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Old 03-16-2015, 11:23 AM   #1  
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Default Are cards on the way out?

I had a sad realization today, on the day of my step mom's funeral I have plans to make a sympathy card for her children but realized that after my dad passed away more than a year ago, I didn't receive one sympathy card! I got a lot of sympathy messages on Facebook, but not one call, or in-person or mailed card.

I'm over 50, so I'm guessing that cards (or maybe just old fashioned courtesy) are on the way out or completely dead... I had the same strange feeling of living in an "old person" bubble after I made a small scrapbook for my niece after her wedding last year. She seemed to be pleased with the gift, but I had a feeling that maybe kids nowadays just archive their wedding photos on Instagram?!

I have loved and saved many cards through the years from former friends and many relatives who are no longer here, and they are such a precious document of my life. I love paper arts, and feel a bit sad that they just don't seem to be used much to communicate anymore.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:33 AM   #2  
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I'm so sorry about your stepmother

I don't think cards are on the way out or completely dead at all! Although I live in a papercraft focused world so my friends tend to be cardmakers and card mailers, but at Christmas I got the sweetest card from a man that used to work for me. Not handmade, but hand written with a message about how I was the best boss he'd ever had. I hadn't spoken with him in years. So people do still do it. One of my old bosses had his own monogram cards that he would send regularly as thank yous or notes of encouragement.

Here are some articles about how it's a "found" art, not a lost art.

https://medium.com/@Cuong/handwritte...n-f06ece3fe75d

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/fa...you-notes.html

I'm going to send some random cards to people today because of your post.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:38 AM   #3  
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I think there's a couple of things at play here. 1. The internet has made the world so instant with information in this electronic age - you can send that note of condolence so quickly to the link the funeral home provides with the obituary which saves time and money. 2. Postage is expensive and inconvenient. I would bring a card to the funeral or visitation to leave but rarely would mail out a sympathy card unless it was someone really, really close to me who has moved away from my location. 3. The trend to downsize has many people decluttering. And saving cards and other collectibles is simply not popular anymore. We tend to collect too much stuff. The electronic age has replaced the need to print hard copy pictures or hard copy anything these days.

Sad, but we have to move with the times, and not be offended if the younger generation doesn't do things the way other generations have done things in the past.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:47 AM   #4  
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On the other hand, I found out recently that my cousin's young adult children (one just graduated from college, the other is in her first year) were disappointed that I had sent store bought cards to them for their most recent birthdays. (yep, just ran out of time!)
So, not only do they appreciate getting cards, but they appreciate home-made cards!

I quickly made a couple of "no particular reason" cards for them when I found out, to hopefully cover for my faux pas!
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:48 AM   #5  
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It's okay if I feel sad and offended But I think what I'm really getting at, is etiquette. I'm far from an old fogey, but I still feel sad that some of these thoughtful traditions have fallen by the wayside.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:06 PM   #6  
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Not if I'm still making cards an giving them to people, they're not dead.

I'd like to see what the younger generation does when the power goes out and the batteries died.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:51 PM   #7  
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I am older than you and I too see a lack of etiquette. For Lent this year it is my goal to send out 40 cards and I have kept up very well. I have decided that I like to make cards but they aren't doing me any good if I don't send them so I am on a mission.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:53 PM   #8  
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I personally do not think postage is expensive or inconvenient. To me forty something cents to mail a card across the country is cheap. Now if you have alot of cards to mail or the cards have embellishments it can be expensive. As far as inconvenient, my post office is about 5 miles from me & I plan my trips.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:55 PM   #9  
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I think that it just depends on the people involved. It is very true that many of the younger generation think of using electronic media rather than taking the time for a handwritten note. However, last month I went to a baby shower for three of my nieces having babies - and every single one of them sent me a handwritten thank you note.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:12 PM   #10  
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I think that "etiquette" in general is becoming a lost art - there's a lot of instant gratification and entitlement mindset in some quarters - but I don't think that it's necessarily dead, either. A lot of it is (in my mind) what is/was acceptable in the family that any particular person grew up in and/or whatever their individual likes/dislikes may be. If they were encouraged to send thank you notes or letters as they were growing up, the likelihood that they would carry on in their adult years is greater. If there wasn't a lot of emphasis on personal interaction via notes or cards or letters, then they may not feel that it's important. I'm a double-standard girl, myself. I LOVE getting mail, but I'm really, really bad at sending things out - on time, anyway. I'm trying to be better at remembering who has things when and plan accordingly, but I'm still pretty awful! I care, but I get sidetracked easily... ("ooh, shiny!")
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:17 PM   #11  
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I don't think that cards are being sent anymore by a lot of people. Just like letters except for e-mails. That being said, I love sending cards and get compliments all of the time, from people who say that, that my sending them cards, make their day.

