As everyone knows, writing a card can be a great way to cheer friends and loved ones up when they’re going through hard times. Sympathy cards let your friends know that you care about them in a way that electronic communication just can’t do, and in addition it is less likely to get blocked by a spam filter. Here are a few tips for making your sympathy card that much better.

  1. Be considerate. Your friend is going through hard times, so now is a good time to word things a bit more delicately. Though it may be difficult to keep from joking around a bit, and it’s hard to fully understand if you’re not going through it yourself, a little bit of tact in your sympathy card when referring to the issues your friend is going through will go a long way.
  2. Be optimistic. As easy as it is to deride optimistic messages as naïve, idealistic, and better suited for cheesy, groan-provoking motivational posters, in situations like this it really can help. While you don’t want to be tone deaf to you’re friend’s struggles, keeping an upbeat attitude as you write your sympathy card will help the overall effect of the card.
  3. Offer a positive scenario. Depending on the situation your friend is in, you can offer  up a best- case scenario of what could play out. Although it’s important to phrase it well and make sure it doesn’t come off as clueless, it gives your friend something to shoot for to help get out of the situation he’s in – a finish line, if you will, with teammates on the other side waiting do dump a cooler of Gatorade on his head.
  4. Fond memories. Sometimes, remembering good times with friends can help us get through difficult times. And in a sympathy card, you want to remind your friend of how much he or she means to you. Reminding of a good time you had together is a sure fire way to pick up your friend’s spirits.
  5. Offer help. Take a cue from the Beatles song and offer to help your friend out. Though you won’t be able to do everything for your friend, a sympathy card is a perfect way to let your friend know you’re there. Often, it’s just the act of offering help that will make your friend feel better, and in some cases they will feel more comfortable not taking your help, but will still appreciate it anyway. 

When you send a greeting card, would you prefer for your friend or loved one to frame it and put it on his or her wall, or quietly slip it into the recycle bin? Unless you’re a bad friend or a masochist, you probably answered the former. Here are ten ways you can make your greeting card memorable, and by keeping your friend from throwing the card out, help save the planet too!

  1. A wise man once said life is like a box of chocolates, so why not send something sweet to your friend? Small candies and sweets usually work great, just make sure they won’t melt or blow up inside the envelope and ruin the card.
  2. In our social media addled era, anything longer than 140 characters is considered to be like reading War and Peace. But ironically, you can remind your friends in your greeting card that they mean more to you than a few zeros and ones sent via Facebook by copying the Facebook format! Write a private status update, print it out, and paste it into your card. They won’t be able to click the “like” button when they get it, but they will actually like it much more than any electronic message.
  3. After finishing the message in your greeting card, give instructions for how to fold it into a paper crane. Whether that means crane as in the bird or crane as in the construction device depends on the skill level of your friend.
  4. Tap into your inner Long John Silver by providing your friend with a treasure map. Be a good sport and remember to actually leave something at the end. Or you can cheat and give them a link to a geocache page.
  5. For the friend with empty walls, send a number of small photos along with instructions as to how to set them up to make an attractive display. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making a photomosaic.
  6. The fold-in greeting card –anyone who has ever read Mad Magazine has seen the “fold-in” on the back cover where you fold the page in half over the text to create a new message. They’re tricky to do, but if your friend doesn’t mind a bit of sarcasm you can just copy one from a copy of the actual magazine.
  7. Connect the dots: it’s good to make your friend feel younger, especially for his/her birthday, so why not bring back everyone’s favorite childhood activity in your next greeting card? No, not hopscotch, that wouldn’t fit in the envelope. But a connect the dots message is the next best thing!
  8. For the musical friend, why not find the score for a favorite song and send it with your greeting card?  Even if your friend is only an amateur, it’s still likely to sound better than those tinny greeting cards with audio playback.
  9. Though you can’t really send fresh flowers to your friend, at least not without the mail carrier complaining about thorns, it’s possible to send dried flower petals, which will keep and make it to your friend intact. Although it doesn’t quite have the same effect of sending real flowers, it can still make your card memorable.
  10. Putting in directions for a new meal to try is a recipe for a great greeting card. If you’re missing your friend’s birthday, it’s a way to make him or her feel like you’re actually there. And though you won’t be able to try it yourself, it’s still nice to think of sharing something tasty with your friend.

 

In case you haven’t been paying attention, or perhaps trying really hard not to pay attention, this year is an election year. This means that, in addition to having to sit through all the negative attack ads that are aired during your favorite TV shows, we’re a lot more likely to get into arguments with our friends over political issues.

