CardsDirect Blog http://blog.cardsdirect.com News and Insights from the World of Greeting Cards Fri, 22 Dec 2017 19:30:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 http://blog.cardsdirect.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/cropped-favicon-gif-32x32.gif CardsDirect Blog http://blog.cardsdirect.com 32 32 The Top 10 Holiday Facebook Shares http://blog.cardsdirect.com/holiday/top-10-holiday-internet-searches-2016/ Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:00:52 +0000 http://blog.cardsdirect.com/?p=6531 Check out the hottest holiday internet content and Facebook shares from last year. Sure to make you laugh, cry, and even a little hungry.

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Holiday fever is in full-swing – with much of the season ingrained in traditions that are passed on and sometimes refined to make room for the latest generation’s festive take. Some things that will always remain the same are the importance placed on family and friends, and enjoyable things like gift-giving, card-sending, cookie-baking, Christmas music, and classic holiday movies.

With the lights hung, the nativity sets pristine, and the weather crisp, we all can’t help but get in the spirit a little bit. The internet is undoubtedly flooded with holiday-related searches and social media shares, from recipe posts to shopping ideas, heartwarming articles, Gifs, YouTube videos, and irresistibly cute holiday commercials. When the holidays get to be too much, the relatives are driving you nuts, and the credit card bills start rising, we have the internet to remind us that it’s all just part of the season – the crazy holiday season. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular content on the internet from 2016 to get you geared up for this year. Some of which has been shared over a million times on Facebook! Be sure and thank us later.

Carpool Karaoke

Yep, it’s way, way up at the top, because everyone loves Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and a batch of A-list singers. There are over a million Facebook shares, just last year, to prove it! Even if you say you don’t, you still secretly do, and can’t help but crack a smile at this video. The Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey, is leading the pack with “All I Want for Christmas is You” with guest appearances from Adele, Elton John, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, Chris Martin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Gwen Stefani. Take a look.

Easy No-Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

Photograph of easy no-bake chocolate oat bars.

With Christmas cookies on the brain, but little time to make them, what’s the solution? Apparently, it’s no-bake chocolate oat bars. It’s a relatively guilt-free snack with a sinfully-sweet chocolate drizzle. And for those of us who are balancing a dozen other things this season, they are quick to make but impressive to eat. Check out a recipe that was shared over 200,000 times on Facebook last year and pinned more than 700,000 times on Pinterest. Click here.

Silent Night by Chewbacca

Okay, so it’s pure nonsense, but there is something rather endearing about Chewbacca singing Christmas carols. Over 750,000 Facebook users in 2016 agree! In fact, Star Wars has been capitalizing on the Christmas season for some time now, dating back to the days when records were still spinning in homes across America. But Chewy has moved on to bigger and better things. You be the judge on whether video killed this radio-star with this YouTube clip.

Polish Christmas Commercial

Elderly man sitting in a bathtub with a blue shower cap on.

Allegro is a hugely popular e-commerce marketplace in Poland, used more than both Amazon and eBay. They also produced this really impressive holiday commercial, shared over 630,000 times on Facebook last year. It details a Polish man learning English for a trip to meet his American-born granddaughter for the first time. It taps into a real part of all of us and the things we do to form more meaningful relationships with our loved ones. It’s cute, humorous, and even a little inappropriate. It’s tender and authentic. This sweet old man with his adorable doggy sidekick stole our hearts last year. And the moment when he finally meets his granddaughter…just precious. Click here or the image above to watch.

Forest Hill Ad

Forest Hill, a non-denominational North Carolina church with several different locations throughout the area, released a truly great video that was shared approximately 630,000 times on Facebook in 2016. The video tackles the issue of rampant consumerism around the holidays with skillfully precise humor. There is endless monetary pressure around the holidays, but take a look at what you already have this season, and be excited! Check out this ad; you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Chicago Hospital has Amazing Story

Small African American girl in a colorful outfit surrounded by toys in a Children's Hospital.

One woman, a food service aide for a Chicago-area hospital, goes above and beyond for the young patients by purchasing nearly 1,300 hundred toys at the cost of almost $5,000. Jessie Tendayi saves up all year to give the children a wonderful holiday. Click here to check out this article that was shared over 540,000 times on Facebook last year, and learn more about her amazing act of kindness.

Kindness Advent Calendar

Red and green calendar with leaf border noting nice things to do for other people in the month of December.

To ensure your own acts of kindness, take a look at this unique advent calendar from this UK-based website. Each day it makes an achievable suggestion on how to brighten up someone’s day as well as your own. It’s a great reminder of how to make the world a bit better one day at a time. Last year it was shared over 530,000 times on Facebook!

Christmas GIF

A shirtless Santa wakes up in bed and realizes he is late for work.

This humorous Christmas GIF was shared over 470,000 times on Facebook last year and features a relatable Santa who’s running late for work. Who will you send it to?

John Lewis Christmas Commercial

Pure perfection from John Lewis and we shouldn’t expect anything less. John Lewis is a department-store chain based in the United Kingdom; they also produced one of the cutest holiday commercials I have ever seen (shared over 450,000 times on Facebook last year), along with several others that are equally as good. What’s better than animals getting together to celebrate Christmas? Them doing it on a trampoline.

M&M’s Christmas Cookie Bars

Baking bowl filled with cookie batter and M&M's, sitting on a wooden table on top of a red and white polka dotted napkin.

Another sweet treat to end the list. This recipe wasn’t a huge hit on Facebook, but it was pinned over 500,000 times on Pinterest in 2016. In about 15 minutes you can guarantee dozens of likes at your next Christmas party by clicking here.

