Have you noticed how the price of greeting cards has ratcheted up over the last few years? I am mainly talking about birthday cards as I seem to buy quite a few of them every year between my sibling’s, my wife’s, our kid’s, their spouse’s, and our grandkid’s birthdays. It seems almost every card you pick up at the store has a cellophane overwrap with attached cutesy 3-D effects. Whether its materials or labor costs that have escalated the price, I don’t know. I am really not a cheap person, particularly when it comes to someone’s birthday, but I just have a difficult time paying $6.99 or $7.99 for a card that will probably be thrown away soon after receipt.
But when I went shopping for a Valentine’s card for my wife this year, I was in for even more of a shock. I could not believe that every card I picked up, all in those cellophane overwraps, were either $7.99 or $8.99—eight or nine dollars really! I diligently had to search to find a less expensive card that expressed an acceptable sentiment, but I felt a little bit like a cheapskate picking one that was only $5.99.
When I shop for cards, I am one who typically looks over a large number of cards picking out just the right one that adequately expresses the greetings that I want to convey, whether they be romantic, funny, or sentimental. Whether or not my recipients save them or trash them I do not know, but in case they keep them, I always write the date in the top right so they can look back on them in chronological order if they so choose. But I for one do not throw them away as confirmed by a box I ran across in my closet where I seem to toss them after the occasion.
I am not what you would call a “hoarder” but when it comes to greeting cards, I just can’t seem to put them in the trash. Which I am glad I don’t as when I pulled out this box and started looking through the saved cards, some going back almost 20 years ago, I had a chance to relive the moment of their receipt along with a smile for the sender. While I do save every one of these cards, I admit I do have my favorites that I can still recall.
In the box, I found that I had saved many anniversary cards, birthday cards, Valentine’s Day cards, and Father’s Day cards.
I was particularly pleased to look back through my wife’s anniversary cards that she gave to me over the years. It warmed my heart to read the card and the sweet sentiment she wrote in each one, reaffirming her love for me. This I did while she had been out of town for a few days which made me miss her even more.
But she really out did herself while we were in Hawaii celebrating our 40th anniversary last year with this precious card. We were together almost the entire time, so I don’t know where she found this one or how she purchased it without me knowing. But it was a most pleasant surprise.
And of course, I’ve found many of her Valentine’s Day cards to me as well, further confirming our wonderful marriage and love for each other.
It was also fun to read back over many of the Father’s Day cards I had received from our children. Those from my two sons were typically about some of the things I had taught them or how they could never repay me (one such card inside even said, “So stop sending me bills”). My daughter, a sentimental like myself, even created handmade ones for me, each with a very special message inside of what a great father I had been to her.
Her hand making cards actually dates back to when she was quite young with these two special ones that still hang in my closet probably at least 30 years old.
My younger brother and I always exchange cards, usually either beer related or related to the fact that I will always be older than him.
But when I came to the bottom of the box, I realized that some of the favorite cards I expected to find were not in there. In particular, the one my brother gave me one year that said as best as I could remember, “Happy Birthday Big Brother” on the front of the card and on the inside, “Thanks for letting me live.” Enclosed was taped a small golf pencil reminding me of the story our mother used to tell us of how one day, she found me in my brother’s baby crib poised over him just about to stab him with a pencil (no doubt jealous of all the attention he was now getting).
And when I scanned across my wife’s anniversary cards, I realized I had only found ten.
So apparently over the years, I have had more than one place where I toss these cards since I know I didn’t throw that one away. Which means, I will now have to be on the lookout for that other box wherever it may be hiding. When it turns up, I know I’ll have even more fun rereading those cards and no doubt, providing an update to this story.
So, stay tuned…