Eight Tactics for Handling Greeting Card Occasions

Day 142 by Cosmic Bandita on Flickr!A while back, I wrote about making your own greeting cards as a solution to the over-the-top expense of greeting cards, but merely using a blank card from a stationery store is only one narrow solution to a broader problem.

And that problem is?

There is a very wide variety of situations and customs for which greeting cards are expected. Birthdays, holidays throughout the year, graduations, weddings, and Christmas are all events where people often send (or expect to receive) greeting cards, and people often keep up the custom simply because they don’t want to be seen as cheap.

Since there are so many different situations – with different relationships and connections – the simple solution of a blank greeting card with some nice writing on the inside doesn’t always work. Instead, one should try a diversity of tactics, all designed to help you (and others) spend less on greeting cards and spend more (time and money) on each other.

Discuss the situation with close relatives and friends.

If you have some close friends and family that are understanding and willing to discuss things, sit down with them and suggest that you stop exchanging cards and instead exchange phone calls or visits for such situations. A twenty minute phone call is substantially more personal, less expensive (usually), and takes about the same amount of time as picking out a greeting card. The point is not to simply stop exchanging sentiments, but to have those sentiments not involve the needless expense of a greeting card.

Use a $5 bill instead of a card.

This is a great tactic for a graduation card or a child’s birthday card, if one is expected. Instead of buying a card, get an envelope and put a $5 bill inside with a tiny note paperclipped (or taped) to it that says “I bet you’d enjoy this more than just another greeting card!” And, almost always, they will.

Send a letter or a picture of your family instead of a card.

Cards are often just sent to express a desire to maintain a personal connection, so why not just send something authentically personal instead of a birthday card or a Christmas card? Send a picture of your family (prints are less than a quarter) and a one page handwritten letter instead of a card for such occasions – the letter won’t take that long and it will mean far more to the recipient than a generic card ever will.

Create a nice paper card with your computer.

If you prefer the aesthetics of a folded card, create one on your home computer and use heavy stock paper to print them out. Use your own creativity to create a card, or use cards you like as a template. Then just print them out yourself – the cost is substantially less than it would be otherwise.

Use public domain (or non-commercial licensed) pictures for art.

Many people wish to use stylized art on their printed greeting cards, so go out there and look for some! There are treasure troves of art out there that people have already marked for sharing freely for non-commercial use (like on your cards). For starters, use the Flickr advanced search and check the box at the bottom of the page that allows you to search for Creative Commons-licensed content. Then, up at the top, enter a general term or two for what you’re looking for, then use what you want for your own letters or greeting cards to spruce them up.

Use quoted poetry to express sentiments instead of greeting card text.

Many people struggle to find the words to express the sentiment they want to share. One effective way to do this is to simply quote poetry or song lyrics, and a good place to get started on that is to use a poetry search engine to find exactly what you want. Rather than limiting yourself to ten poor choices of sentiment on the cards at the store, search for your own at home out of millions of poems and songs and use the perfect one in your own self-designed card or letter.

Write your own sentiments in your own handwriting.

I personally find anything handwritten to be much more sentimental and powerful than anything printed. Take the time to actually write down your thoughts and feelings, even if you’re just copying a poem down in your own handwriting. It will actually mean much more to the recipient that these words are ones you evidently considered and thought about on your own, carefully and lovingly.

Encourage others to do the same through your own actions.

Many people still shy away from these tactics because it’s going against the grain. My philosophy? The more you do things like this on your own, sticking your neck out a bit, the more you’re going to convince others to do the same. I’d far rather receive ten handwritten notes at Christmas than ten prepackaged Christmas cards – not only is the sender saving money, they’re sending true sentiments instead.

Now’s the time to get started, with your very next card-giving occasion. Find a tactic that works for each situation, then apply it. Each greeting card you don’t buy is at least a few dollars saved in your pocket, and each time you replace that generic card with something truly personal and sentimental, you build up a valuable personal relationship.

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  1. Sarah says:

    I bet people will get riled up about this post, Trent! I have to ask, do you and your wife receive many of the individually-sold Hallmark-type cards, with nothing but a signature at the bottom, for all the various holidays and such?

    I don’t give or receive a lot of cards, but I am always happy to receive one, and when I send one I make a point to write something personal. (Cards are nice mementos — for that reason only I wouldn’t give a kid $5 with a sticky note attached.)