 

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Funny Christmas Cards Perfect for Your Business http://blog.cardsdirect.com/business-holiday-cards/funny-business-christmas-cards-for-your-holiday-portfolio/ Fri, 10 Nov 2017 16:45:25 +0000 http://blog.cardsdirect.com/?p=6497 Funny Christmas cards are a great way to ramp up your holiday cheer!  Businesses also use them to bring a little levity to their industry and personalize their experience with customers and coworkers. We’ve created some funny Christmas cards for our top businesses, and hope you find them as jovial as we do. Some are actually available on our site, so click the images to find out which ones! Funny Christmas cards for law firms This adorable and funny Christmas card takes a jab at our American right to remain silent when being questioned. The right to remain silent isn’t typically invoked by a little boy during a visit with Santa Clause, but hey, there’s a first time for everything. Funny Christmas cards for law enforcement Here’s another holiday bad-boy that isn’t talking (well, bad dog). Stay out of his way this season. Also, be sure to stay out of trouble because you don’t want to end up like him. Funny financial Christmas cards Magic meets pragmatism, and it isn’t pretty. While very sensible advice, Santa isn’t in it for the money – he’s bringing joy to each and every boy and girl no matter what – even if he ...

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Funny Christmas cards are a great way to ramp up your holiday cheer!  Businesses also use them to bring a little levity to their industry and personalize their experience with customers and coworkers. We’ve created some funny Christmas cards for our top businesses, and hope you find them as jovial as we do. Some are actually available on our site, so click the images to find out which ones!

Funny Christmas cards for law firms

Colorful cartoon of children waiting for Santa. The boy sitting on his lap replies, "As you your question 'Were you a good boy?'...my attorney tells me, I have the right to remain silent!"

This adorable and funny Christmas card takes a jab at our American right to remain silent when being questioned. The right to remain silent isn’t typically invoked by a little boy during a visit with Santa Clause, but hey, there’s a first time for everything.

Funny Christmas cards for law enforcement

A pug, wearing a Santa cap and chewing on a candy-cane, is receiving a mugshot. The text below him reads 'Happy Holidays' in red letters.

Here’s another holiday bad-boy that isn’t talking (well, bad dog). Stay out of his way this season. Also, be sure to stay out of trouble because you don’t want to end up like him.

Funny financial Christmas cards

A cartoon where Santa is visiting with his financial adviser with some of his elves. The financial adviser makes a good recommendation, "stop giving away all those toys."

Magic meets pragmatism, and it isn’t pretty. While very sensible advice, Santa isn’t in it for the money – he’s bringing joy to each and every boy and girl no matter what – even if he winds up bankrupt.

Funny Christmas cards for brokers

Stock-broker-oriented cartoon where Santa is standing with a bull and bear on Christmas day.

This card was too good not to include. Santa is doing well this year – really well. The stocks are up, and it’s Christmas day! Santa is celebrating. The bull is optimistic. But Santa better keep that bear on his good side.

Funny Christmas cards for the aviation industry

Cartoon where Santa is boarding a plane with his elves.

There’s a party on that holiday flight. Is that an elf in the cockpit? Hope he has his pilot’s license. It says ‘Santa’s Sleigh,’ but that appears to be a 747. It looks like the flying reindeer took the year off and Santa and his helpers will be traveling in style this season.

Funny Christmas cards for the healthcare industry

A healthcare-oriented greeting where a medical center is stationed at the North Pole.

Of course they need a medical center up at the North Pole! Accidents happen in Santa’s workshop, and those elves work a lot of overtime. Colds and flus are also highly prevalent this time of year, but Santa provides a great health plan.

Funny Christmas cards for the construction industry

Santa has his tools and is ready to build a house on this construction-oriented holiday card.

Santa is really pulling his weight this year. He’s a very busy man. He delivers presents all over the world and still has time to build a house!

Funny Christmas cards for landscapers

Someone has lawn-mowed Merry Christmas into the grass.

Talk about a festive lawn! This skilled landscaper has created a piece of Christmas art. Hope the owners are happy with it!

Funny Christmas cards for the automotive industry

A brown and red muscle car is positioned near drag racing lights - the message reads, 'Time to light up the Christmas tree.'

 

Here’s a great Christmas card for the automotive industry. In drag racing terminology, the set of lights you see above is called a Christmas tree – so start your engines and let’s light it up!

Funny retail Christmas cards

A cartoon of a crowd of angry customers waiting for a holiday sale at a local retail store.

For those that work in the retail industry, you know that the holidays can get pretty crazy – long hours, longer lines – with most stores open on Christmas Eve! You have to keep a good sense of humor about it because otherwise you just might cry, here’s our holiday card pick to lighten the mood.

Funny Christmas cards for the hospitality industry

A hotel manager is asking Santa Clause what name his room is under.

If you work in the hospitality industry you know how to deal with customers, you have also mastered the art of passive-aggressiveness. This hotel manager is really sticking it to Santa this year!

Funny Christmas cards for the insurance industry

Santa has crashed his sleigh, underneath his the text reads, 'Insurance...the gift that keeps on giving all year round.'

Santa had an accident on his trip around the world. Hope he has a good insurance agent!

Funny real estate Christmas cards

The shadow of Krampus is cast upon a door with a holiday wreath on the front.

For everyone in real estate, you want to make sure that your clients are happy in their new home. Unruly neighbors can have a poor effect on the market. Providing good tips for new homeowners, ensuring that their move runs smoothly, will help to ensure more referrals.

A funny Christmas card to suit all industries

A corporate cartoon is breaking the news to Santa that his reindeer are on strike.

This is an HR nightmare, and many employers can relate to disgruntled employees at some point…hey, it happens. This year, avoid conversations like these by showing everyone around the office how much you appreciate them. Send cards, throw a holiday party, and be sure to include personalized invites from CardsDirect.

