EXCERPTS: Greeting cards have survived their welcome | Columns

Some people would blame the Chinese, some would blame the Egyptians, personally I blame a man named Prang. Louis Prang to be exact.

The man lived from 1824 to 1909 and just as he was about to turn 50, Mr Prang returned from a trip to Europe and became the “father of the Christmas card”.

So there I was – at a time when convenience trumped principle – pacing up and down the card aisle at my least favorite pharmacy.

My mission was to find a birthday card for my father.

You might be thinking what does “Christmas card father” have to do with birthday cards?

Well, if Americans had never developed the insatiable thirst for Christmas cards, then this addiction wouldn’t have turned into microtransaction death that adds at least $6 to every present I’ve ever bought.

I have long believed that birthday cards – which account for more than half of all cards sold – Christmas cards, and all the other cards of the same ilk were useless. You can easily eliminate the need for it by learning how to use your words.

For example, when you give someone a birthday present, you can say “Happy Birthday.” That way they don’t have to read it off a map.

What if it was just money?

Look, a pithy map won’t make up for your lack of imagination and obvious disinterest in donating money.

I give a lot of money as gifts; I do not claim to have made the slightest effort to find a perfect gift.

In fact, most of the time when I give someone money, I just pull out the money I have on me, clap it in their hand, and say, “Happy Birthday!” I had no idea we were doing this today.

I feel like I’m in the minority on this.

According to the Greeting Card Association, business is good.

Seven in 10 card shoppers said greeting cards were “absolutely” or “almost” essential to them, according to the GCA.

The latest set of stats I could find on the GCA website show that baby boomers are buying the most individual cards, but millennials are spending the most money on cards, year after year.

They say it’s because millennials are reaching an age where they are entering their “family care” phase.

Being an older millennial myself, I don’t even know what a family maintenance phase is and I can assure you that I have no idea of ​​parent maintenance.

The greeting card industry is a $7-8 billion business, so I guess it’s not going anywhere.

I’ll make sure to send Mr. Prang a Christmas card.

Mika R. Pyle