    And for what it’s worth, many people who use the pre-printed cards carefully select them for their meaning — it doesn’t have to be in one’s own handwriting to be thoughtful.

  2. I always get cards from the “DollarTree/Everything’s-a-Dollar” store.

    2 cards for $1, with envelopes, and they are really nicely done cards.

    Can’t beat that.
    (That store works really well for $1 picture/photo frames, too…)

  3. MG says:

    It’s seen as cheap to make your own? Not so much where I live, a hand-done card is much, much more valued than a store-bought one. Usually the only reason people buy a store-bought one is because they didn’t have enough time to make a nice one. (And they almost always apologize for it.)

    Making one- or printing one out even- shows that you thought about the person your giving it to, not just picking something out at random! :D

  4. BW says:

    …or just send an e-card :)
    Not only do you not have to buy a card, but you don’t have to pay for postage either.

  5. Jeff says:

    When we need to send a card, we go to the Dollar Tree and get those .50 cards which really work well.

    On occasion, we have used personal phone calls instead of cards. Actually speaking with the person and giving a personalized greeting is always appreciated. If you have close friends or family, you can negotiate with them to exchange phone calls instead of cards.

    I would rather have a phone call than a card any day!

  6. Tana says:

    There are a lot bigger problems – like having to spend $40/person on gifts – than greeting cards. To me, they are a non-issue. I love Christmas cards with letters on them. I love seeing cards adorning my bookcase in the living room around special occasions. It adds to the festivity and reminds me that I’m loved. For less than $5 including postage, that’s a bargain!

  7. Penny says:

    I recently saw a great idea and used it: find a free word search puzzle maker (there are lots of them online, with different options), enter in words relevant to your card recipient, print the puzzle, cut it to fit a blank or recycled card, and embellish as desired.

    I did this for my dad’s birthday, using a free card sent to me as part of a fund-raising campaign as the base. He loves word search puzzles. I used 20 words that included his name, birth month and day, hometown, occupation, hobbies, etc. I circled “happy” and “birthday”, glued the puzzle to the front of the card and the word list to the back.

    Unfortunately, my dad didn’t notice the word list, so he and my mother thought I’d done something really cheap (not in a good way)! Once I pointed it out, they both thought it was great. A tip: put the wordlist on the INSIDE of the card!

  8. Lisa says:

    I buy blank cards at the craft store (about $3.50 for 50 cards on a good sale) and have my children draw pictures on them. Maybe it’s cheap, but I think it’s good for the kids to think about what the relative or friend in question would like — makes them consider other people more than choosing a card in the store.

  9. codelia says:

    Thank you for posting this! I’m one of those non-sentimental people who think paper greeting cards are nothing but a waste. I do keep a stash of blank cards on hand (one in my car, too), so I can write my own words and add some money to the envelope for graduations, anniversaries, etc.

    Since I don’t save cards (I abhor clutter), I find it totally wasteful to send a $3 card which will be recycled immediately anyway. I love the idea of money with a little note saying “go buy yourself something instead”!

  10. Eden says:

    Those are some good tips. This can be a sticky issue, I hate spending $4 – $5 on a card that is just going to be looked at and thrown away. The only cards I see getting any more use than that is Christmas cards, which we typically display for the whole month or so that we send/receive them, so those might warrant spending a little more money. For other times of the year, I opt for inexpensive cards, emails, or phone calls.

  11. Misa says:

    Another option would be to send postcards, rather than cards. If you’ve got a lot of people to mail to, this could save you a chunk of change. If you can’t find appropriate postcards – and don’t want to make your own – consider getting cards and cutting the front off. It works quite nicely.

  12. My son was looking for another creative way to thank the people who sent him gifts thru the mail! we are in Germany, and he absolutely LOVED the word search idea. He’s already printing them up now! Thanks!

  13. I use email cards for all but Christmas and sympathy cards. The email cards I use — Jacquie Lawson’s at http://www.jacquielawson.com/ — are not free, but they are unique, interesting, fun, and lovely. Recipients invariably enjoy the cards. Cost for a one-year subscription is $10 (USD), $16 for two years. I can personalize the cards and send as many as I like for the duration of my membership. It’s a lot cheaper than buying paper cards. Jo

  14. rhymeswithlibrarian says:

    I love the idea of substituting phone calls, cash, or short handwritten notes for greeting cards… but please don’t switch to “ecards”! They harvest both the senders’ and receivers’ addresses for spam lists, and they’re a waste of time… I don’t want to get an email telling me to follow a link and wait for some tinny music and cutesy graphic to download. If you want to send me a message, please just put it in the email… thanks!

