How to excel at Part of the cardgiving process

Writing your message can be both the hardest and the quickest part of the card giving process We think we've done the hard bit - in finally choosing the right type of card for the occasion. We put all our energies into deciding on the most appropriate style and form of card and then after all that effort we're faced with another decision! What do we want to say inside our card? If we've opted out of the whole process then we may (perhaps subconsciously) have bought a card that 'did it all for us'! You know the type - the one with a smaltzy or even part-way acceptable greeting that in our mind - 'will do'. As we struggle to find the right card we're often only concentrating on the image on the front. Little did we know as we trawled online or in the card shops that's we'd have to find both the card front - and the greeting acceptable. Once we've got the choosing done we may want to reward ourselves with a soothing beverage. But the story isn't over, because there we are, right back into just one more stage in the card giving process.

A process? Who said it was a process? Yup! The card choosing was Stage 1. The second stage is writing and the third, giving your card. So what about the idea of "Never running out of things to write on cards again". It's a nice thought for those of us who find it hard to know what to say. We might get one bit right.

We might know what we want to say but find it hard to say it. Stuck in the throat, tied up in verbal garbage, lost in panic. We did have the thought, honestly, but sometimes it's just all too easy to give it all over to the card publishers and let them do it for us. Then, all that's left is to add your signature.

Yes, a plain swirly signature that takes up half the card will do nicely for some of us. But for the lucky person getting the card, such apathy in the message writing stakes smacks of 'couldn't care less', and that's not the image you want to give really is it? After all, you've probably 'wasted' some considerable time, energy and not to say money on getting to this stage in the first place. So don't they deserve a note, a greeting, a personal howdydoody? Of course they do. It reminds me of my brother. There he is half way round the world, sending only sporadic emails and the yearly Christmas Card. It's not that he isn't physically affectionate.

He, like many others just finds it hard to say - and to write! So there we all are, The Family, included in the mass Christmas Card send - and what do we get inside? Their names, most likely written at a condensed seasonal 'signing' session. Now I'm not ungrateful, but when it's come thousands of miles - and we only saw him just 4 weeks previously at a family wedding, you'd think there would have been a comment. But no. As a family we had to agree that he didn't do writing, but he had sent the card.

Is that how you want your card writing moment to be remembered? Because remembered it will be. You see the message - how it is written, and how it is given is all part of the process of being a super-duper card giver. So if you really want to have something up your sleeve for all eventualities, you really have to get into the spirit of the thing: · To know just what your card and message means to the person you're giving it to · To realise that some cards will be kept for a considerable time, looked at again and shared with others · To appreciate that your EXACT words are as important as the writing of them · To remember that you don't have to be an 'author'- just another human being saying it from the heart · That sometimes you just do have to say something appropriate - rather than something offensive · That some thought is better than no thought · That a signature just won't do for important occasions · That you may be lucky enough to get a card back one day - with a special message too With that said, what to write is still a struggle. Knowing we should isn't the same as being able to.Taking it one step at a time though will make the task easier, and more enjoyable.

Geraldine Jozefiak has written a useful guide on how to 'Never run out of things to write on cards again'. Greeting Card Guide gives you the latest news, trends and products to make your greeting card selection as quick, fun and painless as possible. Sign up for your FREE copy at

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