Tuesday, June 24, 2014

five reasons to write birthday cards

I was writing a birthday card yesterday while I was at the pool, watching my siblings splash around with friends or working hard in practice all morning. As I thought and prayed and laughed over what I was writing, I asked myself,

"Liza, why do you write birthday cards?"

I've been thinking about it for the past twenty-four hours or so, and I've come up with five honest reasons why I write birthday cards - and why you should too. So now, when you get a birthday card from me, you'll know why. 

1. I Love Birthdays. Especially mine. (I'm being honest here :-D) And although I know not everyone shares my extreme love for birthdays, I enjoy spreading the love and making someone feel special on theirs. 

2. Everyone Loves Mail. This is a simple fact of life. I don't know anyone who doesn't like getting mail. And I'm not talking about bills, or letters from colleges, or those colored bigger-than-a-postcard-but-they-don't-have-an-envelope glossy advertisements from department stores. I'm talking about honest-to-goodness, Love-Stamp-in-the-corner, handwritten address snail mail. Who doesn't love getting a note or a letter in the mail? 

3. It Shows I Care. In a world of instant gratification, emails and texts, it's easy to dash off a message to someone that sounds the same as the fifty-five other messages your "friend" is going to get on Facebook on their birthday and feel like you cared. For real? That's effort? Granted, if you've forgotten about someone's birthday, or they live out of the country, or another legitimate excuse for not sending a card, technology is great. But there is so much spoken by a simple handwritten note received in the mail - even if it says the *Exact Same Thing* as the FB message or text you would've sent. Think about it - I really must care if I took the time to sit down, write this out, and stick it in the mail. I'll be honest - sometimes I do send emails to wish people a happy birthday, but when that situation arises, I spend time to make the message more than just a generic "Happy Birthday, dear friend! You're the best ever, and I'm so glad we're friends, Love Liza." and write what I *would* write in a letter if I were to send one. I guess what I'm saying is - TAKE THE TIME TO MAKE IT SPECIAL. Whatever medium you use. Make them smile and think, "Aw, they really were thinking of me!" 

4. It's a Memory. Be honest - how many times have you gone back to email or Facebook and re-read your birthday messages over and over again? Maybe once or twice, if it was from someone special. But what if it was a creative, fun card on your desk or in your drawer that you stumbled across every now and then? It's more than a card or good wishes, it's a memory - brings to mind getting it in the mail, and what you were doing when you received it, and maybe even where you were and what you were seeing, smelling and hearing at the time. I've saved so many birthday letters I've received over the years, and going through them is like *experiencing* a unique scrapbook of my life, as the cards often reflect what I was into at the time and who I was hanging out with. It's not just a letter - it's a memory.

Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls; for, thus friends absent speak.  
~ John Donne

5. It's Just Downright FUN! Granted, I'm a little artsy and love personalized stuff, so I'd much rather have the joy of sitting down with a blank card and envelope, my bag of markers and box of Crayola crayons by my side and go to town. Maybe you're not that way. But I get such a kick out of making each card I send something straight from my heart. Sometimes it's flashy and fancy, sometimes it's just a fun font I use or the way I address the envelope, but it's always just a bit different than any other card I've sent, obviously, and a little extension of me.

There. Those are five reasons to write birthday cards. And now that I think of it, this really applies to sending letters too. So keep these in mind next time you look at the calendar and see your friend's birthday is next week and you think, "Maybe I'll send a card." When that thought crosses your mind, DO IT! Sit down right then, and write out the card. Better send it early than forget later! And you'll find, it's more fun the more you do - and there's a real pleasure that comes knowing your friend will have something with their name in their mailbox in a few days. 

Also, this is an extension of being Jesus to others. It's thinking of others ahead of yourself, putting aside your time to serve them and bless them in a small way. You'll never know how impactful a simple note can be to a person. God knows what they need, and He might just be asking you to be the mode by which He encourages them. You won't regret it! Point them to Jesus - you can't go wrong.
"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly
and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." - Proverbs 18:24

1 comment:

  1. Yes! Handmade cards are where it's at. We need to help to revive this lost art. You don't have to be a great artist (I'm definately not!) Just put love into it and ask the Holy Spirit to guide and something great will come out every time. No fancy materials are required, just whatever the Lord puts on your heart to use. I always make sure to include a scripture verse ( I keep index cards on hand with favorite scripture verses that I can choose from) :)