  15. TJP says:

    You can create postcards on the USPS website with your own photos. It’s cool to send a photo card with your own note on it and it doesn’t cost much at all and it lasts a long time and the USPS mails it out.

  16. Anna says:

    UNICEF has a nice array of cards that are reasonably priced (usually ~$1 per card, boxed), for Christmas, Hanukkah, and birthdays, as well as pretty cards that are blank inside for other occasions. You get to send a nice card and help the world’s children at the same time.

  17. Alex says:

    I just found a site called postcard.fm. You select any photo, any song and email an audio postcard to a friend. It lets you write a message too. Oh, and it’s free!

  18. Mrs. Micah says:

    Greeting cards always leave me with a clutter problem–what do I do with them? I feel guilty throwing them away…some can be cut into nice bookmarks, but the rest just pile up. So I do throw them away and feel bad about it.

    Lately, I’ve started only buying cards if I’m either giving only cash or if it seems particularly appropriate. Otherwise I’ll write a note and attach it to the gift, send a long e-mail, something like that. For my sister’s birthday last week, I wrote her a blog post instead of a card.

  19. Nick says:

    Instead of buying my wife greeting cards, I buy her a nice pack of stationery and I write a nice note on the top sheet. This way I have given her something that she can actually use while showing her my love in my own words.

  20. Melissa says:

    Well, I’m cheap AND lazy. I tried to do the Christmas card thing way back when I was a “young married”, and it was just too expensive and I didn’t have time (Christmas is absolute hell for a musician)…so I just started not sending any. Little by little, I dropped off everybody’s lists and started getting fewer and fewer cards, until finally hardly anybody sends me any. So I don’t have to fret about what to do with them. And I got the vibe that people were sort of going “whew, I can cross them off!” Nobody stopped talking to me or anything!

    I like finding a really funny card to send/give people. They’re the only kind I buy. If they want Christmas sentiment, they’ll just have to come hear me sing.

  21. I am a bit surprised by this article mostly because I place so much value to greeting cards and handwritten notes. Lets face it most of our mail these days are bills and advertisements! Ask yourself when you receive a card in the mail along with all the bills what do you do? Do you open the bills first? How do you feel when you receive a card? I know for me I love to receive them and I also love to send them! I know when I send an unexpected card to someone I care about it makes them feel special, a simple card can make someones bad day brighter, or arrive at the perfect time in someones life. So what is that worth to you? I send out cards everyday! Sometimes 2 or 3 per day! The cards I send out are $0.62 each plus the stamp and they are quality cards. So if you had a simple solution that was also cost effective, would you send more cards? (self promotion but only way i can tell you how to do this) If you want to lean how I do this visit http://www.sendoutcards.com/allabout . No matter what you use to send cards please know people appreciate receiving them and they are worth it!

  22. Lenore says:

    For the birthday of my nephew who just started college, I found a humorous memo pad from a dollar store that fit into a standard size envelope. I was about to spend $2.69 for a birthday card the right size when I noticed Target’s charming selection of gift cards. They had 3-D images, moving parts, little games and messages to fit most occasions. I’m sure he’ll have more fun with $5 to spend as he pleases than a mass-marketed greeting. There was plenty of room on the gift card envelope for a sentiment, or I could have written something on the first page of the notepad. Point is, he got a little surprise and reminder that I’m thinking about him as he makes this life transition, and it cost me less than $7 including postage.

  23. cv says:

    I’m trying to imagine a situation where a blank card with sentiments hand-written inside it would be perceived as worse than a typical store-bought card, and I’m not coming up with anything. Packs of pretty notepaper and notecards are much less expensive than cards, and writing something by hand shows you put thought into it.

    Miss Manners is totally anti-greeting card – she thinks it’s much better to send a short personalized note or a real letter, and I tend to agree.

  24. Lynette says:

    A couple of days after Christmas, buy your Christmas cards and decorations for next Christmas as they are heavily discounted. You will save loads of money and will not have to go through the Christmas rush next year.

