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Cards are one of the last things people think about when sending a gift.

 

No matter what the occasion, whether it's for business or pleasure, a personalized greeting card is special.


In the lightning fast the age of technology, crafting the perfect message can be time consuming if you can't find the words express yourself. It's not easy to be sentimental, humorous, thoughtful or poignant on cue.


If you are tired of writing the old same thing, or you find yourself not knowing what to say, use these 3 steps to create a heartfelt note for any occasion.

 

Step 1: Find A Story


When I was little my mother created two beautifully curated photo albums for me. By the time I was 10, I would sit with them often, running my fingers over each photo.


I love these albums. I haven't seen them for years because they live with my mother in Australia, but I still remember how they smell (like scotch tape) and the noise the plastic made when I pulled the pages apart.


While this memory isn't meaningful to anyone else, it would be to my mother. I could share my feelings about them in a card for almost any occasion and it would move her.


Stories are powerful because they elicit emotions. Researchers have found the brain is stimulated with memories, words that create a picture in the mind or discuss details such as smell, sound or taste.


Stories help you share your feelings without being cheesy. Without a story a card can feel lifeless. A story is a hook for the receiver to connect with and starting point to share your emotions.


Look for a story that can relate to the reason you are sending the card and will create an emotional connection. Some great places to start include:

Achievements

People work hard to reach their personal and professional goals. Everyone needs a bit of acknowledgement, especially in professional environments. Sharing how you feel proud or inspired by their achievements is a gift in itself.

Qualities

While achievements are about what someone does, qualities are about who they are. Look for stories that highlight qualities that they or others value.

Fond Memories

Share a great memory and the impact it had on you. There's nothing like a little nostalgia to pull the heartstrings.

Advice

When people give advice, they do it because they are trying to help. They feel they have experience to share. Did the person ever give you some great advice? What happened when you followed it? Is there a story there you can share?


One note about advice: be mindful when giving it. Your intentions might be good, but advice that isn't asked for can be perceived as criticism.

 

Step 2: Pinpoint The Sentiment

Now that you have your story, tailor your message to the occasion the card is being sent for. What feeling do you want to share with the receiver?

  • Are you grateful? Expressing thanks is perfect for almost any occasion.
  •  Are you proud? Sharing your appreciation for someone else's achievement is a great sentiment for cards.
  •  Are you sad? Do you want to send condolences or support in troubled times.
  •  Are you excited? Birthdays, marriages, new babies all bring excitement for the possibilities of the future.

The sentiment helps give context to your story. In the story I used about my mother, I could express any of the above sentiments with the story as the foundation.


Here's an example of a birthday with the sentiment of gratitude:


Mom,


I never told you how much the photo albums you made me meant to me when I was young. I still remember the noise the plastic made when I pulled pages apart. I'd love to spend time looking at the albums with you the next time I'm home.


Happy birthday!

 

Step 3: Write Your Story


I always suggest starting with a draft - it will help you refine what you want to say and how you want to say it.


Trying to perfect something as you write it can be time consuming. It can be helpful to write your draft without editing first. By getting to the end, you'll better understand what you want to say. Once it's complete you can go back and refine it.


When you edit, keep these tips in mind:


  • Write like you talk. Read what you have out loud and see how it sounds. Would you say it?

  • Be yourself and try to avoid using cliches.

  • Keep your stories to the point and try to avoid rambling into other subjects.

  • Don't repeat yourself.

  • Shorten and delete where it will make your points clearer.


Once you’re happy with your edits, you’ve got your story.


Congratulations!

You are now ready to write genuinely moving cards. I'm sure you can think of a few people right now who deserve a card.


Go ahead, make their day.

 

Looking for the perfect gift to go with your card?


We've got you covered for any occasion. Check out our range of locally sourced, artisan gift boxes.