I've kept every single card I've ever received since childhood. Maybe that's just a quirky habit of mine, but I can't ever bring myself to throw them away - there's something so special about them to me.
Cards are often overlooked and the present always seems to be the star of the show - even I have been guilty of buying a gift last-minute and forgoing the card because there 'just wasn't time to get one'.
You never think people will mind if you forget to get them a card, but those little things mean a lot to some people, for reasons such as this:
You can treasure a card forever
When I was younger, my friends and I would give each other cards for birthdays and Christmas with the longest declarations of love and eternal friendship - seriously, we would fill both sides of the cards with our messages for each other! And although some of those friendships may have drifted away, I love the fact that I always have those memories in my card box at home and can relive them whenever I want.
Almost like a time-capsule, just reading over those old cards can take me back to my school days and have me reminiscing for hours. I like that there's an everlasting quality to a card, those touching words written to you and only you are always there for you to read and treasure.
Cards make a refreshing change in this digital world
Everything is technology and electronics these days. I mean, you don't even need to physically go out and buy a present anymore. It can all be done online, and if you don't know what to get someone or don't have the time to pick something out, you can throw some money on a gift card for a store that they like and have them go buy their own present. A great thought and super convenient for you - but where's the love and warmth in that?
A good old card reminds me of times before the internet era, where things were simpler and we had to make a lot more effort do things!
Cards allow you to express your feelings in the way a present can't
Nothing beats the written word. Even the grandest, most extravagant present can't tell your family and friends how much you love them in your own words, but a card can.
My mother is not really an emotional, soppy kind of person (unlike me!) and she isn't really the type to say "I love you" on a daily basis - she'll show you rather than tell you. But every year on my birthday, without fail, she'll write me the sweetest card with the most amazing message telling me how much she loves me and it gets the waterworks flowing every time!
Giving people cards gives you a chance to say something you wouldn't normally say to someone. I remember feeling sad about leaving a job that I'd desperately wanted to quit for ages - after seeing all the lovely messages people wrote in my leaving card! I didn't realise how appreciated I was until I received that.
A chance to get creative
These days, if I'm really short on time I'll grab a card from a gift shop. You can get some great, genuinely funny cards if you know where to look.
But my favourite way to give cards is to use a service like Moonpig and personalise it with photos and my own messages. These are also my favourite type of cards to receive, because I can pin them up on the wall or put them in a photo frame.
When I was younger, I used to love giving people homemade cards. They're actually really fun to make! I would sit for hours with my scissors, glue and felt-tips, drawing out what looked like works of art at the time - probably not so much anymore!
My Mum is quite crafty and used to make her own cards too - she learned how to do calligraphy and used to make 3D flowers out of cardboard and tissue paper to stick on the cards.
If you're into arts and crafts - why not consider making your own homemade cards for your friends and family? They'll love them!
The sentimental value
My friend was telling me about a push present she received from her partner once - she loved the gift so much but the card was what really meant the most to her. He'd told her how proud he was of her and she treasures those words to this day.
So next time you're buying a gift for someone - don't forget about the card. They mean a lot more to people than you'd think!