  25. M E @ says:

    I can/do find beautiful greeting cards at most of the different dollar stores in my area plus a few other non-traditional greeting card purveyors. Said cards run 2/$1. Works for me. MOST people are going to open the card, read it, say thanks and within a week, toss it. Why waste your time and/or effort? It is allegdly the thought that counts, so a store bought card always suffices.

  26. Kevin Markl says:

    If you are going to buy a card, might I suggest getting UNICEF cards online. Good looking cards and the money doesn’t go to another corporation but instead to deserving kids.

    Check it out, link posted.

  27. Mary says:

    I buy blank cards and have my kids paint/stamp/whatever on them. They love to work on a project and love to see their artwork mailed out. We also give “card packs” to the grannies on Mother’s Day and Birthdays for them to send to their friends. Don’t know what I’ll do when they are too big to enjoy this, though one of my friends does cards with scrapbook stuff. She says even that is cheaper than buying a redi-made card.

  28. Vanessa says:

    I agree with Lynette- buy your Christmas and other holiday cards a few weeks after the occasion – you will save 50-75%. I also recycle the cards people give me to make gift tags for future holidays and gifts.

    However, I can’t get on board with the cheap-o cards from the dollar stores – they just look so cheap and chintzy! I would rather no card at all with a gift, or instead a homemade card on it’s own.

  29. NJ Hipster says:

    As a college student who rarely gets to see her family, I cherish every greeting card my mom sends me.

    I hope people never stop sending greeting cards- there is something to be said for old-fashioned mail.

  30. pam munro says:

    It’s not hard to collect an inexpensive bunch of greeting cards at far less than the $5 list price (even Hallmark has a cheaper card line, now!) I always look for greeting cards in thrift shops and find many nice ones.

    You can also get free card samples through the internet. I have made my own using collage and card stock – and made computer ones (altho it uses up ink). I have also used blank note cards – with my own greeting added with a calligraphy pen. There ARE nice cards at dollar stores sometimes. I got some with the Museum of Modern Art imprint on them a few years ago. When that happens – stock up.

    Just looking at the few cards I got recently for my birthday. Ecards are OK – but it IS nice to have something to look at for days/weeks afterwards!

  31. frizzy says:

    I’m that riled up person the first poster predicted.

    Of all the “problems” in the world, to bear down on this one really blows me away. I love giving and getting cards and I can’t believe someone would make a raft of phone calls asking all their “loved ones” to just stop the practice. I obviously read this blog because I am interested in simple, non-material living but are you really THIS CHEAP??!!! If you don’t want to send them, then don’t. But how mean to ask everybody else to stop, too, because you can’t value the practice. I love it when one person declares himself king of the world and decides for everybody else what is worth spending money on and what isn’t.

    We send a holiday card that we make every year *instead* of giving presents. Our many overseas recipients, and some of the U.S. nieces and nephews, too, love seeing the stamps as much as the card — which always includes a personal handwritten note. The cost is quite comparable to a gift, only the effort is truly personal.

  32. Battra92 says:

    As a guy who loves stationary and special pens (this weekend I hand stitched and bound my own notebook for fun) and I love the idea of handwritten notes and good stationary. Using good high quality paper (think Crane, not copy paper) and some well thought out notes you can really make a stronger point.

    By the way, PLEASE don’t put paperclips in the mail. They can screw up the machine. Cash in the mail is an equally bad idea. A check or even better a savings bond would be more in the direction to go.

  33. liv says:

    I love sending greeting cards. It can be a little frustrating to go into a store with a list of cards to get and walk out realizing you spent 20 bucks for the next 7 birthdays/anniversaries/weddings coming up, but as time passes though, you learn whose birthdays warrant greeting cards and whose you can get away with e-cards.

    I don’t think 3ish bucks (card + envelope + stamp) is too much to ask to give someone a warm fuzzy on their special day though. it is actually cheaper than the potential gift you’d be stressed out to feel like you need to give them.

  34. JB says:

    I started buying the boxed blank greeting cards in bulk. Find a nice pattern and use these for all occasions. These cost .10-.30 cents each which is fine with me. They aren’t ‘personalized’ with a birthday quote, etc but I add in my own personal message.

    Dollar tree is a good option as well. I started scrapbooking some cards but this is not necessarily cheaper than buying them. I find though the recipient REALLy enjoys them more and I get the satisfaction of my hobby.

