When was the last time you went to your mailbox, not your email inbox, but the physical one most likely posted outside your front door, then tugged down its handle, and inside you found an envelope with your name and address handwritten in pen right there – smack dab – in the middle of it, and a FOREVER stamp stuck in the upper right hand corner with a return address way up in the left? Now, I love nothing better than seeing one of my magazine subscriptions to Art Journaling, Real Simple or The New Yorker in there, even clothes catalogs make the corners of my mouth turn upward, but getting a card from a friend…now that is undeniably, absolutely, my very favorite, kind of mail! Just thinking about it makes me all Ted Lasso-like giddy.
From my journal, June 13, 2007: E. Twickenham, England
“Today I got a card from Michelle! I feel so far from anything familiar…it’s just what I needed to cheer me….”
When I found out today – yes, February 7th – is National Send a Card to a Friend Day I couldn’t believe it. Why hadn’t I heard of this before? Better yet, why hadn’t I created this day? Afterall, I’ve been writing cards to friends and family since I was old enough to hold a pen in my hot little hand. But, someone beat me to it. Most likely a European in the 15th century… just a few years before my time.
While the ritual of sending paper greeting cards started then, their large-scale production began in the 1860s. Companies like Goodall and Charles Bennett manufactured these paper presents in mass. Then came along Joyce C. Hall, a heroine of mine. She created the business line of cards that bear the little gold crowns on them, the company we all know as Hallmark. However wonderful Hallmark cards are – my heart still beats faster for a Papyrus card with a golden hummingbird seal. And handmade cards…ah! They top all. I am lucky enough to have friends like Ellen and Imelda, who send me their creations. It makes getting them even more special!
While rummaging around in my studio closet recently, I spied two gallon-size plastic bags filled with none other than cards and letters I’ve kept. After brewing a cup of white orchid tea, I returned to my haven, plopped myself down onto a corner of the rug in there and peeled the blue and red strips apart and began reading….
January 8, 1993
What a great day to get a note from you! I’m not working today and the boys are at the babysitters and it’s parents night out!…. I’m so glad to hear from you….
May 31, 2007
What a wonderful surprise to get your card! I know that email is easier and faster, so I really appreciate you taking the time to write….
Much love, Kathleen
August 8, 2007
Thank you for your pretty card. I noticed that it was done by an artist in Essex. I wish I had some cool stationery from Thousand Oaks!…
Love, Denise and family
Sending a card may seem like such a small gesture, but it can have a big impact on the person receiving it and on you, too. It can help you express that you miss someone, or you’re thankful for their friendship, or that you hope they’re feeling well soon. You can send them on holidays, birthdays, really… anytime, for any reason, not just on National Send a Card to a Friend Day.
Each card written, addressed, and mailed, is a little reminder that you value the person you’ve sent it to. And I know as much as I enjoy sending these gems, I love receiving them, too!