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11 Christmas Cards You Need to be Sending this Year! http://blog.cardsdirect.com/holiday/11-christmas-cards-need-sending-year/ Wed, 27 Sep 2017 17:35:32 +0000 http://blog.cardsdirect.com/?p=6452 It’s that time of year to start buying Christmas cards, holiday cards, and all other seasonal salutations. With that in mind, we’ve selected our favorites.

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The best Christmas card designs from across the web

It’s that time of year to start buying Christmas cards, holiday cards, and all other seasonal salutations. So with that in mind, we’ve selected our favorites from across the web. And while there may be some hidden gems still out there, here are 11 holiday cards to get you excited about sending some joy this season.

‘Merry Money Holder’ from American Greetings

'Be merry' is written on this Christmas card in a colorful assortment of letters. Multicolored stripes line the bottom.

This one is from American Greetings – it’s colorful, stylish, and fun. It’s not your typical Christmas card, and that’s what we love about it! Plus, it has a place to include a monetary gift – an added bonus for your recipients.

‘Magic to Remember’ from Hallmark

Santa and his reindeer fly through the air and above a sleepy Christmas village.

This beautiful die-cut Christmas card is from Hallmark. It is intricately designed and uses just the right amount of color to present a stylish holiday scene both inside and out – Santa and his reindeer above a fairytale Christmas village.

‘Christmas Cats’ from Paperless Post

Two mischievous kittens playing with a black and gold Christmas tree ornament below a simple holiday message of 'Season's Greetings' in gold letters.

If you love cats, or even if you don’t, you might get a kick out of this ‘Season’s Greetings’ card. It features two mischievous kittens playing with a black and gold Christmas tree ornament below a simple holiday message. The card is fashionable, and a minimalist’s dream. And for those of you who try to maintain a Christmas tree with pets in the house – completely relatable. You can buy it here, at Paperless Post.

‘Christmas Dreams’ from Current Catalog

Dogs perch above a town on a log watching Santa and his reindeer go by.

This magical card from Current Catalog is for the animal lover in all of us. It shows Christmas from the perspective of our favorite furry friends, perched at a lookout on the edge of a woodsy town, watching Santa do his nightly rounds.

‘To-Do-List’ from Paper Source

This colorful and text-heavy card is from Paper Source. It features fun and zany suggestions about what to do over the holidays.

This colorful and text-heavy card is from Paper Source. It features fun and zany suggestions about what to do over the holidays. The card has a retro feel, and although actual holiday images may be lacking it still catches the eye!

‘Glittering City Silhouette’ from The Gallery Collection 

A cityscape presented in varying tones of blue with the words 'Happy Holidays' written underneath.

The Gallery Collection’s land and cityscapes really sparkle, so it was hard to choose just one. Still, this beautiful holiday card with its rich blue tones, subtle embossing, and silver foil stamping stands out as the ultimate in serene seasonal wishes.

‘Three Wise Men’ from Papyrus

This wood-grain greeting card features the three wise men traveling through the desert with the North Star gleaming above.

Wood-grain is so in right now! And this attractive card from Papyrus really uses this decorative element well. The card features the three wise men traveling through the desert with the North Star gleaming above. The card is subtly stylish and helps to illustrate the true meaning of Christmas.

‘Wooden Door’ from Shutterfly

A photo card makes use of its unique folds that are presented like swinging double doors in a country home.

Two wood-grain cards in a row? We couldn’t resist. And this one happens to be a photo card, so you get a chance to tell your own holiday story. This card makes good use of its unique folds that are presented like swinging double doors in a country home. Feel free to add multiple photos and your own personal message in stylish red lettering.

‘Santa Pack’ from Lovepop

An open, three-dimensional greeting card showing a Christmas scene with Santa laying in a hammock from two palm trees.

When discussing the topic of greeting cards, Lovepop is a name that continually comes up, and for good reason. Their creative three-dimensional cards captivate their customers and their customers’ recipients with a truly immersive experience – this holiday card is no exception. Check out Santa taking a much-deserved vacation after his big night!

‘Nailed It’ from Etsy

A hand-drawn greeting card featuring a pile of tangled Christmas lights with the words 'Nailed It' above it. The card lays against a brown envelope, and is accented with a bit of ribbon and a decorative pen.

This card, sold on Etsy, received an honorable mention on Buzzfeed for one of the top Christmas card designs. We couldn’t agree more! It gives the impression of being hand-drawn, but with the right amount of style to make it look professional. It’s funny, relatable, and hip.

‘Shining Red Ornaments’ from CardsDirect

. Deep red ornaments, pure white snowflakes, and a dark teal wood-grain background create a beautiful holiday greeting card.

This was voted the top design by our CardsDirect customers. Deep red ornaments, pure white snowflakes, and a dark teal wood-grain background create a vivid holiday design that seems to pop right off the page. The interior gives even more life to the card with similar tones and seasonal designs.

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How to Send and Receive Sympathy Cards Graciously http://blog.cardsdirect.com/etiquette/send-receive-sympathy-cards-graciously/ Thu, 31 Aug 2017 15:54:58 +0000 http://blog.cardsdirect.com/?p=6353 Why mailing a sympathy card is best The purpose of a sympathy card is to let someone know they are in your thoughts. You are offering empathy and comfort by expressing your concerns for them during a difficult time. Often, a card can say what spoken words cannot. A sympathy card should be sent as soon as possible. Mailing such a card is certainly appropriate and easier for both the sender and the receiver. At times a card can be hand delivered at a wake or viewing where a basket or table is provided. However, if such a setup is not available, you may end up carrying the card back home with you and mailing it anyway. What’s important to remember is that the family is grieving, and although your intention is to offer condolences, to drop by unexpectedly to hand-deliver a card might be overwhelming for the recipient. It would also be inappropriate to give someone a card and expect them to open and read it immediately. A card received in the mail should be opened and read when the time is right. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated, and your card kept as a reminder of your warmth and ...

