You’ve seen greeting cards everywhere, but you’re probably wondering how it started in the first place. Although letter writing was the primary means of communication before the arrival of the telephone, email, and instant messaging, sending cards with fun designs and a brief message may not seem to be a person’s priority.
Still, it pays to know the history behind traditions and customs, as it gives an exciting insight into the practices that we continue even centuries after they were first created. It also gives you a fun fact to use as an icebreaker when you meet someone, and you don’t want things to get awkward. That’s the point of learning trivia, right?
Here’s how greeting cards started and why the tradition of sending them out endures today:
A Brief History of Greeting Cards
Sending birthday cards, congratulations cards, or cards to celebrate special occasions started in China’s 15th century. They sent each other notes to celebrate the Lunar New Year, one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. The ancient Egyptians also used papyrus scrolls to send each other letters on important events and occasions, so greeting cards aren’t as new as you might think.
However, as we know them today, greeting cards started in the 1850s, when people began producing them en masse. Now widely available in shops, people have taken to them almost instantly, making greeting cards a staple in just about every occasion.
Why Sending Greeting Cards is So Important
Greeting cards continued to be popular well into the 21st century, although many people began to doubt its demand with the advent of electronic greeting cards and social media messaging. While e-cards certainly had their very brief moment, physical greeting cards continued to shine. 2010’s Easy A definitely showed that with Emma Stone’s character showing initial disgust for the Pocketful of Sunshine greeting card she received, but ended up (ironically?) loving it so much she took it with her to the shower!
Nothing beats receiving a personalised greeting card, especially if they’re funny or offensive cards that stand out from the stuffy, traditional ones you usually receive. They give you a unique feeling of excitement that you don’t get when receiving a message online, especially since many people put love and care into the cards they send out.
In fact, Mind Lab carried out a study that analysed the emotional impact of receiving a handwritten note or card versus emails or texts. The results showed that the participants gave a significantly more positive emotional response to handwritten cards and letters than the electronic messages they would receive, like emails or instant messages. Another study shows that handwritten thank-you notes affect recipients more positively than sending them an electronic message.
While this isn’t meant to be a put-down on instant messages, as they’ve proven to be people’s lifelines during the pandemic, greeting cards have their own set of benefits that separates them from other forms of communication. It’s a great way to cheer up a friend by sending them a funny card to brighten their day, and they’ll definitely appreciate the effort that comes with it.
Greeting cards still have their place in a highly digital world, especially since people are increasingly turning to analogue items like film cameras and fountain pens for comfort. Whether they’re joke birthday cards or funny retirement cards, these special notes can help maintain an emotional connection between you and a friend in a more meaningful way.
Sometimes, regular bookstore greeting cards simply don’t cut it. Luckily, we have the funniest—and even most offensive—cards you can send to your friends at You Said It. We’ve got everything from funny anniversary cards to inappropriate and offensive divorce cards, which is a great way to inject humour into a situation. Check out our catalogue today for your next card!