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Greeting Cards

Posted 7/15/2013

Posted in

  Today's conversation is one that really leaves me close to speechless. I surely know that different people like different things, that the world is a big and diverse place, and that there should be plenty of room for varying preferences. I also know that corporate America does not miss an opportunity to make money.

  Hallmark has come out with a new line of greeting cards to send to people with cancer and even to people who are dying. Here is my attempt at a positive spin: The worst thing, as we all know, is to do nothing or to hear nothing from friends during a crisis. Far too many people blame their inaction on "I didn't know what to say" as though that gives them permission to make no attempt to say anything. What happened to a plain statement along the lines of: "I am so sorry." And such a sentence could be boldly followed by another: "I don't know what to say, but wanted to talk to you."

  Given that there are people who are never, apparently, going to pick up the phone or write a note or even send a safe email, perhaps these cards are better than nothing. Here is where personal preference comes in. Would you rather receive a sappy Hallmark card that tries to impart love and serious wisdom or would you rather not hear from Friend X at all. Here is an essay from The Economist about this new line and, if I can make the system work, also a link to see a card.

Greetings cards




The American way of death




Hallmark cards show a new candour about terminal sickness




Jun 29th 2013 | KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI | From the print edition




OVER an abstract watercolour that hints at a

setting sun, a Hallmark card expresses gladness

that “our paths came together in this life” and

vows: “You’re in some of the best memories I have

and you always will be.” The card, a 2014 addition

to the company’s “sympathy” range, will be for

sending to people who know they are dying.

After decades of euphemism and denial, America

is rediscovering death. The greetings-card

industry, which studies social trends carefully, is a

useful window on changing manners. Editors and

art directors at Hallmark’s headquarters in

Missouri say that customers now want candour,

even about terminal illness.

Read more:

To view a card:




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