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Why mailing a sympathy card is best

'With sincere sympathy' is written against a chalkboard background inside a heart made of pink flowers. Additional floral accents in white and pink boarder the outside of the design.The purpose of a sympathy card is to let someone know they are in your thoughts. You are offering empathy and comfort by expressing your concerns for them during a difficult time. Often, a card can say what spoken words cannot.

A sympathy card should be sent as soon as possible. Mailing such a card is certainly appropriate and easier for both the sender and the receiver. At times a card can be hand delivered at a wake or viewing where a basket or table is provided. However, if such a setup is not available, you may end up carrying the card back home with you and mailing it anyway.

What’s important to remember is that the family is grieving, and although your intention is to offer condolences, to drop by unexpectedly to hand-deliver a card might be overwhelming for the recipient. It would also be inappropriate to give someone a card and expect them to open and read it immediately.

A card received in the mail should be opened and read when the time is right. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated, and your card kept as a reminder of your warmth and compassion. A short, heartfelt, hand-written message on a well-chosen sympathy card shows you care.

What to write in a sympathy card

The message you include in a sympathy card depends on the person you are sending it to. What is your relationship to the individual receiving the sympathy card? Are they a family member, friend, or coworker?

When writing any sympathy card, it is important to do it in the natural way that you interact with the recipient. More personal messages are meant for family, good friends, and longstanding relationships with colleagues. More formal commentary may be best suited for an acquaintance or coworker, such as:

  • Sorry for your loss.
  • Please accept my sincerest condolences.
  • In your tough time, we are here for you.

Should you send a sympathy card to someone’s office?

If you want to offer condolences to a business associate whom you strictly know through work, it is okay to send a card to their place of employment, because sympathy cards are always appreciated – no matter where you send them. However, if you feel comfortable doing it, it is typically recommended to send the card to their home.

If you are sending a sympathy card to their office, you’ll need to know how to address it properly to ensure that it arrives at their desk. Address the card to your associate’s name “care of” the business where he or she works. You’ll want to keep the message of the card simple with only a line or two and your name – unless you know this person well and are aware of the circumstances surrounding the death in their family. Say something to the effect of “I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend/mother/father/etc.” – followed by your signature. Sometimes a few kind words are all that is needed. Here are some other suggestions:

  • You are in our thoughts and prayers.
  • I am greatly saddened to hear of [person’s] passing.
  • I am very sad to hear of your loss.
  • [Person] will be dearly missed.
  • I wanted to send my deepest sympathy.

Writing more personal sympathy cards

For a more personal message about someone that you knew well, think of the things that you loved about the life of that person – the positive ways they impacted you and those around you. Pick one or two of these to highlight in a couple of short sentences.

  • Their sense of humor.
  • Their smile.
  • Their calm and friendly demeanor.
  • Their helpful nature.
  • A fond memory that you shared.

Don’t force your feelings, think of something that resonates with you, as it will likely resonate with the recipient too.

Sympathy cards to family

When writing a sympathy card to a family member whose loved one has passed, you probably shared many similar experiences together. Reminiscing about some of these experiences is good. Talk about the mutual love you had for that individual. Take part in the sadness that has come from their passing while being a pillar of strength. Be sure to let family members know that if there as anything you can do to help you’re there. Be authentic. These are the messages that must come from the heart; there is no perfect advice other than to celebrate their life and mourn their death – express this through your actions, in the words you speak, and in the words you write in your sympathy card.

Sympathy cards for the loss of a pet

Sympathy cards can be written for deceased pets as well. While you may view this as over-the-top, try and remember that a pet becomes part of the family too (especially when they have been with their owner for several years) – they mean the world to them and their loss is met with equally powerful emotions.

Sending a sympathy card or a ‘thinking of you’ card is very appropriate for this situation. Don’t say anything like ‘You can get another pet,’ because that is stating that their pet was unimportant and replaceable. Not everyone can bounce back so quickly. Something along the lines of ‘I’m sorry for your loss, and I’ll be there for you’ is all that is needed. As always, with sympathy cards, it is important to offer support, not advice.

‘Thinking of you’ cards

Watercolor drawings of wildflowers in stunning tones of brown, red, blue, and green are beneath the words 'Thinking of You' in a blue-green font.For temporary illnesses and injuries, there’s the ubiquitous ‘get well’ card. For deaths in the family, there’s the sympathy card. For all the other profound moments of melancholy, there’s the ‘thinking of you’ card. It’s a good option for any situation where you simply don’t know what to say … serious or terminal illnesses, divorce, and other difficult situations.

Though sometimes, even the most well-meaning greeting cards really do fall short of the situation at hand. After sending a ‘thinking of you’ card, make an effort to do something nice for the recipient, even if it’s just dropping by to take them out for coffee. In the ‘thinking of you’ card, say how sorry you are to hear the news, whatever the circumstances may be, mention that you are trying to arrange a visit or a time to talk. You might even want to enclose a picture of you and the recipient to remind them of happier times.

If it’s a serious illness, be delicate in your words – be strong for that individual, and tell them they are strong too. Offer up your helping hand, and be standing by when they really need it.

If you are sending a ‘thinking of you’ card for a divorce, here are some things to remember:

  • Divorce is very tough time for people.
  • Couples often have a lot of mutual friends. One of the biggest issues for many newly divorced individuals is the fear of losing their friends to their ex-spouse. The stress alone can also cause a divide in friendships.
  • Sadly, some friends seem to react to divorce like a major illness, and they avoid their divorcing friends because they don’t know what to say, or how to act gracefully in the situation.

