How Do We Feel About Birthday Cards?
We celebrated Hassan's birthday this past weekend. It was a glorious day! We woke up early, I gave him his gifts and then we went to a fancy breakfast at IHOP. Mind you, we are eating rather clean these days, so the idea of eating pancakes was more delicious than actually eating them.
After we tootled around town running errands and driving through the Super Bowl chaos downtown, I took a nap while he met up with my Dad for their weekly date at the gun range. We ended the evening eating at a fabulous Italian restaurant, Sud Italia and then dancing at the St. Regis bar well into the early morning.
The next morning we took a moment to reflect on the day. I asked Hassan what his favorite moment of the day was. He mentioned dancing with me (swoon) and, as I have come to expect when I ask him this every year, opening his birthday cards. He has a history of saving every single card anyone has ever given him (including some from his ex-girlfriends which may or may not have come up missing recently...). He keeps the cards as a reminder of how awesome it is when someone thinks enough of you to express it in writing.
The idea is touching even though I don't fancy myself a birthday card person. I didn't give much thought to them before I met my husband. To me, they were a $3.99 nuisance that you buy just so you have something to hand a person when you show up. I know it's drastic, but that's where I was on this subject. Now, I have come to appreciate the art of picking out the perfect card to express a sentiment. Although I am much more comfortable expressing myself in my own words rather than relying on someone else's, I can see the value in receiving, and maybe keeping, a birthday card.
Over the weekend, my husband showed me a card he received 12 years ago from his grandmother that still contained a check for $20 that she wrote to him. The running joke between them was that she would send a check and he would never cash it, hoping instead that she would keep the money to do something for herself. It's a sweet memory and one that I can see on his face that he appreciates for its innocence and sincerity. But more than the great story that he can tell, he still has that card with his grandmother's signature on it. Although she is now gone, he still holds onto that one piece of her. I think that's just lovely.
I don't know that I will ever be a card collector like my husband, but I am a changed person on the value of giving and receiving birthday cards. I find myself now being intentional about purchasing cards for people, and especially for my husband on his birthday. You never know how you will reach a person. Knowing that this small gesture has the kind of effect on my husband that it does makes me want to try a little harder to make the gestures that count.
Do you like receiving birthday cards? Do you like the sentimental ones or the funny ones better?
Below are some photos from the birthday celebration if your'e interested.
Lead Photo Credit: Sofiya Levchenko