So I will send cards, as long as I am able to make them.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:41 PM   #12  
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Sorry you lost your step-mom so recently.

People still seem to appreciate getting cards and that's enough for me to keep making and giving them. A couple of recent examples for me...

My neighbour lost her mum recently and was out when I dropped round with a sympathy card for her. When I saw her at a friend's place a couple of days later, she made a point of taking me quietly to one side and saying how much the card had meant to her.

Today is my friend's daughter's 9th birthday. As she was opening the envelope, before she'd even seen the card she said "Did you make this?" - she's learned to anticipate a handcrafted card from me and likes getting them (learned, I guess, from the reaction of the adults around her who always admire the card).

We get handwritten notes of thanks from my nephew for birthday and Christmas gifts (he's 8 ) so courtesy is not dead in that generation although I guess it might depend on parents' attitudes.

I always think that if I care enough to make and send a card, the cost of mailing is not prohibitive for cards I need to mail rather than give by hand. I figure that I enjoy making things so I'll keep sending them and hope they bring some enjoyment at the other end, too.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:47 PM   #13  
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Nothing cheers me up like receiving a card amidst the bills and junk mail, handmade or not. Accordingly, I send cards whenever an occasion calls for one. Making them is fun and keeps me out of the bars
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:25 PM   #14  
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Thanks for all your responses! I grew up in a family where my mother forced us to write thank you notes as a kid and so many relatives and friends exchanged and sent cards while I was growing up, so I might just be nostalgic.

I think what also got me was the realization that not one person on my Christmas card list responded to the card! Guess I'm in a "review your expensive and time-consuming card making hobby" mood.

I don't demand responses (might be guilty of wishing strongly for some ) but I thought it was interesting that nobody said a word about it, especially as it was obviously handmade. Wouldn't it be funny if I got all of the addresses wrong?! LOL
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:24 PM   #15  
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I have a small group of friends and relatives that get my year round holiday cards and a larger group for Christmas. I don't do birthdays except for the immediate family and then just my own generation.
It's thank you notes that I see falling by the wayside! One of our nephews got married down in California several years ago and we travelled to it, stayed a couple of nights, etc. We never got a single acknowledgement about our gift and neither did any one else! That's just plain rude and thoughtless.
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:32 PM   #16  
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Greeting card racks seem to be plentiful whenever I go to the pharmacy or a place like Target, so while there may be plenty of other ways for people to connect, seems like greeting cards are still a popular option. (and have you noticed how they're trying to copy us?!?!?! So many manufactured cards these days with a handcrafted look. Nice try, Hallmark! lol!)

I'm sorry for your loss poppy. Step parents can be complicated, but I hope you have lots of cherished memories.
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:49 PM   #17  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by jeaniebean55View Post
Greeting card racks seem to be plentiful whenever I go to the pharmacy or a place like Target, so while there may be plenty of other ways for people to connect, seems like greeting cards are still a popular option. (and have you noticed how they're trying to copy us?!?!?! So many manufactured cards these days with a handcrafted look. Nice try, Hallmark! lol!)