While some friends may get a giggle out of a “congratulations” card after a divorce, if your friend is having a hard time, send a simple ‘thinking of you’ card instead of trying to be funny. Write a quick note inside, letting them know you’re there if they need to clear their head…and then make good on it! Call a few days later (or stop by their house, if you’re close), to see if they received the card. Ask if they want to go out for lunch or dinner sometime. Even if it’s not a good time, or they are not feeling social, knowing that you’re still there and still want to be friends will certainly boost their spirits.


Sending a ‘thank you’ card after receiving a sympathy card

The words 'Thank You' are written in gold against a pink-beige background and right above a small golden branch with blue berries. If you are on the receiving end of a sympathy card or ‘thinking of you’ card it is good to send a ‘thank you’ card to let your coworker, friend, or family member know you appreciated their kind words.

While you may have a lot of thank you cards to send out, it is usually proper to handwrite the addresses on the cards.  Computer generated address labels look like a mass mailing, and not like the heartfelt correspondence you want to convey in a personal ‘thank you’ card.

Here are a few other things to remember:

  1. Take your time: You don’t have to send them out right away. You are dealing with a lot, and people will understand if they don’t receive a ‘thank you’ card from you immediately. Do what you can handle, you can even send a few ‘thank you’ cards at a time until you finish.
  2. You don’t have to do it alone: Get your family to help with your ‘thank you’ cards. You can order take-out and make a day or night of it. Give everyone a stack of names to write addresses.  Even the children can assist by putting stamps on the envelopes.
  3. You don’t have to write a book:  A few heartfelt sentences on a ‘thank you’ card are much more meaningful than a dissertation. Leave the fluff out.
  4. See it as part of the healing process:   Getting the family together to write ‘thank you’ cards is a way to recall happy memories and to support each other as a family.

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Your Aging Parents Are Waiting for You to Step Up and Care http://blog.cardsdirect.com/life-insight/aging-parents-waiting-step-care/ Thu, 27 Jul 2017 14:00:45 +0000 http://blog.cardsdirect.com/?p=6307 Caring for elderly parents can command some time and money management, Here are some helpful tips on how to give back.

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They’re not going to like either term, aging care or elderly care, but if you yourself are getting up there in years your parents are going to start needing some help – whether they like it or not. This comes in several stages, and there are varying levels of elderly care. Sometimes a bit of help around the house may be all they need at first. So, brace yourself, your parents need for some assistance is likely going to start in your thirties.

And you thought the chores were over once you moved out? Think again. But it’s good that you’re doing this, it lets you make up for all the grief they put up with during your adolescence. And if you have some level of success in your career, in your life, in your relationships, you can probably attribute some of those accomplishments to your parents. Even if you feel that your success came in spite of them – or for some reason you’re not feeling all that prosperous these days – think back to a special moment, harness the scents and sounds and emotions of an unequivocal instance where you felt safe and happy in the care of your parents – now return the favor.

Outstretched hand balances several icons including a house, a laptop, a piggy bank, a heart, and a clock.Scheduling time for senior care in your own way

It gets busy…there’s work, duties around your own home, your partner, your kids, your pets, your social life, and trying to maintain some semblance of your own identity. Your life can be overwhelming, but you balance all of it, so there is no reason senior care shouldn’t be among this juggling act.

If you live near your aging parents and you notice your mom sounds tired lately, head over there and do a few loads of laundry, showing up with a Tupperware-full of your favorite family recipe. Think the lawn is looking a little long? Make an appoint to do some yard work for your dad every other week. How long will it take you, an hour, maybe two? We can grapple with when the defining age is that parental care should start taking place. Certain dictionaries define a senior citizen as someone over the age of 65. But this is quibbling over semantics – your parents are your elders; if they start lagging (for whatever reason) start helping.

The internet makes elder care easy

Various household appliances including a dishwasher, washer, over, microwave, fridge, and many others are represented with icons against a light blue background.Today, there are more people than ever over the age of 65 that are still working. Regardless of whether or not your folks make it look easy, odds are they still struggle from time to time; it’s up to you to make things easier. In the age of the internet you can live thousands of miles away and still do your part; set up bi-weekly house cleaning services through a PayPal account, Amazon Prime them a robotic vacuum, arrange snow plow services in the winter or landscaping services during the summer.

Keeping in touch with an aging parent

If you have an aging parent, sometimes all they need is someone to talk to. Call your aging parent regularly and find out how they are doing, share your life with them, shoot them regular emails, and send heartfelt cards in the mail including some pictures of your family and friends. These small acts of kindness will surely bring a smile to their face.

Home health care services for your aging parents

As the years advance, elder care will get more serious. Home health care may become a topic worth discussing. While some of these responsibilities can be shared with nearby siblings and relatives, other elder care duties are better left to skilled nurses. Look into reliable home health care agencies in your parents’ area, and talk to their doctor. Schedule someone to come out and speak to the parent in need and, if you can, be there to ask questions based on their medical requirements. Medicare may cover a portion of home health care services for your aging parents, so be sure to do your research and inquire with their provider.

Close-up photograph of a male nurse taking and elderly female's blood pressure.

Skilled nurses can be very helpful to elderly parents, offering medication administration and management, pain management, post-acute care, hygienic duties, care for specific conditions and diseases, as well as physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Other home health care services may include diet plan management, low vision services, and any number of other tailored assistances.

Senior care communities

When the time comes, you may also need to look into assisted living communities or nursing homes. Assisted living communities are for more independent senior citizens who require some continuous care but have not yet become entirely reliant on it. Nursing homes offer greater care including 24-hour certified nurses, meal preparation, and in most cases on-site doctors. There are even specialized nursing home facilities like memory care communities that cater to those with brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. Do your due diligence to find a nursing home or assisted living community that your parents will be happy with. You want to ensure they are well-taken-care-of.

