When was the last time you received a handwritten letter, card or postcard in the mail? For many of us such sentiment is few and far between.
I miss the days of getting actual “snail mail”. I’m not talking about envelopes marked “DUE NOW” in big, red letters. I’m talking about a letter from a long lost relative or a “just because” card from a friend you haven’t spoke to in a few years, or even a postcard from Grandpa from his trip to Europe. I miss that.
I used to collect postcards. I have postcards from around the world from my parents, grandparents and biological father. I still have them too. It’s fun to read them and having my parents and grandparents “speak” to me again (they are all deceased).
These days people don’t even send cards. They shoot you an e-mail or write a post on your Facebook wall. It’s just not the same as opening up a card.
I’m glad that I saved many of the cards I received as a child, as well as cards my kids have received over the years. With the way technology is today who knows what the future holds for cards.
Do you know what the best kind of cards are? The ones that you don’t expect. I love those kinds of cards. Cards from family and friends just to say “hello”, “thinking of you”, “miss you” and “I’m glad you are in my life”.
I used to give those kinds of cards to my hubby. Some where along the way I stopped doing that. I need to get into the habit of doing that again. I used to love to leave cards for him tucked in his laptop bag, in his car’s glove compartment or in his coat pocket. Some of the card were romantic, others were just silly to make him smile.
Hallmark reached out to me last month asking if I would like to participate in their Get Carded Challenge. This fun challenge was designed to help encourage people to connect and reconnect with loved ones, whether it’s a friend, old college roommate, neighbor, colleague, parent, sibling or significant other.
I really liked that idea. When we almost moved upstate I was going to be closer to my family and friends – many people that I haven’t seen in 20+ years, but whom I keep in touch with from time to time via e-mail and Facebook. I liked the idea of sending them an unexpected surprise – a card from me!
Hallmark sent me an assortment of cards. All I needed to do was write a message on the inside, address the envelope and mail it out. Here are the people I chose to send cards to.
Day 1: My cousin. We grew up together. She was like a sister to me. She lives in another state. We rarely get to see each other. Family, work and distance keep us apart. We have tried to have mini-reunions over the years, but it’s certainly not enough. Especially for someone I have so many wonderful memories with. I wanted to share some of my favorite memories with her and let her know that I missed her.
Day 2: Another cousin. She’s had a rough life. Things never seem to go her way. It’s such a shame too because she has a heart of gold and would give you the shirt off her back or her last piece of food if you were both hungry. Life just has not treated her kind. I wanted to reach out to her and let her know that I missed her and that I was always thinking of her.
Day 3: A childhood friend. This is someone that I have known for almost 40 years. We met at Sunday School at our church and became instant friends. We literally grew up together. We have not seen each other since our son’s were about a year old. My son just turned 14 last week. Needless to say it’s been a while. I sent her a card to say “hello” and to let her know I valued our friendship over the years.
Day 4: Best friend. I’ve known her since we were in 5th grade. She lived a couple of miles from me when we were kids. I used to ride my bike to her house all the time. We were REALLY close. We spent every moment together. Time, marriage, children, jobs and distance kept us apart. I wanted to let her know that I miss her and I was looking forward to moving back upstate (at the time I sent the card we were going to move) so that we could “re-connect” and get together for coffee one day soon.
Day 5: A “computer friend”. We met years ago. I’m thinking about 12+ years ago, give or take. She was customer of mine when I had a home business. Some how we just connected and have been friends ever since. We have never met face-to-face. She lives far, far away. I would love to meet her in person some day. I treasure her and value our friendship. I wanted to let her know I was thinking of her. Day 6: Another computer friend. This special person (actually family) came into my life under unusual circumstances. She was also a customer of mine, but due to a family issue I didn’t charge her for the order. I also connected her with another friend. They too became best of friends. We have never met face-to-face (she’s on the West coast). I would love to meet her and her family. She is another person whose friendship I value and appreciate and I wanted to let her know that.
Day 7: One of my son’s teachers. I know this one was a bit “odd” but we absolutely adore her. She is by far the best teacher either of my kids have ever had. She went out of her way to help our son in 1st grade. Our son is in 9th grade now and STILL talks about her to this day. There is just something so special about her. I wanted to send her a card to let her know how much we appreciate all she did for our son and how she’ll always have a special place in our hearts and thanking her for all that she has done.
If you read my blog often you know that I write A LOT at times. I did the same thing with the cards! I wrote “mini-novels” inside of them. I know I shouldn’t have. It’s just how I am. I have Carpal Tunnel too so my handwriting was not that neat.
It was fun to drop them off at our mailbox each morning. Each person, except my son’s teacher and one cousin, reached out to me to thank me for the card. They all said the same thing – they were surprised. None of them expected anything like that in the mail.
A couple of them thought it was an invitation to something (not a card). LOL!
I was hoping the cards would have resulted in a phone call or two. Everyone who reached out to me did it via e-mail or a Facebook message. That was what I was hoping to avoid. A handwritten note or phone call is a bit more personal. None the less, it still made my heart smile knowing that they truly enjoyed the unexpected surprise in the mail.
One of my friends talked about getting together one day – maybe meeting 1/2 way for lunch or coffee. That is pretty cool. I hope we can work something out.
I enjoyed this challenge. I wouldn’t even call is a challenge, per say. It was just a way to remind me (and the recipients) the value a physical card can have over an e-mail or online message. I hope it will encourage them to do the same for those special people in their lives (my one cousin does send me cards from time to time, long before this challenge).
If you are a blogger and would like to participate in the Hallmark Get Carded Challenge simply visit the website.
If you would like to stock up on some “just because” cards to send out to your family and friends you can save 30% off at www.Hallmark.com using the discount code BLOG30 (I believe that is ONLY for cards, not for other merchandise).
Did you that Hallmark also has a rewards program? If you like to purchase cards for family and friends it looks like a great program to participate in – and it’s FREE to join!
The new Hallmark Card Rewards lets you earn a reward for every five Hallmark cards you buy, whether you buy them at Hallmark Gold Crown stores or more than 40,000 grocery and drug stores and supercenters across the U.S. Rewards include gift cards, discounts, dollars off, and more from rewards partners that can help you enjoy more together time or even a little “me” time. Plus, you’ll receive exclusive offers and ideas that make it easy for you to continue being a thoughtful friend and loved one to so many people. And, now we want to reward your readers just for signing up.
Starting tomorrow (October 1, 2013) every 100th new member (up to 8) to sign up will receive $250! How awesome is that? Plus you don’t have to purchase the cards from a Gold Crown store. You can purchase them at more than 40,000 grocery and drug stores and supercenters across the country.
To get credit for your purchase you can use the FREE Hallmark Card Rewards app to scan the barcode on the back of the card. If you don’t have a smartphone you can simply record your purchases online by entering the UPC.
If you happen to be a Crown Rewards member your purchases will be automatically recorded when you make a purchase from a Hallmark Gold Crown store. You can track your progress online and redeem your rewards for gift cards, discounts, dollars off at places like Applebees, Lands End and Omaha Steaks.
For more information visit Hallmark Card Rewards.
Do you like to send (or receive) cards? If you were to send a card to anyone RIGHT NOW, who would be #1 on your list and why?
*I was not compensated for this post. I did received free cards to do the challenge but there was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.