I'm sorry for your loss poppy. Step parents can be complicated, but I hope you have lots of cherished memories.
YES!! And waayyyy more expensive too!
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:56 PM   #18  
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As long as there are card-makers, there will be cards!
I also agree with Jeaniebean55 - there are racks of cards everywhere - even the local bookstores here are carrying fancy, expensive cards that try to look handmade ( I've been known to snap a pic or two with my cellphone camera for caseing later!), so I don't think cards are going anywhere anytime soon.
That said, I know quite a few people who very seldom, if ever send cards. Some people just seem to be not interested in snail mail.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:15 PM   #19  
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I'm a card maker, recipient, mentor and keeper of those treasured items from the past. I have the family pictures and have created the scrapbooks. My mom saved a few of my birth/christening cards which came to me on her death, so I come by it honestly. When I read those messages contained in the older cards, especially if written by someone who has passed, I feel their presence in my life, again. Sentimental? Nostalgic? Mannered? That's OK with me. Acknowledging a gift or card is always appropriate, in my book. Checking in on someone via USPS never gets a negative reaction (that I've been told). I do agree that it's how some are reared in their homes, and how they choose to act in their adult lives. Having something to touch becomes more meaningful as I age; the virtual world simply isn't enough for me. I may have my clutter, and my stash, but I can handle it to create something meaningful for myself and someone else. I hope this never goes out of style! Diane
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:36 PM   #20  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ciocidiView Post
I'm a card maker, recipient, mentor and keeper of those treasured items from the past. I have the family pictures and have created the scrapbooks. My mom saved a few of my birth/christening cards which came to me on her death, so I come by it honestly. When I read those messages contained in the older cards, especially if written by someone who has passed, I feel their presence in my life, again. Sentimental? Nostalgic? Mannered? That's OK with me. Acknowledging a gift or card is always appropriate, in my book. Checking in on someone via USPS never gets a negative reaction (that I've been told). I do agree that it's how some are reared in their homes, and how they choose to act in their adult lives. Having something to touch becomes more meaningful as I age; the virtual world simply isn't enough for me. I may have my clutter, and my stash, but I can handle it to create something meaningful for myself and someone else. I hope this never goes out of style! Diane
Here here! Well said.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:44 PM   #21  
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People I send cards to are generally good at thanking me & letting me know they got them. But, I started making cards for a nearby nursing home a few years ago. I make them a "thinking of you" card on the month of their birthday. I also make cards for our church's pastoral care team to give out. I like these two venues cause I just deliver them to the front office of the nh & give them to our pastoral care team at Wednesday night service. That way I can use all my buttons, sequins & gems without paying extra postage. And my 2 1/2 year old grandson loves getting cards from me. And, he knows when they're from me and to him. So as long as I can I'll be making and sending cards.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:02 PM   #22  
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I'm not quite 50, and what I miss are real, actual letters -- whether or not they come with a card. I grew up writing letters, even to my friends in the same town. When the Hello Kitty store opened in our local mall, we went crazy for all the cute papers and stickers and pencils and smelly erasers (I can smell them now! Prolly what led to my paper snorting habit, heh) and even stamps!! It was always exciting getting something in the mail, and I think it was good for us to learn to put our thoughts on paper.

I have a couple of letters I wrote to my grandmother while I was in college. After she died and some of her things came to me, I was surprised to find she'd kept them. They were brief and teenager-y ("I think I just failed a test today" etc.) but it was touching both that she held onto them and that I got to have a peek at what I was like when I was 19.

I'm re-watching Downton Abbey, and every time someone gets a letter (which is pretty much every single episode) I'm transfixed watching them open the envelope and it makes me miss letters even more.

Of course I don't write them very often at all so I'm just as much to blame. I have started doing thank you notes for my birthday gifts again, which makes me happy.
I've been almost writing a letter to someone for a month or so now, and I think tonight's the night I will pry my fingers from the keyboard and do it!
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:18 AM   #23  
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I don't think cards are going away, but I bet people had this same conversation when the telephone was invented!
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:35 AM   #24  
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Good points made by all. I don't think etiquette is dying but the rules are changing. My comment on postage is based on prices in Canada and the steps required to actually get a piece of mail posted. 1. Go to post office and buy stamps. 2. Fill out card (or write letter) and fill out the mailing envelope. 3. Find and affix the stamp to the envelope. Take it to a post office box for mailing. While it doesn't take hours and hours of time, you can certainly see how sending an email only takes seconds of your time and doesn't cost money (other than paying for your home internet connection or your data package on your mobile device). I'm not saying it is better but for the 20somthings and younger, it is a new and preferred mode of communication. It's what they're used to.

I'll still continue to make cards and give them to those that appreciate it but I don't look down on those that don't. I did a bit of googling on this for my own curiosity. Here's a good article. While it speaks about Christmas, the revised etiquette mentioned would certainly apply to other situations. It's an interesting read.

Holiday Rules - Christmas Card Etiquette
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:33 AM   #25  
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Good points made by all. I don't think etiquette is dying but the rules are changing. My comment on postage is based on prices in Canada and the steps required to actually get a piece of mail posted. 1. Go to post office and buy stamps. 2. Fill out card (or write letter) and fill out the mailing envelope. 3. Find and affix the stamp to the envelope. Take it to a post office box for mailing. While it doesn't take hours and hours of time, you can certainly see how sending an email only takes seconds of your time and doesn't cost money (other than paying for your home internet connection or your data package on your mobile device). I'm not saying it is better but for the 20somthings and younger, it is a new and preferred mode of communication. It's what they're used to.

I'll still continue to make cards and give them to those that appreciate it but I don't look down on those that don't. I did a bit of googling on this for my own curiosity. Here's a good article. While it speaks about Christmas, the revised etiquette mentioned would certainly apply to other situations. It's an interesting read.