A thank you to your elderly parents

Closeup of a greeting card with gold and gray colored stripes and the words thank you written in gold.While taking care of elderly parents can command some time and money management, it is a selfless way of expressing your appreciation and giving back. Parents play different roles in the lives of their children, and although some are more active than others, all elders deserve proper care. Show your thanks through your actions, even if you didn’t always get along. They will not be around forever, so make these years count.

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What’s to come of the Greeting Card? http://blog.cardsdirect.com/greetingcards/whats-come-greeting-card/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:00:42 +0000 http://blog.cardsdirect.com/?p=6267 A complete look at industry trends and the future of the multibillion-dollar greeting card business.

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While cordial forms of digital messaging are growing ever more powerful in today’s era, it seems there is still a consistent need for physical greeting cards, and a seven to eight billion-dollar-a-year industry (just in America) is pretty definitive proof. Europe actually represents the largest greeting card market worldwide, with most of the credit going to the staggering amount of purchases made by the United Kingdom. And Asia-Pacific is sure to be a contender in the years ahead. But, for this report, we will be examining the runner-up, the second highest purchaser of this hot commodity, the good ole’ US of A.

Commanding categories

Over six billion cards are sold annually in the United States, 50% of these being seasonal occasions and the other 50% spread out among personal or “everyday” occasions. At the top of the seasonal list is, of course, Christmas and other holiday cards (accounting for more than 60% of seasonal sales). Trailing behind are Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. Graduation cards also fall under the seasonal category and still command a pretty steady market. Additional seasonal occasions include, but are not limited to, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and St. Patrick’s Day – in order from the greatest number of units purchased to the least.  The majority of everyday sales go to birthdays, followed by sympathy cards and ‘thank you’ cards, with many other categories following in their wake, like wedding-based cards, ‘get well’ cards, new baby, and congratulations.

The consumer decides

Though greeting card sales have only increased for online retailers selling classic messages once found solely in storefronts, the global market is projected to decline by 2020. Contradictory to this research, a significant portion of card buyers say they will actually increase their purchasing habits in upcoming years. Only time will tell. Many attribute their thoughts on a potential decline in the greeting card market to ever-increasing digital technologies, higher postage costs, do-it-yourself software, and e-cards, which are still lagging far behind actual greeting cards, with about 500,000 million sent each year. Still, a good portion of the population has reported that they consider traditional greeting cards a pretty essential aspect of their lives, especially women, who are responsible for an estimated 80% of the purchases.

In the United States, approximately nine out of every ten households purchase greeting cards, with the number typically ringing in at 30 or more cards per home. And with over 3,000 greeting card distributors dealing their own versions of this traditional token of goodwill, Americans have a lot of choices.

Industry hipsters

While you might think that much of the greeting card market goes to more traditional and seasoned adults, it is actually the younger adult generations that are showing the most interest. Tired of an era dominated by high-tech correspondences, it is the aim of these newer generations to establish more personal and lasting connections. While social media tools like Facebook have allowed us to recognize the important occasions of others in vast numbers quickly, it still hasn’t come close to replacing physical greeting cards.

The greeting card industry fights back

To combat the continued emergence of new digital trends, greeting card companies initiate their own counter-attacks, pushing the financial advantages and convenient uses of boxed card sets, the benefits of greeting cards as a promotional business tool, and the personability of personalized photo cards. These stances have posed as valid arguments for purchase, and continue to gain acceptance among consumers.

Another trend that seems to be catching on more and more is luxury handmade greeting cards. One company, Gilded Age Greetings, uses in-house artisans to craft exclusive greeting cards that sell for hundreds of dollars apiece, utilizing precious stones, metals, and superior quality inks. The company Lovepop is gaining popularity with their intricate three-dimensional card designs sold at a much lower price point of about $13. Though, as a relatively new company, their selection is rather limited.

For some money is no object, but for others increased greeting card costs, caused by factors such as rising wood pulp prices, may be enough reason to replace certain occasions with a digital salutation. Once again, only time will tell. That is why many greeting card companies choose to take the middle ground, offering a bit of everything at a price most can afford. And while the top greeting card companies are still associated with names like Hallmark and American Greetings, which also produces brands like Papyrus, new companies continue to emerge, creating some interesting competition. Moo, Minted, and CardsDirect are all businesses that place high importance on customization, offering customers highly personal cards that they help design themselves. For a more eco-friendly card, you can go with Recycled Paper Greetings. For a more artistic card try Galison. It all depends on what you are looking for. Some greeting card companies cater to customers looking to reach out to family and friends, while other companies are geared more toward businesses. But one thing is sure, for all these companies, as the years advance, fluctuations in the market will be a continual motivator for their unceasing adaptation to the wants and needs of the consumer. From new materials, new products, and expanded content to craftier creation, marketing techniques, and product implementation, greeting card companies will continue to fight for their existence, because if the industry is going down, it will not go down without a fight. Though odds are, neither you nor I will be around to see the extinction of the greeting card, in the slight chance that it does happen.

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Thank You for Reading http://blog.cardsdirect.com/life-insight/thank-you-for-reading/ Fri, 28 Apr 2017 19:49:34 +0000 http://blog.cardsdirect.com/?p=6246 There are a million and one ways to say thank you and just as many reasons why you should.

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It was a couple of hours before dawn on a day in early January. I was standing outside a Best Western in Tallahassee, Florida – it was snowing, a sight I hadn’t seen in many years. The car was packed to the brim with belongings. Along for the ride were my fiancé (already sound asleep), a dog, two cats, and three kittens. The car had been officially dubbed Noah’s Ark.

Car key fob sits atop a road map on a woodgrain background.

