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Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love greeting cards. I send them for all holidays, birthdays, illnesses, new babies, wedding anniversaries and any other half-baked excuse.

Despite that, I don’t want store-bought cards from my kids. My long-ago lecture: “Any kid can plunk down a dollar on a drugstore counter, with little thought or effort.” Of course nowadays a dollar won’t even get you looked at by the cashier and the self-check machine will spit it back at you.

So, my kids figured out that homemade cards put me over the moon, convincing me of their creative genius and loosening my wallet in the process. I received homemade cards for my birthday, Mother’s Day, and every holiday we celebrate.

To enable their inner Picassos, I kept a boatload of colored construction paper, glitter, glue (both liquid and sticks,) doilies, stickers (preferably of dogs or flowers,) scotch tape, crayons, and magic markers on hand. Calculating the cost of each card approached the stratosphere, but never mind. I was fostering creativity, after all. And I must admit I’ve received some clever cards. Two efforts stand out, both products of my arty older daughter.

The first is a pop-up card with a leprechaun who unfolds above the card when I open it—quite an engineering feat. The second is an elaborate packet from the McEwen School of Art. It includes a cover letter, a notice for drop-off and pick-up times, a school locater map, and a student medical form for me to fill out. All this by way of offering to babysit her younger sister for half an hour so I could have a peaceful cup of coffee or a phone chat with a friend.

Happily, my daughter has inflicted this torture on her children, so I have more to add to my stash. An early Easter card from my older granddaughter wishes me a “A happy EGGSTER,” not a bad pun for a five-year-old. With maturing talent, she has created many beautiful card scenes, such as a palm tree on a golf course for Grandad.

Her brother addressed a Valentine this way: “To Grandma and Grandad, aka the Encouragement Committee.” His Thanksgiving card said he’d “gobble, gobble” up our dinner. OK, so the kid can’t draw, but he has a way with words!

Luckily I have a large attic in Florida, so I can keep all these Old School treasures. Then when I die, my daughters get the fun of dealing with them!


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