Diet Coke for the ride home – $1.25
Toll to cross the George Washington Bridge – $6.00
Gallon of gasoline to drive home – $3.29
The smile that comes to your face as you rummage in the glove compartment and find last year’s Christmas photo card with your children’s smiling faces beaming back at you – priceless.
When I was younger, my dad owned a pharmacy in a typical suburban town. It was the type of town where everyone knew everyone, and the same customers would come in to pick up their prescriptions and purchase their toiletries and other odds and ends. The pharmacy was like a village square…a place where you could shop while catching up on the town gossip. One resident would be purchasing shampoo and run into her neighbor, who was picking up her high blood pressure medication. Then another neighbor from down the street would pop her head in to say hello, and before long, the whole town was having a conversation in the shampoo aisle.
But in spite of all the blathering and nattering, the customers were incredibly loyal to my dad’s pharmacy and would come back to shop time and time again. Even if an item was temporarily out of stock, most customers would just wait until the item was restocked versus going to another pharmacy.
One year, my dad decided to send personalized Christmas cards to his VIP customers. He asked if I would help him stuff these imprinted Holiday Cards and address the envelopes, and I said yes. Little did I know he had over 300 VIP customers, so that was over 300 envelopes to handwrite, stuff, and lick shut.
After we were about halfway through, I stopped and asked my dad: “Why in the world are you going through all this trouble to mail out these business greeting cards? They’re probably going to end up in the garbage anyway.” He responded by saying: “Come to work with me the day after Christmas, and you’ll understand why.”
So the day after Christmas, I went to work with my dad. We arrived at the store bright and early in preparation for all the crazy post-Christmas shoppers. Before long, the doors were unlocked and the store flooded with customers. Except the customers weren’t congregating in the aisles and talking to their neighbors about their Christmas festivities but instead, they were standing around my dad to thank him for their personalized Christmas cards and to inquire about my family’s holiday.
At that moment, I realized why my dad decided to mail out personalized Christmas cards to his VIP customers. These customers kept the pharmacy in business for so many years, and it was his way of letting them know how much he appreciated them. So if you are looking to express gratitude to a few or several people (or 300 VIP customers), a great way to make your appreciation known is with an imprinted Christmas card.
The prospect of winning any scholarship contest, including a greeting card contest, is always an exhilarating notion…especially when the grand prize pertains to dollar signs. I’ll never forget a contest that I won when I was in middle school. My entire grade had to create an advertisement for a local restaurant. The winner would receive a $500 cash prize along with his or her ad featured in the community newspaper. $500 to a middle school student was a lot of money and I was set on winning that grand prize.
After receiving notice of the contest in school, I went straight home and began working diligently on my advertisement. I set up shop on my dining room table with construction paper, scissors, markers, colored pencils, and glue. After several hours of tracing, cutting, shading, and pasting, my masterpiece was complete. I was extremely proud of my creation and couldn’t wait to mail it in.
Over the next few weeks, I saw what some of my other classmates had created for the contest and I started losing faith in my design. My friend Josh took drawing lessons and his advertisement looked professionally done (and now that I think of it, it probably was). My other friend Dan drew cartoons in his free time and I thought his entry put mine to shame.
But low and behold, my name was announced as the grand prize winner! I spent so much time and energy doubting my work that I forgot about my own true creative potential. Sure enough, my advertisement was featured in the community newspaper and I received my $500 reward (only $50 of which I was allowed to keep because my mom made me put the rest in my savings account).
Often times with contests, it’s easy to think that you’re not going to win. So you doubt your own work or you don’t even bother entering the contest at all. But it’s crucial not to lose site of what’s really important – hard work pays off, so never lose faith in your intelligence or creativity.
So take my lesson to heart and go ahead and submit that entry to our 1st annual Create A Greeting Card Scholarship Contest because it is good enough! The entry can be as simple as a breath-taking photo of a winter scene or animals, or you can further showcase your creativeness with a more intricate original design for a particular occasion or the Holiday season.
There is something special about those great Mastercard commercials on television that just bring a smile to your face when they say the word “priceless”. Inspired by their series, this is the first in a series of installments. May they bring a smile to your face while also highlighting the small relative cost of making a client, friend, co-worker or family member feel good by sending a personalized Christmas card or business Christmas card.
As we all know from the classic story by Dr. Seuss, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, Mr. Grinch was a mean one. The beautiful end of the story has all of Whoville in smiles and Mr. Grinch “making up” with “Little Cindy Lou Who”, thus our inspiration for this blog entry.
Cup of hot chocolate to share with little Cindy Lou Who, $1.25
ATM fee for the Grinch to get money to buy food for his faithful dog Max, $1.50
Replacement Christmas tree bulb for the Whoville town tree, $0.89
Personalized Christmas Card from Mr. Grinch to all Whoville residents wishing them a Merry Christmas, priceless!
When you hear the word “windmills” you might think of farms grinding grain, or if you’re a literary type, maybe the adventures of Don Quixote of La Mancha and his attack on the windmills enters your mind. But chances are, the environmental movement doesn’t immediately occur to you.
Advanced forms of windmills are helping us tread a little lighter on the planet. Large wind turbines built in open, breezy locations capture the wind and convert it into mechanical energy, electricity being the most common form. By harnessing wind power, businesses and residents can generate clean energy without utilizing fossil fuels that are harmful to the environment. Since I am an eco-conscious individual, I can certainly appreciate the benefits provided in this practice.
Windpower not only creates renewable energy to light homes and offices, it also produces power for machinery in manufacturing processes such as paper production. The Gallery Collection takes advantage of this fast-growing and environmentally responsible method to produce the majority of our greeting cards.