I gently jostled my fiancé awake, it was time to check into our room, feed the pets, and get a few hours’ rest– we had been driving almost the whole night. When she awoke, still sleepy-eyed, she leaned over and whispered, “Thanks for coming with me,” it was genuine. I replied, “Thanks for having me”, it was genuine too. Tomorrow, or rather today, another 12 hours of driving lay before us – it seemed like such a ways, but those few words, spoken in the wee hours of the morning, added an undeniably comforting and irreplaceable element to a highly uncertain trip. Along a 1,400 mile journey, it is those words that stood out to me.

The endless ways to say thank you

A genuine ‘thank you’ is so underrated.  And there are a million articles and YouTube videos and books and professional speakers that speak about the various ways to say thank you. The idea and its simplicity seem played out when you go searching for it. The importance of a thank you note. Being thankful for the moment you’re in. Thanking God for our place in life. Thanking a colleague or coworker or client for the role they have played in a minor or major success. Thanking your waiter. Someone who complimented you. Thanking the guy that let you go in traffic. Thanking someone for an opportunity, even when that opportunity was given to someone else.

Thank you is written out in a blue sky.

There are a million and one ways to say thank you and just as many reasons why you should. But why write about it, and even more so – why read about it? Shouldn’t we all know the ways to say thank you?

Stop being so stubborn and learn the ways to say thank you

Some of the most seemingly simple life lessons can be the hardest to accept. Many of us, myself included, are stubborn human beings, and too smart to be bombarded time and time again with the same clichés. Though clichés have stood the test of time for a reason, they have been repeated and reiterated, questionably overused, because in many cases they deserved a continuous restatement – as a mantra for better people, to spur better ways of thinking and better life lessons, to create a more fulfilling existence.

Now the words thank you are by no means for every occasion – in some cases, they give power to the wrong people and take it away from those who truly need more of it. For some, the words thank you come like the words ‘let’s get married’ or ‘I love you’– when you know you’ll know – others, we’re uncertain, cautious, and we may never know the right time to say thank you. For those types, if you feel nervous about saying thank you odds are it is the best time to say it.

Saying thank you is better than I’m sorry

If you are one that likes to carefully consider the dos and don’ts of a conversation, many sources say that replacing the word sorry with the words thank you, in certain instances, can not only be more positive but more appropriate as well.

Instead of ‘sorry I’m late’ – ‘thanks for waiting’ might be the better option and will be less likely to aggravate the people you have inconvenienced. Plus, for more self-preserving reasons, you aren’t outwardly admitting that you made a mistake.

Closeup of a pair of hands, one holds a daisy by the stem.

We must also consider that in cases where people assist us with tasks, compliment us in some way, or do something else we perceive as overly kind-hearted they are doing these things because they want to. An apologetic response to any of these gestures diminishes the reward for everyone. Simply say thank you and move on.

But it’s hard, for many of us the word ‘sorry’ is a nervous habit and a way to alleviate discomfort in a specific situation. Yet, if you’re the kind of person that drives yourself nuts over whether or not you said the wrong thing, think of the many ways to say thank you…it’s hard to regret a thank you.

Take the thank you challenge

Brian Doyle, a young TEDx speaker, spoke of a challenge that he created for himself in the vein of a simple thank you – just a grateful word or two to one new person each day for a year, and how it affected his life. If you find yourself feeling overrun by life’s negative chatter you may want to try it out. This isn’t some grand ideal or corny self-help gimmick, it’s just saying thanks. Send someone a card, shoot them an email, or thank them in person. See the difference it makes. And if it doesn’t make a difference…what did you really lose?

 

 

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Big Names Team Up with CardsDirect to Sell Their Designs http://blog.cardsdirect.com/greetingcards/big-names-team-cardsdirect-sell-designs/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:27:38 +0000 http://blog.cardsdirect.com/?p=6213 The purpose of any business is to make the lives of its customers easier. And in the B2B world, an honorable and pleasant partnership is important to the continued success of all parties involved. In 2016, CardsDirect made a connection with the expert consulting firm of AlixPartners, a longstanding contender in their industry since 1981. Their hope was to feature a selection of affordable holiday cards, on our site, that they designed themselves. The cards were to be made available to whoever wanted to purchase them, specifically the employees of their worldwide company, with offices across the Americas, EMEA, and Asia. AlixPartners provided the artwork, incorporating their new company branding and logo into a series of hip holiday designs that their employees could purchase in bulk and send to their clients, family members, and colleagues. The prerequisites for the products were as follows: Affordable business holiday cards ($1-2 per card). 3-4 options that varied based on religious focus. Simple designs with ample room for writing personal notes. Consultants could upload their mailing address in advance to allow for pre-printed envelopes with delivery addresses. Pre-printed return address could be included on all envelopes. Cards could be ordered and delivered 1-2 weeks ...

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The purpose of any business is to make the lives of its customers easier. And in the B2B world, an honorable and pleasant partnership is important to the continued success of all parties involved. In 2016, CardsDirect made a connection with the expert consulting firm of AlixPartners, a longstanding contender in their industry since 1981. Their hope was to feature a selection of affordable holiday cards, on our site, that they designed themselves. The cards were to be made available to whoever wanted to purchase them, specifically the employees of their worldwide company, with offices across the Americas, EMEA, and Asia.

AlixPartners provided the artwork, incorporating their new company branding and logo into a series of hip holiday designs that their employees could purchase in bulk and send to their clients, family members, and colleagues. The prerequisites for the products were as follows:

  • Affordable business holiday cards ($1-2 per card).
  • 3-4 options that varied based on religious focus.
  • Simple designs with ample room for writing personal notes.
  • Consultants could upload their mailing address in advance to allow for pre-printed envelopes with delivery addresses.
  • Pre-printed return address could be included on all envelopes.
  • Cards could be ordered and delivered 1-2 weeks prior to Thanksgiving so that personal notes could be written inside the card.
  • Consultants could choose the card and quantity.
  • Consultants could include a custom message and signature.

Both the CardsDirect team and AlixPartners carefully corresponded until five designs were featured on cardsdirect.com.

