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October 12th, 2006

Greeting Card Time

Pop quiz: how long do you hold on to a greeting card before you recycle it?

There seems to be an unspoken rule (amongst people I know, anyway) that greeting cards are kept forever and ever – and never recycled or thrown out (you hate the earth, right?) But there’s only so much space one can devote to cards, and only so many one can keep.

I think a week or two is a fine time, with Christmas cards getting a longer lifespan due to the length of the holiday (8 months of the year.)

Posted in Everyday Life

COD October 12, 2006, 12:43 pm

Generally they get buried on my desk, and I toss them when I find them while cleaning off my desk several months later. My wife seems to believe that printed consumer products by the Hallmark company are some kind of religious artifact, never to be disposed of 😉

As as addendum to the Paul’s question – what’s the oldest greeting card you still have? I know I’ve still got some greeting cards from my college years.

Ryan October 12, 2006, 1:39 pm

A lot of it depends on what’s inside. If they’ve taken the time to write a nice little note inside, I’ll usually file it away. Otherwise, I think your week or two rule is fine.

I remember visiting my aunt once in high school shortly after I had sent her a nice thank you card. I went to throw something away and saw it in the trash can and felt quite slighted. Lesson learned: if you throw it away, bury it deep in case that person comes to visit.

Ryan October 12, 2006, 4:13 pm

My grandmother saved all of the cards she received and kept them very organized. It was actually kind of neat going through them and seeing cards that my mom had given her when she was a little girl, or ones I had sent when I was young.

Steve A October 13, 2006, 12:38 am

Cards given for very special occasions deserve a life of their own. I have cards from my 40th birthday, cards from moving from Canada back to the U.S. of Eh and most recently cards from my 50th. (Yeah, I’m that old ~ shocking?)

I’d be willing to be if I _really_ looked around, I could find cards from *back in the 70s*.

So… the answer is: it depends.

jk October 13, 2006, 1:38 am

I save all of them. Forever.

Since people don’t send handwritten letters anymore, I feel the need to hold on to these exciting pieces of mail.

Merle October 14, 2006, 1:52 pm

I keep them for a year, because they sometimes contain change of address information — useful a year later when sending out cards. And my list is down below three dozen, which does not take up a lot of room.

Really amazing or poignant cards, I do save forever. So far that pile is only about 4″ high. That is not a lot of room either.

Merle October 14, 2006, 1:54 pm

And as for COD’s amendment: the oldest letter I have was not a greeting card, just a handwritten letter. It was the last one from my great-grandmother. I was four at the time, but knew that even though it was “just” a letter, it was a final memory.

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