Greeting Cards

Here's a post inspired by Katie at Hey, Ms. K
She wrote a post about her sister-in-law who sends the best greeting cards.  It made me think about the birthday card I gave to my sister-in-law this week.
My family has a quirky(?) tradition of not signing our cards.  I think this all started when I was a child.  My parents had a used furniture and antique store and were always getting house lots or estates with dressers still filled with items, or boxes like grab bags of miscellaneous items, some of them cards.  When I was off at college, my dad sent me a fancy old Valentine card with the recipient's and sender's names crossed out and ours inserted.  He liked the card and knew I would, too.  So I got a really sweet used Valentine card, originally meant for someone else from someone else!
Our modern adaptation of that is to put a sticky note inside the card to say from whom it came, or a slip of paper.  We don't write on the envelope. That way if you want, you can send it to someone else... it's like a true "gift" card!

The other quirky(?) thing - we sometimes give cards we like that are for some other occasion and scratch out the words that don't apply, to write in new ones.  A birthday card for a 5 year old can easily be transformed into one for a 45, 55, 51 or 95 year old...  It's not as easy to make it say 18 or 67, but it CAN be done.

Why just this morning I was looking at my stash of cards and thinking of how I could cross out Happy Birthday on one and make it a "Thinking of You" card with just a slide of the pen.

And then there is the most recent greeting card tradition that my husband and I began a few years back - whoever needs to buy a card goes to the card area of the store and the other one goes shopping around.  In a little while the intended recipient of the card returns to the area where the card hunter has been hunting.  The hunter then bestows upon the card recipient said card to read, enjoy, comment on and return to the rack.  Sometimes I have taken a picture of my husband holding his card so he can show it at parties (of course I don't make the card readable to respect copyright).  It is a lot cheaper and this method is going to be a blessing now that we are both retired.  We'll have enough change left for a coffee.

Some occasions are just so special you get three cards!
You know sometimes I just can't help myself.  This is one of those times.  Sigh.  Here is it:

Greeting Card

How do you greet
a card you meet
as you go walking
down the street?
Greetings, card,
how do you do?
I send good thoughts
from me to you
Is it your birthday
or Halloween
Christmas time
or in between?
Any time's time
for greeting cards
When times are good
when times are hard
Greeting cards
is always fun,
But when they've gone
The greeting's done
You have to let them
walk on by
Hopefully someday
they'll reply.

by Donna JT Smith

Oh, goodness.  I'm going to apologize now for this.  But I am going to copy and paste it into my folder though.  Who knows?  Maybe it will be one of those famous found poems and my great-grandchildren will be rich.  Yes, maybe.


  1. HaHa! I love this post so much! My hobby right now is making greeting cards and often I add a sticky note so the receiver can re-send the card to someone else. My mom's birthday is at the end of the month, but I sent her card a card I made on the first because I loved how the card turned out. I really love that you and your husband give the "perfect" card while still in the store, put it back, and then go get a cup of coffee! The cost of cards is outrageous, which is why I started making mine.
    I am so loving all your poetry, and am completely humbled for what you did for my students. We have begun our spring break, but when we get back, you will be getting some comments. (I will let you know which blogs to visit.) Thank you so much!

    1. Phew! I woke up early this morning in a bit of a panic wondering if I'd finished this post before scheduling it to go live. Guess I did. Now I can't get back to sleep. Guess it's morning enough to make some coffee!
      I think I found each of your students once. If I missed someone, please let me know! One or two may have been on a post that was not their most recent. I've enjoyed doing it. Hope you have a restful break.

  2. Wonderful! I love, love, love the tradition you and your husband share. I think I may have to try that with mine!

  3. This is so cute!! It reminds me of my mom and dad's tradition of exchanging the same exact cards year after year. On whatever occasion it is, they open up their card, smile, and hand it back to be hidden away another year until they use it again. So funny! Love this pics of your hubby!

  4. I miss the giving of the cards, and wonder how the greeting card companies are doing. Except for a few, I usually purchase blank cards I like and fill them in per occasion. I love you and your husband's idea of the cards in the store, true love for sure, especially when it ends with a coffee!

  5. We have some dear older friends who also have a "quirky" card tradition. At least he does. He gives his wife the same anniversary card every year. After she has read it and displayed it for a couple of days, he retrieves it and puts it in "the drawer," where it waits to be pulled out again for use on next year's anniversary. Your poem - as always - is so clever!

  6. I LOVE this idea! I am not a card sender, but this just might change that! This is so funny and yes, quirky!

  7. I think you and your family's quirky card traditions are hilarious. So much fun!

  8. So funny, and so sweet! I love all of your traditions—and I was also inspired by Hey, Ms. K (Katie) and her perfect cad post. I used to be so good at card sending, but alas, I have not been so good lately. Perhaps this will inspire me!


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