Zia Hassan

Re Imagining The Birthday Card

I wrote a month ago about my complicated relationship with birthdays. About how it’s an important thing to celebrate a person and I’ve traditionally been bad at it. So I came up with a unique idea for a business.

It works like this:

  1. Make a list of everyone that you’d like to celebrate. Let’s say no more than 50-100 people. Enter those names and physical addresses into the website.
  2. At some designated start date, preferably New Year’s Day but it really doesn’t matter, you get on your account and type up a birthday message for every person on your list. All at once. The site might have some prompts or structure (haikus, memories, etc) for you but ultimately the messages should be personal. They should truly celebrate the recipient, maybe with a picture of the two of you that’s special or something. But we are chunking here. All messages will be done by the end of the day and you pay your yearly fee to the company at this point.
  3. Then the company will print and hold your cards until someone’s birthday comes along at which point they will send the cards out to reach them on the right day. The cards will be gorgeous and interesting and moving and personal, unlike anything from a grocery store.

It’s a re-imagining of the birthday card. Physical but not silly. Intimate but not campy.

I could see the argument that it feels better to send a card on the actual day but most people don’t do that anymore. Instead it’s a quick and standard text or Facebook post. Nothing wrong with it but we can do better. Those quick posts happen because we seem to be too busy in the midst of our lives to send actual cards. Some still do but most do not, by my estimation. This is a tangible product, and a way to bring back a wonderful tradition without the weekly stress of sending a card (because it would be weekly otherwise! Or even more frequent).

A real connection on someone’s special day. What else do you need?