Today is my birthday, and while I don’t normally tell everyone that, I wanted to share it with you for an important reason: to share a story of why cards are so important. To celebrate and help your children share cards with their loved ones, the YOU Parent team created these card templates that you can download and print for your use.
Now, for my story:
I was recently visiting with my beautiful 81-year-old mother and came upon a colored box, which she kept near her bed. I asked her about the box and she told me that its contents helped her relax when she got anxious, helped her go to sleep when she couldn’t sleep, and helped put a smile on her face every day.
Is it a magic box? No, but it’s a very special box! It was full of birthday cards, Mother’s Day cards, and retirement cards. I asked her which ones brought her the greatest joy and she said that she only kept the ones with handwritten words inside. Greeting cards come with beautiful and thoughtful messages pre-written, but the most special cards are those that have an extra handwritten message by the people you love.
I immediately realized that I had been mimicking this behavior ever since my children were born over 30 years ago. I have an old hatbox that I keep my cards in! Anytime I receive a handwritten card, I put it in my hatbox instead of throwing it away. My mother helped me realize that there is still joy and comfort that these cards will bring me in the future.
We live in a very busy world that is dominated by technology. We text, we email, etc. It makes us more efficient in many ways—I know it helps me a great deal—but this communication cannot take the place of the very special messages inside my hatbox.
After finding my mom’s box of cards, I took a look inside my hatbox. I was surprised at what I experienced. I laughed, I cried at the beautiful memories, and I also felt like I touched many people’s lives. It was a journey looking back. I particularly paid attention to the handwritten messages and I have to say that those became more meaningful.
I quickly started searching for only those that had handwritten messages. Reading the cards made me pause and think. It made me slow down for a short time and reflect.
I believe I will go through my hatbox from time to time but I now know that it will be one of my prized possessions by the time I am 80. It will help me relax, it will help me go to sleep, and it will put a smile on my face every day.
Take those extra minutes to write your thoughts in the cards you give, and encourage your children to do the same. Those handwritten cards will be a gift that lasts a lifetime.