An arrangement of colorful greeting cards displayed in 6 different blocks, designed by Alix Partners and sold by CardsDirect.

Their new, revamped, and cutting-edge branding was showcased and presented to all company employees through their stylish line of greeting cards and offered as a friendly marketing tool to send to clients. By the end of 2016, approximately 90 orders had been made, with purchases ranging from 20 cards to 1000 cards. Needless to say, the greeting cards turned heads, CardsDirect was thrilled to support the endeavors and rebranding of this impressive company, and AlixPartners couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome.

CardsDirect would like to offer this valuable service to you

In the future, CardsDirect would like to offer this remarkable service to any company looking to showcase their brand, market their value, and create a line of printed products that will stand out across their industry. Clients notice the additional effort of a company greeting card, especially one that is designed specifically for your brand. In addition to greeting cards, we also offer a wide range of other office products including personalized stationery, mailing labels, calendars, business cards, and more. Let cardsdirect.com act as your business’s marketing hub, taking customer connections to the next level!

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How Celebrating Birthdays Will Save You Money http://blog.cardsdirect.com/business-etiquette/how-celebrating-birthdays-will-save-you-money/ Mon, 27 Feb 2017 21:36:52 +0000 http://blog.cardsdirect.com/?p=5019 Are you looking to motivate your employees and save money? Studies show that emotionally connecting with employees can actually increase their work performance. But what is an easy way to engage and encourage your employees, while keeping costs low? Celebrate workplace birthdays. Give each and every employee a birthday card from CardsDirect. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to show appreciation. Companies where employees feel appreciated, happy, and engaged see a 38% increase in productivity and a 27% increase in profits. Buying birthday cards one at a time is expensive and time-consuming. An average-size company can save $200 annually by purchasing custom birthday cards from CardsDirect.com. We have over 1,000 birthday products to choose from, and with our customization features your company can create something truly unique – add a company logo, supervisor signatures, and even a photo. Be a smart employer; celebrate workplace birthdays and save money with CardsDirect.  

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Are you looking to motivate your employees and save money? Studies show that emotionally connecting with employees can actually increase their work performance.

But what is an easy way to engage and encourage your employees, while keeping costs low? Celebrate workplace birthdays. Give each and every employee a birthday card from CardsDirect. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to show appreciation. Companies where employees feel appreciated, happy, and engaged see a 38% increase in productivity and a 27% increase in profits.

Buying birthday cards one at a time is expensive and time-consuming. An average-size company can save $200 annually by purchasing custom birthday cards from CardsDirect.com. We have over 1,000 birthday products to choose from, and with our customization features your company can create something truly unique – add a company logo, supervisor signatures, and even a photo. Be a smart employer; celebrate workplace birthdays and save money with CardsDirect.

Give Birthday Wishes, Get Big Savings

 

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How managers can fight employee fatigue http://blog.cardsdirect.com/tips-tricks/how-managers-can-fight-employee-fatigue/ Wed, 15 Feb 2017 17:31:49 +0000 http://blog.cardsdirect.com/tips-tricks/how-managers-can-fight-employee-fatigue/ The stronger your business's team is, the better client or customer experience will be.

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A company is only as successful as its employees. No matter how good a company business model, a team of burnt-out, apathetic employees will only produce sub-par work. This is why it's crucial for managers to recognize the signs of employee fatigue and make necessary changes to lift morale. The stronger your business's team is, the better client or customer experience will be.

Signs of fatigue
There are times during the year when it can be tough to get your employees' undivided attention, like the days leading up to a holiday or long weekend, or when spring finally makes an appearance. However, if you notice your employees are struggling to focus or stay on task for prolonged periods with no outside stimulus, think about what you can do to help them get back on track. Here are some signs that your employees may be burning out:

  • A lack of engagement: If your top team members are suddenly keeping quiet in meetings and always seem distracted, it's a good idea to take a look at their workloads. While personal matters can certainly add to a feeling of disengagement in the workplace, a pattern among a number of employees is a good indicator of burnout.
  • Absenteeism: While you shouldn't hold people using their hard-earned sick time and PTO against them, pay attention when people who hardly ever called off work are now making a habit of it.
  • Sensitivity: Constructive criticism is an important factor in the workplace, but when the slightest suggestion that an employee could do something differently sends him or her into a defensive spiral, he or she is likely struggling with burnout.
Stress is a large factor in employee burnout.Stress is a large factor in employee burnout.

What you can do to help
Many managers are at a loss about what to do when their best employees begin showing signs of burnout. Should you replace them with people who show more enthusiasm for the job? Or should you work with them to get them back to the level that they were once at? It may be more difficult to work with the employees than to just find one, but hiring new help is just a temporary fix – if you don't address the aspects of the job that burned your staff out to begin with, you'll likely end up with the same problem again down the line. Here are a few methods for helping your employees get back on track:

  • Don't micromanage: If your staffers are spending too much time on Facebook, monitoring their internet usage or insisting that they send you notes about their daily progress will likely frustrate them. Think of ways to organically engage, as opposed to just demanding their attention. If they feel more engaged at work, they'll have less of an urge to do other things on the clock.
  • Show appreciation: Many people begin to burn out when they get the feeling that they're just seen as a cog in the wheel as opposed to a valued member of the company. This could be due to a lack of acknowledgment when a project turns out really well, or they may feel as if they're not paid enough for the work they do. Try to reward your employees for their labor. If your company can afford bonuses or raises, a little extra compensation for people's efforts can go a long way.
  • Offer flexible schedules: Many people are overwhelmed in the workplace because they're constantly rushing to get there on time. If you know your have employees who struggle to make it to the office by 8 a.m. – maybe they had to drop their kids off at school – consider allowing them to work the hours that are best for them.

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