The subject can be touchy, and for that friend who just doesn’t see political things your way, a simple phone call or online message may not be enough, and in fact may send the two of you into a downward spiral that ends in hurt feelings and explicatives. But never fear, there is a solution: send your politically unenlightnened friend a greeting card! Political views are hard to change, but in a season where one too many discussions about tax cuts, healthcare, or how exactly it is that altitude affects debate performance can leave everyone with bruised egos, the best way to patch things up is with a handsome greeting card.

There are many ways you can do a political greeting card, and while a nice cordial tone is always key, you can also be creative abou it. Here are a few things to say in political cards that are thoughtful, informed, and politically neutral enough to be broadcast on CNN.

1.  Despite our differences, let’s focus on how it’s morning in America, even though this card probably arrived during the afternoon.

2.  You still have a high approval rating from me!

3.  Your friendship is worth more to me than any super PAC could buy in ad time.

4.  Even though we don’t agree, I may still register to be part of your party, as long as you’re talking about a party you’re going to throw this weekend!

5.  We might disagree on politics, but we still get along really well a veto-proof majority of the time.

6.  Staying mad at each other would be unconstitutional under the 8th amendment.

7.  Obama was elected on hope and change, but nothing could hope to change what you mean to me.

Well, you get the gist of it. Election day is November 6th, so make sure you send your card before then. and make sure not to mix it up with your mail in ballot. And if you really want to score points with your friend, sign your card by putting your name and then, “and I approved this message.”

As the firefighters fight the flames on the front line many Colorado businesses are helping battle the blaze in their own ways. We at Card Gnome created thank you cards for the Flagstaff fire and the Waldo Canyon fire to enable folks around the nation to send a small token of thanks to the local army of firefighters. We’re donating our net proceeds to the local firefighter associations, and we want to give a big thank you to all the other companies raising money for the cause.

1. Wild Fire Tees

A group of Colorado designers created this site and eight beautiful t-shirts that you can buy to support the fire.  With 100% of the proceeds going to the Care and Share Food Bank and the Colorado Red Cross, you’d be crazy not to donate $20.

2. The mGive Foundation

The mGive foundation made it easy to donate to the Denver Foundation to help the wildfire efforts across the state. Simply text the word FIRE to 80000 to make a $10 donation.

3. Colorado Jewish Community

The Colorado Jewish community put together a Fire Relief Fund to help both Jewish and non-Jewish families affected by the disaster, as well as helping first responders battling the fires.

4. Help Heal Colorado T-Shirts

Colorado business The Startup Shirt created a special t-shirt design to recognize the efforts put forth battling the fires around Colorado. For $20, you get a beautiful tee while helping out the Colorado Professional Fire Fighters Foundation and the Red Cross

5. Racines Restaurant in Denver

Racines is matching all donations made to the Red Cross. Stop in for a bite to eat and leave a donation to help the fight.

6. Card Gnome

One of our artists, Steve Lowtwait, designed two beautiful cards so that residents could say thank you to the firefighters working around the clock. Each card is automatically addressed to the local fire department, so all you have to do is write your own message of gratitude; Card Gnome takes care of the rest. The proceeds from these cards will be sent to the local firefighter association recieving the card. So send a card and let those on the front line know how much you appreciate their hard work.

Know of other companies helping the cause? Send an email to brian@cardgnome.com and we’ll add them to the list.

I want to express my appreciation to all of the emergency crews around Colorado for their tireless efforts to tame the wildfires that are threatening our cities. You are risking your lives and making personal sacrifices so that others are safe and may have a place to call home. I'm sure that many of you are far from your own homes, and that it is hard to be away from your families. My father is a volunteer Fireman, so I know firsthand what kind of sacrifices are made in the line of duty.

I also know firsthand what it is like to worry about your family and your home, since the house I purchased less than a month ago, and moved in to less than a week ago, is in the pre-evacuation zone for the Flagstaff fire here in Boulder. It is comforting to know that there is an army of Firemen, Police officers, and emergency personel working around the clock trying to hold the fire at bay.

Here at Card Gnome, we would like to show our appreciation for all that you are doing by allowing our customers to send you a personalized thank you card. The net proceeds of these cards will be donated to local Firefighter associations. It is important to give assistance to those who have been evacuated, but we must also remember to give assistance and thanks to all of those who are sacrificing to keep us safe.

Sincerley,

Chad McGimpsey
President & Co-Founder
Card Gnome, Inc.

 

Thank you Firefighters -- Flagstaff fire -- Boulder, CO

Thank you Firefighters card -- Waldo Canyon -- Colorado Springs, CO

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