    Hallmark cards are off the wall expensive. I would rather add in the 3-5 dollars into the present price than a card.

    I think sending actual cards is a thoughtful and personal way to show you care.

  35. reulte says:

    I love cards – receiving, sending, holding on to them for exactly the right occasion. I once fell in love with a guy I never met who sent me two perfect cards.

    A few years ago I lucked onto a store going out of business and stocked up – so I’m all for the after-holiday sales.

    I use holiday cards for Christmas decorations; sometimes on the tree folded over the light cord (probably dangerous but very pretty with glittery cards), sometimes on the mantle or wall. Sometimes I make bookmarks out of cards, or present tags or take off the back half and use as a postcard. If you make your own notebooks (a la hipster PDA which I learned here and is a great idea) you can use one as a notebook cover. I’ve thought about using the back halves to add some thickness to homemade paper for art project, but haven’t gotten around to doing that yet.

    But a letter? I keep those forever.

  36. There are certain relatives in my family who would be / have been offended if they are not “remembered” on their birthday and special occasions.

    It doesn’t seem fair to me to send cards to those people, and not to others who hold the same rank in the family.

    So to handle this expectation on a budget, I buy blank cards, have a bunch of rubber stamps for all occasions (many of which I picked up cheaply at garage sales or clearance bins), and handcraft a variety of cards in advance.

    When the occasion comes up, I pull an appropriate one out of my box.

  37. raanne says:

    One of my friends found a great idea somewhere, and we have tried to do it – When you find a card that you really like (funny, on point, etc.) – write the message on the inside on a post-it, and then the card can be re-used by the person that receives it.

  38. Gilora says:

    I buy boxes of all-occasion cards from Costco. The cards are very nice, with 3-D artwork. They each come with a coordinating envelope and are individually wrapped. Some are for specific occasions and some just have nice artwork on the outside and are blank inside. They definitely do not look cheap or chintzy. A box of some 50 cards (icluding gift enclosures) runs about $14.99 plus tax. They have saved us an enormous amount of time over the years in that we hardly ever have to go to a stationery store.

  39. mjukr says:

    Trent, just a nit-pick. If you use a number in the title of a post, maybe number the actual items in the post? Maybe it’s just me, but it’s easier on the eyes.

  40. LaVida Loca says:

    Hi Trent,
    I have nine grandchildren and most of them LOVE to get something in the mailbox! Here is what I do: I bought a LOT of “forever” stamps from Costco before the last postage increase. Now I take photos when we go on a trip, when the grandkids visit us, or anything I think might interest them. I use the photos (especially if it is of that child) to make the front of an inexpensive photocard (these are really cheap when on sale in boxes at places like Walmart). It takes some planning but it never fails to thrill the kids. BTW, I have a set of elementary-age grandchildren that I can’t see very often. On the back of the cards I make I put something like “Made with love just for (child’s name) by Grandma” and a small photo of myself. My son says it really helps his boys recognize just who sent the card!

  41. Maha says:

    I can’t stand buying greeting cards, so I make my own on the computer and printer. This year for Christmas, I want to make my own. For the Christmas cards we receive, I take the really nice ones, and cut out the picture and use it on the wrapping paper for next year’s Christmas packages. Or, if I’m giving a pair of earrings for example, I’ll tape/glue the box onto the front part of the card, so the little box becomes part of the picture. I prefer receiving handmade cards, now, rather than store bought, especially if they come from my kids.

  42. WendyB says:

    I buy 10 cards for a dollar at Dollar General, all occasion or birthday or whatever. I don’t think they look especially cheap. I send a lot of cards and 10 cents plus the cost of a stamp(whatever that may be now. . . I don’t even know anymore) is not a big deal.

  43. Gabe says:

    Another option for people that like to send cards, including business people (who I believe are their target customers) is a company called Send Out Cards (www.sendoutcards.com). There is a set-up fee, but the cost of the cards is low enough that you should recoup it fairly quickly if you send cards regularly. And they have some cool features that make the process pretty easy. I use it in my business to send thank-you cards and things, but I’m not affiliated with the company.
    Gabe

  44. MoreCents says:

    For my birthday this year, I asked my family to make me birthday cards, in lieu of gifts (but not cake).

    I received the funniest cards, from my niece, who used a ton of glitter on a big sheet of construction paper, to my Dad, who drew a stick figure of the two of us on a post-it note. I took pictures of all the cards and put them in my scrapbook. Great birthday.

