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The Etiquette Of Card-Sending

Cast your mind back to when you were little and your mum seemed to forever be popping to the shops to buy a card for someone. Remember how pointless you thought it was? Why send a card to wish someone a happy birthday when you’re going to see them on the day? And the endless Christmas card list, full of people your Mum hadn’t spoken to since the year dot. Well, as always, Mum knows best.

When you’re young, you don’t understand why grown-ups do the things they do. Perhaps they are just following the crowd, doing everything they think they’re supposed to do. Now, it’s great to be individual, and try to stand out from the rest of the sheep. However, when it comes to sending a card, there’s certain etiquette to follow.

1)      No matter how small or large the occasion, there will be a card for it. Whether it’s the standard birthday, Christmas, Easter card, or the Congratulations, Good Luck, Happy Anniversary sort. Believe it or not, there’s even a Happy Divorce card nowadays; proof that card-sending is not outdated.

2)      Belated cards are not cool. Despite there being a large number of designs dedicated to those of us who forget our Grandparent’s, Sister’s or Great-Aunt’s birthday every year, sending a belated card does not make a great impression. For a start, the event has already passed. Secondly, it just looks a little bit lame. Far better to apologise in person and go round armed with a box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers.

3)      R.S.V.P’s require a response. Party planners don’t write R.S.V.P just to fill up a bit of space at the bottom of the card; they genuinely mean it. Often they need to know numbers of people attending so they know how many people to cater for, or how many tables and chairs to put out. So if you receive an invitation with an R.S.V.P. make sure you reply, giving the party organiser enough notice.

4)      Get in to good habits whilst you’re young. Did your Mum ever insist you write a Thank You card after receiving birthday and Christmas presents? She did that for a reason; not only does it show good manners on your part; it also prepares you for when you’re older and can no longer rely on your Mum to buy your sibling’s card for you.

5)      Weddings are a cut above the rest. When it comes to weddings, they are a whole new kettle of fish. There are the Engagement Party invitations, the Save the Date cards, the wedding present wish-list, and the Wedding invitation itself. And all of those will include an R.S.V.P. Planning a wedding is very time consuming, not to mention stressful. With so much to organise, you can make it slightly easier for the happy couple by ensuring you respond promptly. Oh, and don’t forget to ooh aah over the beautiful and classy invitations!

So maybe your Mum wasn’t so strange. It’s funny, when you’re little you always think, I’m never going to be like that, but we are after all, a product of our parents. Some of their habits are bound to rub off eventually; let’s just hope it’s the good ones, rather than the embarrassing ones. Remember, its good manners to always send a card, whatever the occasion; although we’ll forgive you for forgetting your next-door neighbour’s sister’s cat’s birthday, just this once.

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  •  License: Creative Commons image source

This guest blog contributed by Dawn Goddard a writer who is determined to help you find the most suitable correspondence material, whether you need business cards, or wedding invitations.

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