Christmas is just around the corner, providing many opportunities to express warmth and affection to our family and friends. While gifts and group meals are plentiful this time of year, there is something that seems to be forgotten more and more each season — the humble greeting card.
In decades past, exchanging Christmas cards was as essential to Christmas as tree trimming and stocking stuffing, but with the rise in technology and the advent of social media, the sharing of paper greetings has since declined. This is unfortunate, both because there is something uniquely personal about receiving a tangible greeting card, and because the very act of sitting down to compose a greeting provides the writer with a moment for mindfulness and reflection.
There Is Nothing Better Than Receiving a Greeting Card in the Post
Particularly since we are in an age where technology rules, receiving a carefully considered card in the post is a guaranteed way to brighten someone’s day. Our post, sadly, is often not particularly uplifting, filled with junk mail and bills. Seeing a handwritten envelope amongst the pile of everyday messages is incredibly uplifting. Cards can be kept, treasured, and displayed. They convey a sense of the physical person that all of our apps just can’t convey. Cards aren’t deleted in a Snapchat message or buried in a Twitter feed. They provide a level of connection that feels more real than what comes across our Smartphones everyday.
Year Round Inspiration
While Christmas provides the most obvious opportunity to sit down and compose a handwritten greeting, cards are items that can be sent year round to offer a special surprise or boost to loved ones. This is an area where technology and the real world collide, as the Internet offers endless choices for selecting the right card. From charity Christmas card packs to inspirational cards that can be sent anytime of year, your choices for your message are seemingly limitless.
Inspirational greeting card packs also provide terrific gifts this time of year, both for old school stationery lovers, and for today’s children who may not have had much experience writing cards or letters. Gift a child with a pack of inspirational cards and assist them in expressing their gratitude to those who gave them Christmas presents, or even just let them have fun with the cards, writing their own letters and stories. The inspirational cards available online are often so beautiful that they can even be framed and hung as artwork! Most importantly, their messages are carefully selected by you, giving the card yet another personal touch that can deeply impact and encourage the recipient.
Writing for Mindfulness
We don’t spend as much time writing by hand these days, but the very act of doing so is a way of practising mindfulness, as well as a way to harness our innate creativity and even improve our mental health. We can get our thoughts out of our heads and onto the page, clearing our minds and activating areas of the brain that are stimulated by the use of our fine motor skills. Handwriting offers a space for reflection and contemplation.
While my upcoming book on mindfulness will offer greater insight into this beneficial practise, a writer should focus on the feeling of the pen against the hand, and the feeling of gliding the pen across the paper or card. Simply by participating in these simple actions — being present as you write — you are engaging in a meditative practise that should never become a lost art.
What are your thoughts on inspirational cards? Do you plan to send Christmas cards this year, or write thank you cards with your children? How does writing impact your practise of mindfulness? Connect with me in the comments, and on Facebook, where I offer more tips and tricks to improve your wellbeing and enhance your life.