I grew up in a family that gives cards for every occasion.
The big (what most people would call normal) events warranted two cards – one funny and one sentimental. The lesser holidays – you know, like Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day or Arbor Day – only warranted a single card.
Because of growing up like this, I do love giving and receiving greeting cards.
But, what do you do with greeting cards after you’ve read them?
I don’t know the answer to that question.
In our immediate family, we no longer give greeting cards, and instead, have, what we call, Greeting Card Journals.
Each family member has their own journal, and on an occasion that warrants a greeting card, family members write in that person’s journal. So far, we’ve mostly just written in them for birthdays and anniversaries, but as our kids get older, I can see also writing in it on other “milestone” events.
Why Greeting Card Journals?
- They Get Re-Read – It is not uncommon for my daughter to ask to have her “birthday book” read to her. She loves to hear the words written to her by her mom and dad from when she turned 2 and 3 and 4. Instead of having cards that sit in a box stuffed somewhere, these greeting card journals are easily accessible. I have been known to grab mine off the shelf and read sweet, encouraging words to give me a pick-me-up on a tough day.
- Less Clutter – These journals stay on a family bookshelf. We don’t have to find a place to keep and pack away stacks of various sized cards. And they look pretty on the bookshelf.
- Cheaper – There is nothing special about these journals. I got them at Target a few years ago for $8 each. Most greeting cards are $3-$4. You can do the math to see how quickly a journal becomes the more cost-effective solution.
- Keepsake – If our house was burning (and everyone was out safe) and I had one minute to grab something before we got out, I’d grab these greeting card journals. In those pages are some of the sweetest memories and words that any of us have. These journals are a record, not only of some of our best days, but also of the people with whom we shared those days. And written reminders of how much we love one another. That is gold.
I still buy and send greeting cars to other family members. And I still oboe getting cards in the mail from friends and family. But, for our immediate family, who would otherwise exchange hundreds of cards over the coming decades, greeting card journals are much better way to go.
P.S. For those of you who still want to send greeting cards, here’s how I make sure that I don’t miss one.