Say Goodbye to Cards and Hello to Gift Tags!
Large families mean a lot of birthdays, and a lot of birthdays mean a lot of parties to attend. Parties mean presents and cards. A card to each person, and sometimes even a card on each gift for the same person, adds up to a lot of greeting cards going around.
Giving birthday or other cards to adults is socially acceptable and expected; after all, many adults like to read and keep cards as keepsakes. However, is it socially expected to give a card to each child with a gift?
I first took this into consideration when my husband and I were working with our daughter on displaying good manners when opening presents. We taught her to say thank you, be gracious and read the card first. It was apparent to us that she really didn’t care about the card: she didn’t care that it was there, that it said anything, or even that it told who the gift was from!
While I am a stickler for good manners, it just didn’t make sense to me to impress upon her why cards are important. They weren’t important to her. All she cared about was opening the surprise, and I think that’s a pretty normal desire for a child getting a gift! We haven’t given up our insistence on card manners, but we have changed our approach regarding giving other children cards.
4 Reasons Not to Give Children Cards:
1. Cards are expensive. Normal prices for a Hallmark or American Greetings card can range from $1.99 to $10, depending on how fancy the card is. (The more expensive ones can play songs or even allow you to record a voice message – pretty cool!) That is a lot to pay for something that will go into the trash, sometimes as soon as the party is over. Even a 48 cent greeting card from Walmart still costs money, and that amount could be saved and put towards the gift instead.
2. Kids don’t care about the cards! There are a few exceptions, but many kids, like my Hannah, just want to open the present. When they get old enough to care about cards, you’ll know because they’ll open them, read them, and maybe even start a collection.
3. Save the paper! Cards and their encasing envelopes are made of paper, which comes from trees, which are cut down to make the paper… you get the point. If it’s just going to be thrown away anyhow, don’t be a slave to the formality of card-giving anymore.
4. They create more clutter for the parents. Especially if the parents are sentimental and feel the need to keep everything, you can save them from having to declutter more paper by not giving them cards in the first place!
Use Gift Tags Instead of Giving Cards
When giving a gift, it is natural to designate who the gift is to and let the receiver know who the gift is from. If you’re not giving a card, how can you make sure that information is conveyed? Use gift tags!
What is a gift tag? Basically, it is a piece of paper that says “to” and “from” and can be taped or tied to a gift. It can be one piece of paper (like a little square), or a folded piece of paper (like a mini card with no envelope). You can make it from whatever is handy: construction paper or even extra wrapping paper scraps from wrapping the gift. I make mine on the computer and print them out. I can fit 5 gift tags on one printed page – quite a savings of paper!
The important info is contained on the tag: the person it is to and the person it is from. Add a “Happy Birthday” or “Merry Christmas” if you feel so inclined. It won’t matter that the child doesn’t read it, because there are no verses to read! But the parent will have the important knowledge of where the gift came from, and all will be well. Gift tags save money, paper, envelopes, time (it can take a while to select the perfect card!) and hurt feelings if a child just tosses the card aside and rips into a present.
Try gift tags on your next round of kid gifts; they’re perfect for birthdays, holidays, and many more occasions!