From the 22nd September until the 28th Sept 2019, we will be in the midst of the Greeting Card Association’s (GCA) celebrated Thinking of You Week. There are many people in each of our lives that mean the world to us, but sometimes it can be hard to find the time to tell them. ‘Thinking of You’ Week encourages expressions of thanks, love, and general appreciation aimed towards our friends and loved ones.
We often send greeting cards on special occasions — this, of course, was their original purpose. Birthdays, Christmases, and new babies are some of the landmark occasions and it’s only right to celebrate them with a greeting card. But what about all the other days of the year? We should celebrate the people we love on these days too, just ‘because’. Sending a greeting card when you are under no obligation to do so makes the receiver feel loved and acknowledged. Doesn’t everyone deserve to feel that lovely surprised feeling?
Along with UK Greetings, leading greeting card manufacturers in the UK, let’s explore the philosophy and the science behind the Thinking of You Week and ‘just because’ cards.
The ‘Just because’ philosophy
The philosophy behind the CGA Thinking of You Week revolves around kindness and making sure others know they are appreciated. Small acts of kindness can be beneficial to both the receiver and the instigator, so there’s really no reason not to express how you feel! When you make a connection with someone by showing your appreciation, they will be over the moon to realise that their actions haven’t gone unnoticed.
UKG and the GCA also feel passionate about the way this message is delivered. A text or an email to tell a friend how you feel is always a great idea, but a greeting card or a handwritten letter takes this philosophy to the next level. A greeting card is a message in itself; it tells the recipient that you have taken the time to go out and purchase something for them and carefully construct a heartfelt message. This says a lot more than a last-minute text message. If you’re still in doubt, read on to check out the science behind it.
The science of kindness
Although it is difficult to measure, sending greeting cards and random acts of kindness have been scientifically proven to have a positive emotional impact on both the sender and the receiver. This study from Harvard Business School revealed that being altruistic and spending money on others greatly boosted happiness. With this in mind, it is clear that even the smaller gift of a greeting card could be beneficial for everyone.
To back this up, Mindlab conducted research on behalf of the Royal Mail to find out the emotional impact of a handwritten card as opposed to a text or an email. During this study, they measured the emotional activity in some volunteers by observing the voltage caused by cognitive activity in the brain. The volunteers each received an email, and then a handwritten card, from one of their own children. Then, their emotional responses were measured.
The results showed a huge difference in response, proving that it wasn’t only the content of the message which conjured positive emotions, but also the heart felt and personal way it was conveyed.
Scientific studies around the subject of kindness frequently reach the same conclusion — giving and receiving cards, or random acts of kindness, will benefit everyone involved. This is surely enough to show you don’t need a special occasion to express how you feel to a loved one!
How to get involved
It is very easy to get involved in the GCA ‘Thinking of You’ Week. Whether you are a business, a school or a retailer. Visit the CGA website or download the toolkit to get started. There are banners, flyers and posters ready for you to use.
One great idea of how to engage with the ‘just because’ philosophy in a school or workplace is ‘cards for classmates/colleagues’. Within this exercise, each person will pull someone else’s name out of a hat, much like with Secret Santa. Then they will write a positive message on a greeting card for whoever they picked. This is an excellent way to spread positivity and make sure everyone feels included and valued.
If you are a retailer, a great way to get involved is to produce a window display for Thinking of You Week and make sure you have plenty of cards in stock that express this positive message without being tied to a specific seasonal event.
The general public can also get involved with the GCA ‘Thinking of You’ Week. Buy a greeting card for a friend or family member and enclose a thoughtful message. It is easy to become part of this celebration, and it will bring happiness to your loved ones!