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Cards

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23.12.2016

My uncle passed away recently, and in addition to Skype calls to my family in the UK we naturally immediately went looking for a card to send our condolences to my mother. I say we, but it was actually my wife who did it. Sending cards is one of the (few) British customs she has adopted living in her homeland married to a Britalan. It's certainly not a customary thing here compared to the UK, where we send cards at every opportunity - congratulatory cards for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, births, passing exams and so on, season's greetings cards for Christmas and other holidays, “Get well soon!” cards for illness, condolence cards for bereavements, “Thinking of you” and “I love you” cards, not to mention Valentine's Day cards, a reason for either joy or panic, depending on the sender, in my country of birth.

Given the relative difficulty of finding a suitable card here - or in my immediate neighbourhood, at least - I started thinking about how much the British economy makes from the sale and sending of cards: it certainly gives postal workers (for postman/woman is no longer the correct nomenclature) much more to do than in other countries. In fact, a quick shufty at the Greeting Card Association website (yes, there is one) reveals that “in 2015 the UK public spent more on greeting cards than ever before - taking the market value up to £1.7 billion”. Evidence of this statistic can........

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