Holiday Rules - Christmas Card Etiquette
Yup. If my card is 'lumpy' and, being homemade, there hAVE to be embellishments! it will cost 1.84ish to mail, plus having to go in to the post office, have them stick it through their slot thing to see if it's oversize...
So I don't mail many, those that I do are for very special recipients.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:35 AM   #26  
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At some point in time we stopped displaying the same etiquette that at one time was an every day custom. Maybe life got in the way I don't know. I have taught my boys that you send an actual thank you note not just a text or email. Now will they when they leave home...probably not but at least I tried.

I love to read or see letters that were written so long ago with their scripty handwriting. And I wish that letter writing would come back in style.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:44 AM   #27  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by RenTView Post
I'm not quite 50, and what I miss are real, actual letters -- whether or not they come with a card. I grew up writing letters, even to my friends in the same town. When the Hello Kitty store opened in our local mall, we went crazy for all the cute papers and stickers and pencils and smelly erasers (I can smell them now! Prolly what led to my paper snorting habit, heh) and even stamps!! It was always exciting getting something in the mail, and I think it was good for us to learn to put our thoughts on paper.

I have a couple of letters I wrote to my grandmother while I was in college. After she died and some of her things came to me, I was surprised to find she'd kept them. They were brief and teenager-y ("I think I just failed a test today" etc.) but it was touching both that she held onto them and that I got to have a peek at what I was like when I was 19.

I'm re-watching Downton Abbey, and every time someone gets a letter (which is pretty much every single episode) I'm transfixed watching them open the envelope and it makes me miss letters even more.

Of course I don't write them very often at all so I'm just as much to blame. I have started doing thank you notes for my birthday gifts again, which makes me happy.
I've been almost writing a letter to someone for a month or so now, and I think tonight's the night I will pry my fingers from the keyboard and do it!
Being the recipient of ALL the material saved in my family for our genealogical records, I have a large collection of letters. One of my sets of great-great grandparents wrote letters a LOT! My grandmother was one of their correspondents, hence how so many came to me. They wrote about everyday things and people who cared for them. I love reading them! It tells me a lot about their life.

So much of that is lost in texting and email. I'm a bit nostalgic today, sorry!
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:03 AM   #28  
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I still send cards and sell 1000's every year at 2 churches. I make and donate to our church and my sisters church. I have a rack in our bookstore that I am constantly refilling the rack which holds about 700 cards. Twice a year we have a sale where I bring 1000 to 1200 new cards in to sell. Over the last 6 years my church has made thousands. I'm sure the same for my sisters church. Although I make a lot of cards, my family suffers the most on the receiving end...I have a rough time getting cards out to family on time...lol. keep making cards...I really don't feel like its all going away yet.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:07 AM   #29  
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I was brought up to send thank you cards for gifts. I did the same for my kids. I still make them send thank you cards.

I did recently receive a "Paperless" invite to a relatives wedding. I was surprised these are available. So I guess the printing companies are being hit by e-invites too.

Facebook is taking care of everything. I have heard stories of people being informed about a death in the family via FB.

I still say....When the ZOMBIE Apocalypses comes....No one will know what to do without the Internet.

Because You Do Know, the internet will go down when the ZOMBIES come!!!!!
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:57 AM   #30  
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(( Hugs )) I am so sorry about your stepmama.

I think it really just depends on the people.

if making and sending cards makes you happy do it, you'd be surprised how you are touching others and it may make them do the same.
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:55 AM   #31  
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It seems like less people are sending cards and more the electronic/emailed kind--they're cute and nice, but I don't think they carry the same value as an actual physical card that gets mailed. I don't save every card I ever get, but I do save some. I never save the emailed cards.

I send less cards then I used to. My hand-made cards only go to people who I know appreciated them.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:38 AM   #32  
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Chiming in here...Several years ago I taught a class to 5th graders on manners/etiquette. I found that the word Etiquette came from French courts and means 'ticket.' The queen would decide what was acceptable behavior for the court that day and those coming to court would get a ticket listing how to behave each day. !! So, etiquette is always in flux. I have seen such a decline in manners overall in my 68 years, and I attribute it to being self-centered = lazy.
It's so much easier to email or text than make a call, or write and mail a note. Speed is one thing, however, and we all know that people use email, 'social media' and text to keep a distance. When I used to be on a calling list for a church event, even I would hope to get their voicemail and leave a message instead of 'having to talk to someone.'
It takes effort to express your care to someone, whether you go buy a card or make one. It takes time to handwrite your letter or note, time you could be watching TV! People know that you care when you give them a card, letter or gift; if they don't acknowledge it then you know that they don't care very much.
Your manners do have to do with your upbringing, however, some people choose to rebel against social pressure and just do whatever is easy. But their lack of showing manners is also a showing of how much they care about others.
Let's all rise up against these rebels and say HAND MADE CARDS FOREVER! then send them to people we love.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:51 PM   #33  
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:49 PM   #34  
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Poppy- I am sorry about your step-mom.

