This past weekend, the last weekend of January, I continued a monthly habit I am trying to cultivate in my regular routine, one that keeps me aware and connected to those I love----sending birthday cards.
I spent most of last year regretting the birthdays I missed, giving gifts late (which still happens- sorry Mary), and forgetting to spend a moment celebrating those I am blessed to have in my life.
This year I am committed to intentionally staying in touch with people, and sending birthday cards is one way I hope to do that. But knowing myself and how quickly the days pass and birthdays slip by, I decided the best would be for me to prepare all my birthday cards (and gifts) at the beginning of the month.
Here are some things I am learning from this new habit:
- Collect birthdays from anywhere I can-- text family, be humble to just ask friends, check on Facebook.
- Send scheduled e-cards to any international friends or addresses I don't have (i.e. Facebook friends).
- Buy bulk packs of birthday cards and gift cards. Sometimes I find deals at Walgreens or Costco where I can buy several gift cards for less than their value.
- Buy the same gift for several people. Last month I bought friends the book that I was reading because I loved it so much and thought they would enjoy it too.
- Address and stamp cards or buy, wrap and weigh any package so they are ready for mail pickup. The more I do at the beginning of the month, the more likely I am to celebrate them on time.
- Once cards are addressed and stamped, I put them in my tickler file for 4-5 days before the birthday (if mailing) so I can be sure to get it there on time, since this is the whole point of doing it a month ahead.
- This one is hard for me: I can't regret what I can't do, but find joy in what I can. A few people get gifts, others receive small gift cards, and others just a card. But who doesn't love getting a handwritten card in the mail? It truly is the thought that counts.
Your Turn: What are your secrets to remembering and celebrating people on their birthday?