Check out our large selection of Windpower Cards, whose paper stock was produced with wind-powered energy. I think it’s pretty amazing that windpower is a contributing factor in creating such exquisite, environmentally friendly greeting cards…and in fact, the card I chose for my personal Christmas cards this year came from this selection! But if the card design you choose happens to not be one of our windpower cards, you can still feel good about your purchase since all of our envelopes are now produced using wind-powered energy.
When I set about to order my Christmas cards, I became aware that in the past, being politically correct was not an issue that affected me. I reviewed some of the cards that I received in previous years and, lo and behold, most of them wished me a Merry Christmas!
The more I think about it, the more I am starting to doubt the “correctness” of avoiding the Merry Christmas phrase. After all, do the recipients of these cards not know that the season in Season’s Greetings includes Christmas?
In my opinion, anyone who thinks about me and takes the time to contact me is obviously not trying to offend me. On the other hand, if I am aware that a friend or contact is sensitive to this issue, I will act accordingly. I think that we should take the recipients of our cards into consideration, and then choose a card that pleases us as well as it would please them. It is a well known observation that when choosing a gift, one should choose something that they would really like to keep for themselves!
Should we no longer send Season’s Greetings cards altogether? Of course not; but let’s not make using “Merry Christmas” a thing of the past either.
Does anything get you in the Holiday Spirit more then receiving a holiday card from a business that you are a frequent customer of? Think about it. In the midst of all the holiday cards that you expect from your friends and family, isn’t it a nice surprise to receive a Business Christmas Card just for being a good customer? Every Christmas, the deli down the street sends out Christmas cards to their best customers. Now, this is just a small local deli, however, that makes their gesture even more special because I know they must be on a limited budget, and they consider their customers worth spending extra money on. Every year, when I open up my Christmas card from that local deli, it’s a nice reminder that they appreciate my business.
There are all kinds of large corporations where every customer is nothing but a number. Businesses can spend so much money trying to generate new customers that the current customers can get lost in the fray. I think I speak for most people when I say that as a loyal customer, it’s nice to be rewarded every once in a while. It gives extra incentive just to re-enter a store. In some stores, I’m forgotten the second I walk out their door. Business Christmas cards can help to eliminate that feeling. Those holiday cards from the deli make me feel like if I stop going there, they’ll notice and I’ll be missed as a customer. Business Christmas Cards can make you feel like more then just a profit. And really, who are you more likely to give your business to: a company that forgets you as soon as you walk out the door, or a company that takes the time to keep your information and makes an effort to keep in contact with you?
When signing a Christmas or holiday greeting card, when does one use the word “love” in the signature area? Naturally, during the holidays there is a lot of love going around, gifts being given, elbows being bent. But how does the card-giver make sure there are no feathers ruffled by the way they sign their cards?
When sending personal Christmas cards to family members, longtime friends or coworkers who you are close to, it is perfectly sensible to sign using the word “love”. Doing so is in keeping with the feeling of being close to others and the sentimentality that comes with that time of year. However, when writing the obligatory cards to, let’s say, a boss or coworker, using “love” would be inappropriate to say the least.
So what does one do? Well, let’s put it this way… as you write the word, if you feel great about what you are writing and you know there will be a smile on the face of the recipient, then, by all means, go for it. If, however, there are any stomach pangs, second thoughts or, perhaps, that nervous sensation deep down in the stomach, don’t do it! It is better to be politically correct and not have to worry about having done the wrong thing than it is to try to repair any sensitive egos or hurt feelings once the cold winds of January are blowing.
The day and the season are called Christmas for a reason. I like to acknowledge and celebrate the reason for the season. That’s why I choose to send religious Christmas cards. They allow me to express the joy and peace I feel for this glorious occasion, and to spread and share these feelings with others. It’s a choice that helps me to stay centered during a hectic time of year.
Often I will choose a nativity scene; there are so many beautiful versions from which to choose. Certainly I have used prints of famous paintings, but sometimes I’ve been drawn by the simplicity of more modern representational art.
Some years, as I recall in 2001, I felt an urgency to let a white dove represent my deeply felt beliefs. I’ve found a couple of other ways to express both my religious beliefs and my hopes for peace on this earth. One year I sent a whole wreath of doves, and last year I sent a lovely Christmas tree that was decorated with doves. I also enjoy using religious Christmas cards that picture angels. It’s my little way of sending the reminder that “angels are among us.”
Although I’m not trying to tell others what beliefs they should hold or how they should worship, it’s important to me to express my faith in my daily life. One way for me to do that at Christmas is to choose religious cards celebrating the birth of Christ and wishing peace to everyone.
I’m a recycling nut…there, I said it. Look at my curb on recycling day and you’ll see mounds of bags filled with newspapers and other paper scraps and barrels full of empty plastic and glass bottles. Throw a soda can out in the garbage? No way. Recycling just makes sense to me. Why add something to our already overwhelming landfills when it can be taken to a recycling facility and transformed into something else?
In addition to recycling whatever I can, I like to purchase items that are made from reclaimed materials, which are more readily available than you may think. For example, instead of buying cards produced with virgin pulp, I opt for recycled greeting cards. Some people think that using recycled content for paper decreases the quality, strength and aesthetic value of the paper; however, with advancements in technology and processes just the opposite is true. Recycled papers are available in a wide variety of colors and weights, and can produce a beautiful, elegant card.
There are many ways to be environmentally conscious. Some are complicated and costly but others, like buying recycled paper cards, are easy and affordable. By sending a recycled card for your annual Christmas card mailing, you’ll show your recipients that you care about the environment (and maybe in the process you’ll convert some of them into being more eco-friendly!)
And to take it a step further…in addition to buying recycled cards to send to friends and family, think twice before throwing out the cards you receive… recycle those cards by using them in greeting card crafts projects. Yet another way to be friendly to the planet!