Unveiling the Disappointments of Birthday Cards – Strategies for Presenting Cards That Stand Out

After seeing the awesome birthday card pictured above, I decided I would finally write a rant that I’ve waited years to spew onto the internet. If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes with me, you probably know that I have an absolute burning hatred of birthday cards and, in fact, cards of any type. Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah – I find almost all of them equally pointless. I’m going to explain why most cards suck and what you can do to give a card that isn’t complete crap.

You see, it’s not that I don’t appreciate a person caring enough to get me a card; it’s that I know they’ve purchased a mass-market piece of nonsense that they know I’m just going to throw in the trash. It’s wasteful, both in terms of materials and money, and I find it lazy. If a person is just going to do that, I would rather them simply tell me what they want to say in person instead of conveying it through a silly card.


  • Make the card yourself, or find someone to make it for you. The fact that you’re not buying something from Hallmark is a step in the right direction. I don’t know about you, but receiving a Hallmark card doesn’t exactly make me feel special. A card tailored to the recipient is key here, even if you do a terrible job.
  • Write a letter or message that actually has some substance. Perhaps tell the person why they’re important to you, or how you love having them around, or whatever applies to your situation. A card that simply says, “Happy Birthday, little boy and or girl, it’s that time of the year again!” will earn no satisfaction from me. If that’s the case, you may as well say it instead and save yourself the $5.
  • Put in a bit of effort so that the recipient actually has a reason to keep the card. You need not be an amazing artist or designer, but if you don’t create something that you would want to keep around, chances are the person receiving it won’t want to keep it either. More trash in the landfill and all that.

When it comes to giving cards, the thought does count, providing you have enough thought to give a card that doesn’t suck. If a person has a sad and unhealthy infatuation with a video game set in a dystopian future, give him a card related to that. It takes a little effort to create a card tailored to the person you’re giving it to, but if they’re actually important to you, put in the effort, and they’ll probably love you for it.