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The Hallmark Scam

Like most folks out there, the wife and I have our "circle of friends". That core group that you do things with by default. This also means 11-12 default birthday celebrations a year. We typically go out to dinner and several years ago gave up on exchanging gifts, in favor putting that money towards a nicer restaurant for the celebration dinner. Birthday Cards are still exchanged. Here lies my issue.

Birthday Cards (as well as other Greeting Cards) are for sending to people in the mail, not for handing directly to them at the function. Aunt Caroline who lives in Portland, your fraternity brother who took the job in Silicon Valley, or your nephew who is away at college --- these are all fine targets for a greeting card. When you are actually going to be in the same room as the person, I contend that a Greeting Card is inappropriate and a waste money. Some of these cards cost upwards of $5. Do people spend this money because they are incapable of saying the things that are inside the card. How hard is it to say something like, "Happy Birthday Tony, this seems like a great restaurant. Thanks for inviting me".

But do not dispair. I have a solution. This technique has been used by me several times (much to my wife's dismay). I redirect the money (or at least a portion of it) that I would have spent on a card. It is perfect for virtually any occasion. You can vary the denomination of bill or the color of the sticky note as appropriate. Whether they will admit it or not, in the end this style of card is a lot more useful to the recipient than a Hallmark, that ultimately just ends up in the trash.


Tony Alva said…
I have and will accept a greeting card that you're suggesting here, but would that dollar be a bit nicer of gift if it was inside a card?
Yoda Jacket said…
The point is that dollar bill is a substitute for the card, not the gift. If you are giving a gift it would be in addition to dollar card.

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