I'll admit it. I'm an email person. I currently have 383 unread emails - which granted is a ton for me because I've been spending my life at a volunteer gig for Little Miss the past couple weeks - but I'll go through them all, and email is my most frequent method of communication. I also talk a lot on the phone, but one way I've really dropped off in communication? Actual written communication.
Granted, I still send out Christmas cards, but they're the photo cards now with a typewritten letter attached. And we still do handwritten thank you cards, as I find the emailed or photocopied thank yous to be very hollow and lacking in sincerity. Beyond that? I just don't do cards that often. I don't even give my husband a card for his birthday or our anniversary.
Hallmark contacted me to ask if I might be interested in joining their Get Carded Challenge as part of their Life Is a Special Occasion campaign. As part of it, I was to send out cards to people for seven days for various reasons. Realizing that I could use the extra connection and that I think it might make some of my friends' days, I jumped at the chance. As I waited for my cards to arrive, I debated who to send the cards to and why.
Once they arrived, I had so much fun figuring out who to send each of them to. Actually, I have to admit that I ended up sending more than seven cards. I enjoyed it, and I think my friends enjoyed it, too. I forget how many just fun cards are out there to help show how you feel even when it isn't a "special" occasion. Telling people you care is enough of a special occasion for me!
My first card went to a dear friend who is always there when I need her. She's my sounding board when something's up with Mister Man. She has us over to her house all the time to swim and eat and play and more expecting no reciprocation, as much as I try. She always has a glass of wine waiting for me (white wine, even though she doesn't drink it herself), and she's just awesome in every way. How can I not tell her how much I appreciate her? Of course hers had to be the first one to go out!
That also inspired me to share a card with my carpool buddy who also has my back whenever I need her. She saves me over an hour every day by driving one way of carpool. Plus, Mister Man couldn't go to the school he does if it weren't for her because I couldn't get Little Miss home from school without her help due to the different schedules of her school. She's another one who is always ready to help and step in and volunteers nonstop at our school. I know she sometimes feels unappreciated, and that's not right. I loved being able to light up her face for even just one moment with this card.
The next card went to my aunt and uncle. They graciously offered up their home when the wee ones and I (and my dad) went to visit Minnesota during the first week of school. Beyond that, they went above and beyond in ensuring that Little Miss would have dairy free foods to eat. I think they bought out the store with everything from ice creams (yes, multiple) to yogurt to pancakes to rice milk and more more more. It was so thoughtful and so not even necessary. I was truly touched, and I wanted them to know how much I appreciated their generosity and hospitality. Needless to say, I had the perfect card for that.
Then we have another friend who has a special needs child. She does everything she can for him, and being in a similar situation, I know the time and effort and money she puts into it. She doesn't just work for her child, though, she works to help find solutions and help for all children afflicted, and that is amazing to me to see how much energy she can still give to others, knowing how depleted I often feel. She is awesome, and she needs to know it. So I told her.
And my husband and I took and impromptu trip to New York City. It was last minute, and I was somewhat loathe to have to spend the money they overcharge for New York hotels. On a whim, I called a friend of mine who lives in New York to see if we could possibly stay with her. For three nights. Without hesitation she agreed. And she bought a brand new air mattress so we'd have a more comfortable place to sleep. And she and her husband took time off work to spend with us. She was kind and sweet - they both were - and I was so thrilled to be able to spend so much time with them. How can I not send them a heartfelt thank you after that? She really did make my life better.
And then we have Melisa. I couldn't believe that this card was in my pack, as it was just too perfect. Did you read about the problems that she had with her beagle recently? I felt sorry for her day, but I was still laughing because it was just so funny. I figured she could use a pick me up, and this card with the beagle on the front was begging to head her way. It was the perfect way to help perk her up, so out it went.
And then there was a certain winner of a promotion on this blog who ... didn't get her gift card. I had marked it as completed on my spreadsheet but neglected to actually send her the gift card she had won. Oops. Needless to say, I was happy she contacted me to see if I knew where her gift card was. Well, yes, it was in the folder where it belonged a month earlier but not now. I included a nice hand written card to her apologizing for the delay, hoping that she'd understand about life getting hectic and brains shutting off. I love this card - it still makes me giggle.
The last card was a sweet one. And the person I sent this to needs lots of support and thanks. My mom does so much for me and for the wee ones. She is my free babysitter whenever I want basically. She buys the wee ones clothes and shoes before I can say no. She brings over fruit and dairy free muffins for the wee ones all the time. She picks up Little Miss from school every Tuesday and Thursday so that she can go to gymnastics while I take Mister Man to Tae Kwon Do. Whenever I need her or my dad, they are there. And my words of thanks I think sometimes fall short. Written thanks though? That stays around a little longer.
I had so much fun sending these cards. Did you notice I sent more than seven? I couldn't help myself! I love the Get Carded challenge. I think sending cards is making its way back into my life as a special treat for those around me. It's such a personal way to share how you feel, and that is so often missing now in our world of email and text.
Are you up for it, too? I have a 14 card pack from Hallmark to give away to a lucky reader. So what do you have to do to win? First of all, let me stress that you must follow all the rules. If you do not follow the rules, your entry will not count!
This contest is open until Wednesday October 5 at 7pm CST. I must have a valid way to reach you, so leave me your email address in your comment or be sure your profile has your email address visible. No duplicate comments will count. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Winners will be selected via random.org and must respond within 48 hours of being notified by me or I will select a new winner.
Mandatory Entry: Tell me one person you'd send a card to and why.
Bonus Entries (leave a comment for each entry - if you put it all in one comment, I'll count it as one entry):
1) Earn one additional entry for following me on Twitter, then tweeting this contest with the following tweet: "How do you tell people that you care about them? Win a Hallmark card pack from @honestandtruly and show them http://bit.ly/nhmWgp" (leave a link to your tweet as your comment and make sure you do all the steps!)
2) Earn one additional entry by following this review blog publicly via Google Friend Connect.
3) Earn one additional entry by following my “regular” blog Honest & Truly! publicly via Google Friend Connect.
And no, you won't earn any extra entries for it, but you will get good karma for following me on Facebook, too!
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a fourteen card pack of Hallmark cards for purposes of this campaign from Hallmark. I was not compensated for this campaign. That said as always, all opinions expressed remain my own.