(the following conversation occurred through text.)
Me: Me what?
Friend: You with the sneak attack cards making me all weepy!
Me: Hallmark doesn’t pay me to be pretty.
Friend: As it should be.
I can vividly remember sitting at the dining room table drawing a card for my dad. I don’t remember the details of the card although I would suspect it was for my aunt’s birthday and he had forgotten to pick up a card from the store so he was playing the old “win the family over with a hand drawn card by the kid” card. You know you’ve played it. Or been on the receiving end of it.
He came up behind me and said “You should work for Hallmark.” I’m sure every parent has dreams of their kid going on to pursue something they are wildly passionate about in childhood but in my head I thought “Yes. Yes I should work for Hallmark.”
I was always the kid (and am currently the grown up) hanging out in the card aisle. Reading every single one, buying way too many and sending them to my friends. I always liked the way someone could put into a card exactly how I felt about someone and all I had to do to express my love was sign it and stamp it. Do you remember those Hallmark commercials where the girl gets a card from her boyfriend and then drops something so she can check to see if the Hallmark crown is on the back of the card? Yeah. That was me. Well played Hallmark.
I was convinced that people who gave Hallmark cards loved you more.
Fast forward to 2009, I was sitting in my mom’s living room in New Mexico when an email came through from Hallmark asking me if I’d like to come to Kansas City to tour their facilities and meet with some of their writers. I squealed so loud I scared bats. I sobbed through a good majority of the Hallmark tour, this was my dream since I had been a little kid drawing silly handmade cards at the dining room table.
(photo by Gabby Blair)
But the thing that got me the most was when our group was asked how we keep in touch with our friends.
“Email. Texts. Phone calls. Girls night out. Visits. Dinner.” were some of the answers. After we all finished answering someone from Hallmark said “None of you said send cards.”
THE HORROR. What had happened to that little girl who wandered the card aisles? Here I was in the hallowed halls of Hallmark WORLD HEADQUARTERS and I had to admit that with this digital life I lead I had forgotten about the magic of picking out a card, stamping and mailing it.
I’m pleased to say I have much improved my card sending strategy. But I have broadened my card sending repertoire to include cards from Etsy as well, because nothing says love like handmade (and Hallmark, well played 1990′s marketing campaign.)
I, along with several other bloggers were challenged to send out a stack of cards to our friends and family, while I’m sure they enjoyed opening the cards, I much more enjoyed knowing that my friends were going to know that I was thinking about them and that they had tangible evidence of me doing so.
Hallmark wants to give you the same opportunity.
I have 10 packs of cards to give away to you lovely people. Cards you can send to whomever, whenever. (winners chosen! thanks everyone!) Cards that can stand in for a giant hug when you can’t be there yourself. Cards that can make a sad friend laugh or a lonely family member feel a little less lonely. I’ll pick ten people at random from the comments left on this post.
But what I want to know is who would you send a card to right now? Or, who sent you a card or letter that made all the difference in a day (or your life) for you? For me it was a letter from my Anna. Two pages single spaced about how much our friendship has meant to her. I treasure it. And all she had to do was write it (and find a stamp, let’s be honest, that can be kind of tricky.)
While it’s the intention that matters when we tell someone how much we love them, sometimes it’s nice to do it through something tangible that can be treasured.
DISCLOSURE: I am working closely with Hallmark during their “Life is a Special Occasion” campaign and have been compensated to share little moments in my life that are special occasions, not for endorsing a specific product, any mention of specific products is purely voluntary and all opinions stated are my very own.