If you are looking for a good way to encourage someone, why not send a card! There are a wide variety of cards on the shelves today for every type of occasion under the sun, in many styles, shapes and colours. Many people enjoy receiving a card, whether it is for a birthday, anniversary, graduation, sympathy over the loss of a loved one, etc.
Cards have been sent, seemingly, from the beginning of time, though the Bible does not give any indication of Adam ever sending Eve a "Congratulations on Your Creation Day" card...so, I decided to do a little bit of investigating for this post.
According to http://www.netogram.com/history.htm, greeting cards became popular in the mid 1800's, with the oldest known greeting card in existence being a Valentine's Day card made in the 1400's. This card is on display at the British Museum in London.
Another site I visited was http://www.emotionscards.com/museum/history.html, where it made mentioned of New Year's cards dating back to the 1400's, though they gained popularity in the late 1700's. Greeting cards were typically sent by the elite and wealthy of the time, as it was rather expensive. This particular site also listed many men and women who were pioneers in the 'invention' of greeting cards. You can visit this site to read about them.
Within the past couple of years, I have discovered the art of rubber stamping and making cards. I find it enjoyable, but my main problem is lack of creativity. Therefore, I turn to the pages of various scrapbooking and card making magazines to get ideas for my cards. It is rather interesting that one can make a card in a particular pattern and colour, and then change the look of the card simply by changing colour combinations and types of papers used! Same pattern, different look!
A lot of work goes into making a card, and once you begin making them yourself, you tend to have a greater appreciation for any handmade cards you may receive. Many people who do not make their own cards will often dismiss a homemade card they receive as being "cheap". But let me tell you, they are NOT cheap! Not only can it take hours to make (depending on how many you make), but the cost of supplies needed can be expensive.
However, if you have not tried making your own greeting cards, I encourage you to do so (even if you only make one or two). Get together with your friends and have a 'card making day' where everyone shares their supplies and everyone makes some cards. This is a great way to fellowship with others who enjoy the same craft (or are interested in learning it). Home made cards are fun to make, and fun to send!
I have included pictures of the two cards I made today, and I intend to use them as a way to encourage others, and let them know they are being thought about and prayed for.