Do People Still Send Cards?

These are three of the most repeated sentences I hear when I tell someone I left my day job to become a handmade card artist. Ironically, I hear them most often while standing in line at the Post office...

"Do people really still buy cards?"

"Your cards are beautiful, do people still send cards?"

"I'd buy your cards, but I don't know who I'd send them to."


These statements do two things; they validate some sort of guilt for the person saying it and they sting the recipient. I'd say it's a classic knee-jerk reaction. When actually I wonder if the sayer is very often someone who would be delighted to receive something other than junk and bills in their mailbox. As the recipient, I am often saddened by the lack of value placed on what I create. So, I thought I'd take a moment today and address these awkward comments.


"Do people really still buy cards?"


The short answer is, Yes! There are still people who find comfort, joy, maybe even pleasure in sending cards. Before you start thinking that they must be part of an older generation, an NPR article in 2019 stated that "greeting card sales have stabilized, thanks to Millenials." This is a generation that is investing in "fancier, specialty cards often with personalized touches", states the article.


"Your cards are beautiful, do people still send cards?"


Again, the short answer is yes, but we often look for excuses not to. Our lives have become so overwhelmingly saturated with activity and constant digital contact, that we've seemingly lost sight of being kind just for the sake of being kind. Sending letters used to be the only form of communication and now it's referred to as a "lost art" and treated as an inconvenience.


We talk about not knowing what to say if we were to write the note and not having anyone to send happy mail to anyway. We don't seem to have that trouble with email, texts, and IM, but sending a note with a stamp is too much. Email and texts don't create the same kind of connection that a good old-fashioned handwritten note does.


I have a friend who told me a story about filling other people's buckets a while back and it really resonated with me. Sending Happy Mail is just that, a bucket filler, a joy maker, a smile maker, a heart-string tugger. Think about that for a while. Think about the quiet smile that crosses someone's face when they find a card or letter in their mailbox. You never know who really needs that card or note dropped into their bucket.


"I'd buy your cards, but I don't know who I'd send them to."


I don't care if you buy my cards. I care about you reaching out to those in your life that you love and care about. Reach out, tell them you thought of them today. Stop scrolling through your social media, absently clicking "like" and actually reach out to someone you've been thinking about this week. Many people say they don't know who they'd send a note to, but that's just another excuse. There's the friend you haven't talked to in ages; the neighbor who seems to be going through a rough patch; the grandchild, niece, or nephew that live across the country; the child that just went of to college; the best friend that lives five states away, the list really is endless. Don't forget your strong friends, they need that smile too.


Be the bright spot in someone's day. Now, go drop that note in the mailbox. Start looking for reasons to send the handwritten note, and don't complain about the cost of postage. Be honest, you probably spend more on a coffee two or three times a week.

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