This is such a good tip, I am almost reluctant to share it. Then again, most people probably won't use it.
I like to remember people's birthdays. Long before Facebook kept track of birthdays for us - and I do mean long before, as in, most of my life - I have been in the habit of writing people's birthdays on my calendar, and buying, and sending birthday cards. This is something I learned from my mother, although I did not retain her habit of being responsible for other people's cards, too. It was my mother's job to remember my father's birthday obligations, too - his mother, his sister. I don't do this for Allan! But I do have dozens of birthdays on my calendar and I like to send each person a card.
I always sent paper cards, and continued to do so, even after the advent of email. Then we moved to Canada, where the paper cards I like (preferably by Papyrus) are crazy expensive, often $7 or $8 each, plus postage to the US is a loonie a pop. On months with multiple birthdays, I could easily spend $40 or $50 on birthday cards! It seemed a bit much, and then I became unemployed or underemployed, and it became impossible. Plus we're all trying to cut down on paper use.
I looked at e-cards, but none of the online greeting card websites really meets my standards. If you've sent me a card from any of the popular sites, I'm sure I loved it, and I appreciated the thought, so please don't take this the wrong way! I just don't want to send a birthday or anniversary card with ads all over it. I just can't do it.
So I started sending birthday emails or texts, which saves paper and money, and conveys the general message of "I am thinking of you" as well as anything else. But this year I found something better.
I am now using an unusually good greeting card website: E-cards by Jacquie Lawson. The site has a large variety of beautiful animated cards set to classical music, which you can personalize. There are a few cards you can send for free, but for a $12 annual subscription, you have unlimited access to an array of cards for almost every occasion. You can send as many cards as you like all year. For someone like me who likes to send cards, $1.00 a month is a huge bargain!
Paid subscriptions come with a lot of nice little features, like a running history of all the cards you've sent, the ability to queue up cards for a certain date (I just did all my March and April birthdays in advance), the ability to re-send the same card to a different email address, and so on.
And of course, no ads, ever.
Here are some samples: That Special Day, featuring Chudleigh, a recurring character on the site, and a birthday memory game.
I've saved a lot of money and paper, and have made many people smile, since finding Jacquie Lawson e-cards.
If you know of any other ad-free e-card sites, let me know.