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Not Your Hallmark Family


Shopping for greeting cards... is it as difficult for you as it sometimes is for me?  I come from a family that sends cards for all occasions, and while Mom and Dad were alive it was anticipated and pretty much expected that you'd send a card.  Ok, I don't have a problem with that, although I do feel that some of those "events" are contrived to pad the pockets of card companies.  You've got to admit that it is fun to find a greeting card in your real mail box, one that you can hold in your hands and touch words that were actually written by someone you care about.  Cards are fun. 

However, card shopping is not so fun when you just can't find the right verse for the occasion.  Sometimes it can get downright depressing, as in the case of shopping for family members.  You see, despite outward appearances, we weren't exactly The Cleaver's... maybe nobody's family really was.  I search thru the card racks, rejecting card after card as excessively sentimental, saying things that just don't reflect the nature of our relationship, or are downright ridiculous.  And then I start to get depressed because I wish I would have had that kind of experience as a child, those kind of relationships.  I'm not saying that I didn't love my parents, or that I don't love my sisters, I'm just saying that it wasn't all hearts and flowers and sharing secrets of the heart.  No, it wasn't at all like that.  There were a lot of darker undercurrents, hurtful things said, meant, and allowed.  No point in belaboring that here.  Suffice it to say that most of those cards don't fit me any better than would Cinderella's slipper!

What to do?  I usually ended up opting for something simple - the shorter the sentiment the less likely the recipient would shake their head or laugh at the overdone outpouring of affection.  Sometimes I got really creative and opted for the blank cards where you write in your own verse, but that was also sometimes met with disdain.  My writing has never won awards in my family... "too many words", "too many big words", "you go on and on". Yes, I know, always too many words.  Perhaps I was born with a supply of many, many words that I must use up during my lifetime! I LOVE WORDS, and I love stringing them together!  I saw the term "word welding" on someone's blog recently, and I really like that - constructing thoughts (much like constructing a jungle-gym in my case)! :-)

Now days it's gotten a little easier, some greeting card companies have began offering alternative card lines that say things simpler, and more in line with real life experiences and relationships, some of them are so right on target they are downright funny. 

If card shopping has always been a little difficult for you, of if you find extremely sentimental verses a little over the top, take heart, you're not alone.  The rest of us are still waiting for our Hallmark moments too! None the less, surprise someone you care about someday, pick up a "just because" card and send it to them via snail mail for no reason at all. I guarantee it will be a real day brightener!  If your intended recipient lives with you, tuck it in their lunch box, or under their pillow, or in their sock drawer... those kinds of surprises are winners too.  Everyone wants to feel special and loved, and it's little things like this that mean the most!

16 comments:

  1. I love to do things for people "just because", and give things that will make them happy, for just that reason. I never expect or want anything; that isn't what it is about.
    I appreciate far more than words can say when someone does something for me from the heart, because they care, and just for that alone.
    Love is its own reward. Truly.

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    1. Amen, Annie, the fun is in the doing and the giving, expecting something in return takes all the fun out of it!

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  2. I can't imagine someone rejecting a card that a loved one took the time to think of, write and send, no matter how long or short. Isn't it supposed to be the thought that counts? What a hurtful behavior, and so very childish.

    And knowing the way you use your words to share your heart, I can only assume that any card you send would be heartfelt and something to treasure for many days to come.

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    1. Thank you Robin, what a nice thing to say! My family says I have a tendency to ramble on, and I know they're probably right, but it's who I am, and I'm ok with me, even if they are not so much. They're problem, right? Write on! :-))

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  3. Most of the verses don't work for me either - except that , as you mention, now they're starting to make ones that are simpler and more in tune with what I've experienced. It's always nice to get a card in the mail :) Another nice thing is when there's a little gift included, such as a bookmark. I love finding and sending surprises!

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    1. I agree Lady in Red, the new card lines are much more fun and less unrealistic, and tucking little things in is great fun! I love to spot something just right for someone and send it off in a card, totally unexpected! I sometimes send a tracing of my hand... once a friend with a great sense of humor sent back one of his foot! :-)

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  4. As long as it doesn't rhyme....ick. And why are you worrying about cards? As long as there isn't a timeline, you have ME. Getting a card from here, to wherever it's going, takes a long, long time getting out of Florida since everything has to go to damn Tampa first before it even heads north.

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    1. I agree, Lotta Joy, no rhyming verses please! Unless it's a well done limerick of course, they are fun! I can't wait to see the project you're working on for me, I know it will be one of a kind special and beautiful! The last town I lived in, even local mail went out of town to the sorting center and then came back, now ridiculous is that?!

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  5. How can anyone not love a card with a personally written message? That's like me telling Lil man that I don't like his home-made cards, because they don't look professional enough.

    My mum has a card for every occasion stored away in her bureau. She does like to buy in bulk and the thought of not sending to someone, causes mild hysterics. :)

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    1. That's pretty much the way I see it too, Lily! It is supposed to be the thought and love put into it that counts! I have a pretty ample collection too, many of which I got intending to send and never got them out. If the road to hell is truly paved with good intentions, I own miles and miles of it!

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  6. Yes, it is not easy to find cards that actually fit the relationship. That is why we mostly make our own cards. My husband has scanned tons of family pictures and family members really get a kick out of a home made card with great family photos. Brings back lots of memories and then we can write our own verses to fit the occasion.

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    1. Nothing is more fun than seeing keepsake family photos from the past, Lena, this is a wonderful idea,and I know those cards will be treasured! Words from the heart are always the best I think!

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  7. I always find shopping for cards difficult -- and then... I find short ones with great images and buy them thinking... I'll give them at an appropriate time to the right person... and then.... I forget... and the circle continues! :)

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    1. I've collected quite a few that way as well Louise, or I'll buy one and tuck it away for someone's birthday because it's so perfect for them, then when the time comes I can't find it! :-)

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  8. I make my own cards now. I put one of my photos on the front with a verse or a bit of prose I have written inside. To my surprise, people seem to like them. It's much more personal.

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    1. Selma, your photos are so beautiful that you could create and sell cards, and folks would buy them, I know I would! I would much rather receive a card that I know someone made just for me, that IS a great gift!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)