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Friday, January 17, 2014



Mrs. Cranky spent sixteen dollars today on birthday cards.  She bought four cards at Hallmark.  What is it about events and Hallmark cards, why do we have to buy them?

I would rather receive a simply letter on a sheet of stationary saying,

“I’m thinking of you on your birthday

Who really wants a stupid card saying something clever like

“I couldn’t afford a Monet painting for your birthday, so I bought you a Monkey!” with a funny picture of a monkey drawing a picture.


Why is a card with some flowery sentimental crap that a paid Hallmark writer slapped together such a wonderful thing to receive?

Hallmark makes giant cards, funny cards, sentimental cards, cards that play music, and cards that open up and spring stuff out at you.  These cards start at $4 and could cost $12, all to make a simple statement of Happy Birthday, Get Well, or Congratulations for Anything.

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but when I get one of these cards I say “Thanks,” I might get a chuckle, and then I throw the card away.  To me, giving these cards is like lighting the barbeque with a five dollar bill.

I would never buy a Hallmark card except Mrs. Cranky gets all gooey when she gets one.  I buy her the sappy, lovey, syrupy, poetic ones, and she thinks it is sooo romantic.

I think it is stupid.

I would be happier to receive a simple hand written note.  A couple of bucks included would also be nice…better me than Hallmark.

Is it just me?  Why is an expensive manufactured card written by a stranger more meaningful than a sincere hand-written note?


  1. I'm with you Joe, I really resent spending money on cards, I'd much rather spend more on a present. I have started to buy some online though from Whistlefish, beautiful cards, no sloppy sentiments and good value - worth a look. got to admit, the cards I treasure most are the blank ones where people have written their own messages.

  2. I understand your sentiment. That sentiment is hard to be fulfilled these days. Now people do not even send a handwritten Thank you note after the guests spend hundreds of dollars in airfare to attend their wedding and give a couple of hundred dollars as a gift. They simply have pictures with Thank you written on the back and mail them with not even a note.
    When kids were little their teachers made them write notes for mother's day and father's day. Those notes are my treasured property.

  3. You are so right, especially when it comes to sympathy cards. I would much prefer to send a brief, hand-written note of condolence but the Old Bat always insists that I (and it's usually me!) buy a card.

  4. What you're paying Hallmark for is their consistent ability to convey a pleasant message. I tried that "sincere" personalized thing and it flopped big time. I thought "You usually smell pretty good" would be well received.

    In the interest of peace I now just cough up the $4.


  5. I think about this every time I am standing in front of a card rack trying to find something that is not too sappy....but I keep buying the cards. Lots of other folks must keep buying them too since those card racks in the drug store are about a mile long.
    I have a post ready about cards I have bought but never sent.

  6. When we go to the story around the time of a birthday or anniversary I select a card from the card aisle and give it to my Honey. She admires it and then I return it to the shelf. But here's a clue if you must buy a card--the Dollar Store sells wonderful cards.

  7. I don't mind getting a card; rather like it, if it's clever. But Hallmark? NEVER! I went off them a long time ago when I realized how many amazingly sexist cards they produce. Men? Cards aimed at women call us idiots, without any compunction. If the same cards had reversed genders, the company would be picketed every day by N.O.W., so I've refused to buy Hallmark for years.

  8. I've been a writer virtually all my life. Made a career of it, even. But every time the occasion calls for a personal message, I get writers' block. It started when I was a high schooler signing yearbooks and it continues to this day. So I start with a card that says pretty much what I want to say, and then I try to add a few words. Sigh.

  9. i've never been much of a card buyer. i hit dollar general for their $1 or 50 cent cards if i need one. :)

  10. Let me tell you...I absolutely HATE when my husband buys me a card and then just signs his NAME at the bottom. I put up with that the first few years of marriage, but now I've got him trained (trained? that sounds awful, but you know what I mean) to at least write a personal sentence or two at the bottom of any card that he gives me. I know that the words and clever and nice in those cards...and they might describe how a person is feeling to the T...but I want the person's own words and thoughts - not someone else's.

  11. Oh, and for my kids' friends birthday parties I never, ever, ever buy the kid a card to go on top of the present. It's such a waste of money! The kid only reads the bottom of the card to see WHO the present is from. So all I do is write ON the wrapped present itself in big, bold letters: TO JOHNNIE FROM STEVIE It's to the point, and I think the kid appreciates not having to go through the "show" of pretending to read a card when all he wants to do it rip open the present!

  12. Love getting them though a well worded email also pleases.
    I agree about the price. And those singing ones that activate when you press the front of the card--I heard the mail carriers loathe them.

  13. no, it's not just you. then again, it's not just her either. the dynamic lives

  14. I told my husband to look at the cards, decide on one, and look at the price. Then - with that amount in mind - to turn away from the "Greeting Cards" sign toward the "Godiva" sign. Should he want to add any written sentiment for me, I suggested that he put a post-it note on the Godiva box.

    We've been happily married for over twenty years and many, many boxes of chocolate.

  15. It's the dollar store for me if I really want to get a card. Otherwise I'll write something up on the computers and design my own card/label to tape onto a gift.

  16. I do love to stand at the card aisle(s) and get a chuckle reading cards designed for women that portray men as idiots. I have been known to buy some of those talking or music-playing cards for my own kids and mother. I don't think they're Hallmark. But most of the time I get cards at Dollar Tree.

  17. You might be happy with a simple hand written note, but remember the happy look on Mrs Cranky's face when you give her a card? That's why most people buy and give them. To see that look on the faces of their loved ones. I love searching for just that perfect card for someone.

  18. Don't throw them away, Joe. Put them in the recycle bin. Keep the economy moving along.


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