Do you think buying greeting cards is a waste of money and paper?

Every Christmas, millions of people all around the world post greeting card to their loved ones spending millions of dollars. I always feel that people spend so much looking for really good greeting cards, spending lots of time and energy…

Like every one of you, I do buy greeting cards for occasions like Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thank You Notes, Sympathy Cards, Get Well Cards, Thinking of You cards and so on. A few weeks ago it was my brother’s birthday so I went and bought a card for him which cost me $4.95. Today I again went and bought a card for my SIL and spent $6.00. I spend more for SIL as there were less cards to choose from that said SIL in it.

I was just wondering while I was buying these cards, is it really worth it to spend money on these cards which will be read once and thrown away in most cases. If you walk to the greeting card section of a supermarket or bookshop, there are more types of greeting cards for sale than there are days in a month.

Growing up, I used to collect all the cards I got for my birthdays and other occasions and I still have them in a box at my mum’s place but these days, I don’t feel too sentimental about these cards unless it is from my husband or my parents. I have never read any card more than once. If I really like the card, I take a photo of it and that is about it.

Looking around me, I see that most of the people also do the same. Especially for young children as they can’t even read yet everyone always buys them birthday cards. Normally they are interested in gifts rather than the cards so are we simply wasting our money on these cards?

These days I started to feel that buying greeting cards are a waste of hard earned money, for ultimately it will either be torn up in the long run, or go into some bag in a corner of your house.

I love the idea of making my own cards. A personalized note or letter with a meaningful message really goes further than a store-bought card. The sentiments in handwritten cards are far more intimate than generic Hallmark Greetings sentiments and the messages are far more specifically intended for the recipient.

But you really can’t make a personalised card to everyone so I think in this day and age e-cards are a good alternative for the people who use email. It is free and you can make it personal as well. One can choose a nice card and send it via the net and no postman, no courier, no cost. I love the animated silly ones which brings a smile. It also reduces paper waste.

I really want to head to this direction but sometimes I feel compelled to buy the card for someone because they have bought me one on my birthday or anniversary. The cost of greeting cards has increased steadily over the years and the money could be better spent in buying other stuff for the person. I know it’s the thought that counts but giving them gifts without a card makes me a bit uncomfortable. I really don’t want to upset anyone.

So I have decided to buy a card when I have to and my option would be then to buy the cards made and promoted by the organisations like the UNICEF or WORLD VISION.

Personally I used to look forward to one when I was younger but not so much anymore. I prefer something more practical these days. I think e-card/emails or even mms/sms or Facebook post would do the trick to convey the message.

What are you thoughts on greeting cards, do you still feel compelled to purchase pre-printed greeting cards?

Till next post, take care.

M from nepaliaustralia


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24 responses to “Do you think buying greeting cards is a waste of money and paper?

  1. I know this is an old blog but I had to chime in on it as I have had a big bust up with my wife over the subject. I like a great many men are not really that bothered with Birthday or Christmas cards. It is nice to receive one through the post and from people close to you but that pleasure actually decreases with the amount paid for the item. It is counter intuitive to far too many Women (sadly it does seem to separate the sexes) but guys generally prefer a cheaper card rather than a more expensive one. Most of us see the expensive ones as a waste of money and automatically imagine what they could have bought with that money whether it be, beer or tools etc I found out today that my wife spent £30 on my birthday cards last week which is horrifying enough but this also meant that she had no money left to buy much in the way of things that I was hoping to get. The net result of her spending that money is that we are now barely speaking to each other as she is furious with me for not appreciating something she knows I don’t appreciate and never have.

  2. Sid Dunnebacke

    I’m with you. It’s been a number of years since I sent greetings cards out at holiday times, for just the reasons you mentioned. I do, though, use the Christmas cards I receive as tags for gifts the following year.

  3. well, since we are so much into facebook and texting everyone for everything – it feels special to receive a card in the mail with hand written notes. But the in long run, its actually a waste of money..I normally decide on how much to spend depending on the person..and if the person is very special – i will insert a letter because I miss hand writing thing 🙂

  4. I use cards for the holiday season and for birthdays.

  5. These days we are just going green and that’s why we don’t mostly use the paper greeting cards — we have digital greeting cards with music these days ….. 😉

    But, the interesting thing is that we are still stick to our old practice of using greeting cards to wish our loved ones. 🙂

    Great! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I like to give and receive cards. I have collected many. I purchased card long ago but I prefer to make it myself, not an extraordinary but hand made and full with emotions 🙂

  7. Personally I’ve debated this in my head too! I love receiving letters and cards. Letters are so rare these days but birthday cards are just so wonderful. I keep them safe and look through them every now and then. Its just .. special. I’m just a flowers and cards person. hehe.

  8. feels good when i receive them. im just too lazy to write them.

    i do like making my own using envelopes I get in the mail and wrapping paper from past gifts I’ve received. it’s fun!

  9. For some reason, I still love to receive greeting cards from the mails. * And I keep them * In fact, we got a card from a cousin who died 2 months after, at age 25. Every year, that one card card hangs in our Christmas tree.

  10. I confess that I miss getting greeting cards especially from family and friends who live far from me, but, times have changed so I have adapted to appreciating and enjoying online greetings and also sending out online messages to friends and loved ones.

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