There’s magic in the air this time of year. We welcome that feeling of nostalgia as families gather to catch up, reminisce, and enjoy each other’s company. But, traditional touches – expressing our deepest love for one another – are especially important whether we live close or miles apart. The novelty, even for digitally-driven millennials, is not lost. In fact, heart-warming gifts of the one-dimensional kind – no typing or swiping involved – are on everyone’s wish list.
Lindsey Roy, Chief Marketing Officer at Hallmark, told CNBC that greeting card sales are growing thanks to a younger crowd.
“Obviously, they’re texting and using social media and so the card for them has a different benefit; it really kind of breaks through the clutter,” Roy says of Millennials. They “love paper and the tactile experiences.”
Around 1.5 billion seasonal holiday cards were purchased in 2017, according to the Greeting Card Association.
Even businesses are channeling the “less is more” charm utilizing sites like, Sent Well for a dose of personalization. The e-commerce hub will handwrite your message (no fonts allowed), self-address, and mail your correspondence. A Fan favorite, Punkpost, employs a community of over 80 handwriting artists just waiting to translate your text message into a homespun, one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
The Punkpost site proudly “rebels against automation” and they don’t use “robots to try to replicate penmanship.” Instead, founders Alexis “Lex” Monson and Santiago Prieto, feel communication at its best is human – imperfections and all. Honest exchanges create sentimental value and cherished moments.
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Still, many folks want to place a heftier gift into the hands of their loved ones. Americans are projected to spend more than $1,000 during the 2018 holiday season. Two-thirds of that money will account for gifts.
However, electronics and big-ticket items stir up excitement only momentarily. To avoid a fleeting and expensive gesture, USA Today reporter, Janna Herron, suggests sharing family heirlooms and re-gifting jewelry.
“If you’re crafty,” Herron says, “consider handmade items. Gather your best family recipes in a photo book for newlyweds in the family.” She advises that cookie or ornament exchanges can be fun, festive, and frugal too.
So why, exactly, does frugal equal unforgettable and everlasting? Why do homecooked meals and handwritten postcards whisper louder and sink deeper into our hearts?
Saeideh Heshmati, assistant professor of positive psychology at Claremont Graduate University, recently researched what makes people “feel loved.” Cards and handwritten messages of gratitude make recipients “feel more loved because you took the time to do that for them.”
We all have a baseline for gratitude, says Steven Toepfer, an associate professor of human development and family studies at Kent State University. Writing letters, he says, is a great way to reap the benefits of love, communication, and connection.
Sounds like we can forgo a trip to the mall. A simple sit-down, some stationary, and soul-sharing is all we need to create heart-warming gifts and make the season bright.
Remember… what you say, and the tender way in which you say it, speaks volumes to those you love. And unlike a gift card, there’s no expiration date when it comes to showing appreciation.
So, spread cheer and happiness today and every day by using some older communication methods. Because some of the best things never really go out of style.
Season’s Greetings to you, from Jill and your friends at Hello!
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