Since I have a business selling handmade greeting cards I thought I’d answer the question: why handmade cards? Well, another question needs to be answered first: why greeting cards in general?
I believe there are degrees of the effort we put into wishing someone Happy Birthday (this will be the example for this post, but replace it for whatever fits you – thank you, congratulations, etc.) The easiest way is to text them or post a message on Facebook. The next easiest way is to send them some sort of e-card. After that comes sending a standard greeting card, then comes talking to them in person or giving them a call along with buying and sending a meaningful greeting card. Giving a gift can be placed anywhere in this list depending on what the gift is, how meaningful it is to the recipient and how much time, effort, or money the giver put into acquiring it.
What is the difference between a “standard greeting card” and a “meaningful greeting card”? A meaningful greeting card is one that will propped up on the table and won’t be thrown away for several years. It could be saved because it was especially beautiful or funny, or maybe it was because the message you wrote inside was especially meaningful. A standard greeting card is just like all the other cards the recipient will receive - nothing (apart from your signature and perhaps a laugh or “aww” after reading the printed message) sets it apart.
I put giving someone a call and sending a meaningful greeting card on the same level. Both of those take time (and perhaps a small amount of money or precious cell-phone minutes) to complete. Either is the absolute best way to show someone that you care (short of throwing them a party or taking them to Europe!)
If the message isn’t meaningful and the card isn’t representative of the recipient’s personality then the difficulty of wishing someone happy birthday is between that of sending an e-card and giving the person a call. Even then, a standard greeting card is still more meaningful then a Facebook message or an e-card.
Stay tuned for a post on Wednesday answering the question "Why handmade cards?"