I recently celebrated a birthday and wow, I really appreciated the cards and emails that I received from friends and family. It got me thinking about birthday cards and the act of writing and sending. Whether it's a digital card or a handwritten note, it sure felt good to be remembered on my special day.
So how do I decide whether to send a card or an email?
Let's get started by me saying that my #1 preference is always to send a physical card. It's not just because I'm the president of a stationery company; I am passionate about the value of the hand-written note and the importance of receiving a physical token of well-wishes that can be displayed and reread by the recipient.
To be ready for a birthday, I keep a stash of these plantable birthday cards and these inspirational cards and pull them out when going to a party. I find it easiest to write a birthday card when I'm going to the party. No need for a stamp, just bring it along.
What about for birthdays that don't involve going to a party? This includes nieces and nephews and friends who celebrate the special event without a party or without inviting me (perish the thought!). Regrettably, I'm slow to act when writing a birthday card that involves sticking on a stamp and going to the mailbox. Either I can't find a stamp or I never make it to the mailbox. Mailboxes just seem harder to find these days, by the way. Did they reduce the number out there?
What ends up happening for people to whom I'd have to mail a card is that I send a birthday email from iPhoto. I find an old or embarrassing photo of them and use an iPhoto template. It does the job, but I never quite feel that it does what a mailed card would do.
So I'm resolving to get myself a book of stamps and to figure out once and for all where the closest mailbox is to my home. I already have iCal set up with everyone's birthdays, so with all the supplies at the ready and an alert set up within iCal, I should be good to go.
And for my friends and relatives ready this post, I'm planning to start this new practice in October. Sorry September birthdays.
P.S. I'm not a fan of the birthday voice mail (feels like a cop-out) unless it includes singing and maybe an poem tribute (not a cop-out).
P.P.S. I am a big fan of the birthday cake/candle in any combinations such as the cakette/burning match that I received last week!
P.P.P.S. At this age, I'm happy to report that gifts aren't important, it's the thought that counts.