I am one too who misses the days of etiquette. I have noticed that the younger generation is developing lovely etiquette while the older generation is getting ruder by the minute. The younger generation has new rules. They seem to be our new card makers & letter writers but in a different way. I just read an article in one of my fashion magazines that supermodel Karlie Kloss sends Thank you notes to the photographers and those who book her photo shoots.

I know in my area the more well-mannered you are you are considered a snob. I learned that lesson in a hurtful way. Can you guess I got called a snob? I did smile and say thank you.

There is something about sympathy cards, at least for me. I have lost two children. Still hard for me to write that. The first loss I received so many cards. Every reply I wrote back sent me a downward spiral of black depression that I didn't know was happening to me. There was a day where I couldn't pick up a pen and my stationery. I felt paralyzed to even send any type of mail in. I thought making cards would help me. It made it worse.

When I lost my other child my husband & I did not tell anyone. I was so devastated I couldn't handle the sorry's, sympathy cards, what happened & how are you coping. All that ugh things that make me sick to my stomach thinking about it. Of course, our close friends knew about the tragedy. I was so grateful they didn't send cards. They gave us love instead. It is the only way I have survived and get up every morning. I am doing much better now. I found my spark to send mail again. I use to be very big into mail- pen pals, swaps, etc...

I wrote this because I love etiquette & beautiful snail mail. Sympathy cards are just evil to me now. I can't even send them.
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:31 AM   #35  
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Cards still get rotated through my office of about 25 when there is a new baby, someone leaving, a death, etc. so that is good!

My father passed away 20 years ago. I ran a small business and had very close friends and acquaintances through this business, and not one single person gave me or sent a card. I didn't get one card in the mail either.

I never gave it a thought then, but years later I did.

Also, as far as electronic archiving goes I know the pictures on my iPad and phone get looked at tons more by me and also by my 4 yr old granddaughter than if I had them in a photo album. I have started to put together some project life albums, but I did think as I gathered everything, "When will anyone look at these?"

Life is about change, but we'll keep cards alive for some time, right? I wonder how much Hallmark and other companies have seen card purchases decline over the years.
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:05 AM   #36  
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Lydia,
Thank you so much for the links. I didn't know Jimmy Fallon writes thank you notes to his guests. I also like the quote from Ms Gelderman:

" I actually enjoyed writing the notes because in the process of opening a note, feeling the paper, seeing the imperfection of the writing, reading the message in another persons voice, you actually feel like you have a piece of that person in your hand.

After my Mother's passing, we found letters she had written in the late 1940s while she was in college. They were letters she had written to her Mother...the above quote is so true!
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:01 AM   #37  
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I don't think cards are on their way out, but do think the younger generation depends on technology too much today. My grandkids love getting my cards, but I don't even remember the last time I received a card not generated by the computer or posted on Facebook. One of my grandchildren never comments on the cards I send her and my two great grandchildren. After putting a lot of effort into customizing their cards to their favorite things, sports and cars for example, it would be nice to get some kind of feedback! I will say they do save their cards in their scrapbooks, so I guess that's a sort of feedback.

Now touching on another related subject. Is it just me who thinks this generation is the "me" generation? There's always exceptions, but the majority. I'm hearing more and more parents complaining about their kids being lazy. Here's some things I've heard and see in my own family. They don't want to work, do their own laundry, clean, cook, or do any chores or tasks that prepares them to survive in this world.

Comments please! Am I the only one seeing this, or am I just being too hard on the kids?
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:34 AM   #38  
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Cards are on the way out slowly, now it's costing 49 cents to mail!!! (that one cent raise was recently without anyone knowing! )
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:22 AM   #39  
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I think 49 cents to mail a card to someone I love is still pretty cheap. But, if you have a bunch to mail out, then it can get expensive. I have been trying to make flatter cards so they go through the mail with one stamp. Bulky cards I will hand deliver if local.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:31 AM   #40  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by dsp245View Post
Cards are on the way out slowly, now it's costing 49 cents to mail!!! (that one cent raise was recently without anyone knowing! )
.49 cents is not that much to sent a card to a loved one. Especial when it costs over $5 for a Starbucks coffee.
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