Looking through an array of Christmas cards yesterday, I was struck by the complete lack of imagination of the wording inside them. Has it always been like this, I wondered. For the last few decades I’ve gone for blank cards because the generic wording never seemed to fit—for me anyway. And now the words all seem very much the same.
In the 2009 movie, (500) Days of Summer, a romantic comedy about a woman, Summer, who doesn’t believe in true love, and the young man, Tom, who falls for her, Tom is employed by a greetings card company to write the sentiments inside the products. I was fascinated. Do jobs like this still exist? I also really felt for him when his depression resulted in a departmental transfer—from greetings to condolences. But, more importantly, where are his cards?
How often have you received a card from someone you haven’t seen or heard from since last year, and seen something like, ‘lots of love from Aunty Flo and Uncle Bill’? And that’s it. No news. Not a scrap. Flo’s husband, Uncle Bill, may be recovering from a triple bypass following a massive heart attack, and Flo herself celebrating the year she climbed Kilimanjaro (aged 89, and probably precipitating Bill’s condition), but all you get is ‘lots of love’. Oh, and, ‘wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’, because that was already printed there.
Let’s make our words really matter.