  45. Amy says:

    Hi Trent,

    I am a regular reader of your blog, and very often find myself nodding in agreement at your thoughts on many topics. That said, please consider not being too hard on the gretting card/gift product industry. It provides a living for many talented illustrators, whose skills are otherwise wholly undervalued in this age of slick, computer generated graphics and effects. For many artists, this field also provides an entry into regular paid commercial work – the children’s book industry which has more prestige I think, is notoriously hard to break into.

    I am an illustrator on a career hiatus to raise my three children, but I am forever deeply grateful to the art director who gave me my first break- designing Christmas gift wrap and Halloween gift bags. And to a cash-strapped 20 something, the pay was a huge source of pride, as much needed supplement to my low paying day job. Ok, I’ll get off my soap box now. I’m looking forward to reading about whatever topics you’ll be tackling this week.

  46. Barbara says:

    I’m going to disagree with you on this one. While I make most of my own cards rather than buying them, there are lots of cards out there that are not expenseive. It’s not necessary to spend five bucks on a card anymore.

    and frankly, in this day of email and phone calls, I think a letter or card is a wonderful think. Most of the cards I get don’t just have a signature at the bottom, them are newsy and in my family at least, where we no longer write “letters’ Often they are a joy.

    most of the solution you mention are things I do with a cared (add a photo, or even make a photo card), send money, write a poem.

  47. Nerida says:

    While living in England, I found cards to be both highly expected socially and VERY expensive in the shops. This particularly hit home to me when I saw on the calendar that we had separate weddings to attend for each weekend of the whole summer! I couldn’t fit presents and cards into the budget and worried about leaving any of the couples “short” on their presents. I bought a packet of red envelopes from Chinatown – less than a pound for a pack of 20, bright red with a cheerful picture of a bride and groom (Chinese-style, very exotic in Northern England!) – and took a piece of coloured paper (I do origami and there’s always something around, but even decorated copy paper has worked in the past). On one side of the paper we wrote something appropriate to the particular couple, then I folded it up, usually into a love knot, with either a 20 pound note or a cheque.

    Our little red envelopes always stood out on the gifts table, and that way we could afford to give an amount of money that we considered more helpful to each new couple. Most of the weddings were for very young people who needed all the help possible to pay for the wedding/set up their new houses together! Moreover, the little envelopes have also made their ways into several “wedding memories” scrapbooks /albums!

    Cheap and cheerful, with a dash of consideration as to what you WANT to give and why, can remove a huge burden.

  48. Kate says:

    Nerida, I absolutely love your creativity and frugalness all put together. Perhaps you could help us all!

  49. Linda says:

    One day, when paying for a couple of gifts and cards for my grandson and another person whose birthday was also near, I noticed that the two cards came to over nine dollars. I know that my young grandson could care less about birthday cards, and I’m sure he didn’t keep it. The other person may or may not have kept hers. I keep some of the ones I receive, because of sentiment, and they bring back memories when I look through them. But I’d rather have a letter or a note. Save your money and send me your time and effort. I value the cards I’ve received which include a letter or note because of the personal inclusion–not because of the card. Plain paper is just fine. Nine dollars for two cards. For some people, that’s a family meal. That was the day I stopped buying cards, except for the occassional obligatory event. I’ve told my friends and family, and most tell me they feel the same. I receive more thank-you’s for my letters/notes than I ever did for the cards I’ve sent. I also receive more letters/notes from close friends and family than I used to. I also receive a hand-made card once in awhile, which I treasure. Great article.

  50. Mary says:

    Some items to purchase grind my teeth more than others, and greeting cards and wrapping paper are 2 of them. I like greeting cards & I like a brightly wrapped present, but it really bothers me how much they charge-you can have $10.00 or more just in a card & paper, not counting the gift!! My answer is to go to the General Dollar store where cards are .50 cents each. Before I did this I thought they might be crummy looking cards, like some of those bulk card purchases are-”okay” cards but you can tell they aren’t as nice as the pricey ones. But I’ve found very nice ones at the General Dollar so that’s where I get them. 50 cents is fine with me, $6.00 is not.

  51. Michele says:

    For children, I give a paperback book instead of a card and write the birthday message inside the front cover. I collect books for around $2 each and save them for this use.

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