September 21, 2020
Thinking of You Week celebrates joy

When virtually everything goes virtual, the tangible becomes more meaningful. When you can’t give loved ones a hug in person, or even shake hands with a colleague, distance feels hard to span. And while distance may make the heart grow fonder, it also makes the heart feel lonely and weary. Humans by nature are creative and adaptable, and sometimes as technology marches forward at a relentless pace, the most traditional ways of connecting can prove the most meaningful.

Thinking of You Week is September 21-27, 2020, and its goal is to celebrate one such traditional way of connecting: the joy of sending and receiving hand-written notes and greeting cards. Sponsored by the non-profit Greeting Card Association (GCA), Thinking of You Week is a great time to send cards to family and friends to let them know that you are indeed thinking of them. You can follow @ThinkingofYouWeek on Instagram for the latest updates, and use #thinkingofyouweek when you post on social media. In partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, first class mailings during the month of September bear a special “Thinking of You Week” postmark.

Greeting cards have been around since the ancient Chinese used them to exchange new year’s well wishes. In the 1850’s they were first mass-produced and started to resemble the decorative, folded cards we know today. While they are at their simplest nothing more than folded pieces of paper, they are in reality much more than that. They are physical manifestations of emotion; markers of our thoughts and life’s milestones.

“Thinking of You Week is always a great time for consumers to send cards,” says George White, president for GCA. “With the current pandemic keeping friends and family apart, it is more important than ever this year, as greeting cards provide connection in a meaningful way, furthering what is most important in our lives: nurturing human relationships.”

In an age when a text can be typed in seconds and when an emoji serves as a stand-in for our feelings, putting pen to paper and writing a personal note in a greeting card takes on elevated meaning. A greeting card is tactile, and its appearance in one’s mailbox a welcome respite from bills and junk mail. Consumers seem to agree. Stationery retailer Paper Source, which operates 135 retail stores in addition to its e-commerce shop, saw online sales of greeting cards increase 1,200% in the two months after social distancing began in March of this year.

“When you can’t be there in person, a card can serve as the next best thing,” said Nicky Burton, president of Calypso Cards and volunteer chair of Thinking of You Week for the GCA. “When a life event happens, a graduation, birthday, marriage, or even sadly an illness or death, a greeting card can speak for you in absentia. Although an occasion is never needed as a reason to reach out with a greeting card, Thinking of You Week offers one more opportunity to connect. Whether ornate or simple, modern or traditional, humorous or poignant, there is no better way to bridge the distance between us right now than a carefully selected card that tells someone else you care. A card can often provide the words you may not be able to draft yourself. Now more than ever, every card makes a difference. Let’s make Thinking of You Week this year the beginning of Thinking of You EVERY Week.”

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