including the question "What are you good at?" There are many talented women in this world, and I really enjoyed hearing the answers from around the table. They included everything from 'loving my kids' to 'keeping an attractive home' to 'keeping in touch with others'. The last answer sparked some conversation about greeting cards.

A lot of us want to send nice cards and notes but have trouble following through. One woman noted she has a friend who buys cards and sends them right away. Her friend wants the card to go out when she thinks of it--before it is too late--even if that means it's weeks ahead of the birthday!

That comment got my wheels turning and I've compiled a few tips for you on how to make the prep work of sending cards a bit easier:

  • Invest in a system to organize cards. I have a box similar to this one that separates cards two ways: by category (birthday, thank you, sympathy/get well, etc.) and by month. The monthly dividers are a spot where you can record the date of birthdays, anniversaries, etc. coming up that month. However, you could accomplish the same objectives with a set of inexpensive manila file folders.
  • Buy in bulk when possible. I frequently buy birthday and thank you cards in value packs or boxes, and then put them in my organizing system.
  • If you can, snap up clearance cards post-holiday for next year (Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas), bearing in mind that selection will be much more limited.
  • Review upcoming events before each shopping trip and make a list of the cards you'll need. I often summarize into "four male birthdays, six female birthdays" since I only buy carefully personalized cards for immediate family.
  • Keep a pen and stamps in with your cards so that everything you need is together. Add return address labels if you have them (or invest in a self-inking stamper like I did).
  • It's okay to work ahead on writing out your cards. You can do this weeks ahead of time--just mark the date of the event on the envelope where the stamp will go--and then review the pile every so often as you go to the mailbox.
  • Rather than trying to keep a manual list of upcoming dates, I have added birthdays and anniversaries to my Google calendar, which I check much more frequently than my card organizer.
  • E-cards are always a green and appropriate alternative to paper greeting cards for friends who don't mind digital correspondence. Better to send something than no sentiment at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment