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How to Write (Passive-Aggressive) Greeting Cards

Updated on October 19, 2009
Sami Keinanen / flickr
Sami Keinanen / flickr

Sending Personal Cards

Sending cards and notes through the mail is a dying art, but they can mean so much to the recipient that it would be a shame to see this time-honored practice disappear. Sometimes it's just plain laziness. With the simplicity of sending an e-mail instantly across the world, actually writing a letter, putting it in an envelope, affixing a stamp, and sending it via “snail mail” can seem not only like a lot of work, but impractical as well.

Don't underestimate the emotional value of actually receiving a good old-fashioned note or card in the mail. E-mails are commonplace, but an actual envelope, addressed and stamped, shows that you put in some effort and really care for the recipient. A letter received has far more value than a message on your computer.

Another reason people hesitate to send a greeting card is they simply can't think of what to write. Use these examples as your template. Simply change the names and personal details and you will have notes for the most important occasions that your friends will cherish for the rest of their lives.

Natwell / flickr
Natwell / flickr

Get Well Cards

Illness can be a lonely time and can lead to feelings of despair. A short note can express your concern and cheer up someone who is convalescing. In fact, it can perk them up and actually help them to get well faster. Nothing heals like a smile.


Dear Sean,

I understand from Nancy that you are doing well but cannot yet have visitors. You think you feel bad, you should see the gerbil. We sure miss you at our weekly poker games (wink – on the down low!) Perhaps when you are up to it, I'll bring the guys to your room. Make sure Nancy isn't going to be there, okay? In the meantime, you just concentrate on rest, building your strength, and getting those stitches removed. I mean, you can hardly play “poker” with those stitches, if you follow my drift.

I didn't have an envelope so I gave this to Nancy to bring to you. In spite of what you said about her, I think she can be trusted not to read it.

Best Regards,


jaredchapman / flickr
jaredchapman / flickr

Thank-You Note

When you want to show that you appreciate a gift or event, such as a stay at a friends home, add a personal flavor by mentioning something specific about it. This will show your appreciation with a personal touch, and a thank-you card is always appreciated by the recipient.


Dear Jim and Sally,

Cecilia and I want to thank you for putting us up in your lovely home – what you call your “country house” - this past weekend. You live in such an interesting neighborhood. Even the shacks have bars on the windows! We had a lovely time, and I just remarked to Cecilia the it sure was nice to finally be home. Were you thinking of moving before the baby is born? I understand that babies are especially susceptible to germs and bacteria, and I assume Sally wont be breast feeding.

Incidentally, have you tried the product Beano? I've heard it works wonders! LOL

We look forward to seeing you soon. Please give us ample warning when you are coming this way so that we can make plans.



KaCey97007 / flickr
KaCey97007 / flickr

Condolences Card

When a friend is bereaved, a letter of sympathy offers welcome support and comfort to a trusted and valued friend. If you knew the deceased personally, it's helpful to mention something you shared with the deceased and to offer some small practical assistance when possible.


Dear Martha,

I was very saddened to hear of the death of your mother. What can I say? That the grief you feel has been felt by everyone on the planet already? That she was as old as Methuselah? Frankly, I'm surprised she made it this long. I remember how friendly she was to me as a child when I slept over. Lord how that woman could swill a fifth of vodka! I always chuckle when I think of that time she ran around the neighborhood naked, shouting, "Open for business! Open for business!" LOL. I'm sure she will be greatly missed. (Except by the cops, maybe! Ha!) That peeping Tom across the street must be sad. Nice of your Mom to always leave the curtains open for him.

I know this is a difficult time and what a bizarre story! Did they ever find her head? If there is something I can do, please let me know. I would like to have you over for dinner whenever you feel ready. Maybe we can get drunk of our asses as a tribute to your mom.

Much love,


Joan Thewlis / flickr
Joan Thewlis / flickr

Congratulations Card

When a friend has a special event in their life, you can enhance it with a lovely, thought out congratulatory note. An engagement, a wedding, the birth of a baby, or a career move, provide just such an opportunity for you to show how much you care. Send them a note expressing your delight and goodwill.


Dear Laura,

I heard from Sidney who heard from Joey who heard from Billy about your engagement and upcoming wedding. Congratulations! It is, of course, well deserved and I wish you every happiness! Say! I just realized that those guys are all your ex-lovers too. Does your fiancée' know any of us? Personally, I mean? He must know a couple of your exes, at least. This town isn't that big! LMAO! In any case, I know you will make him happy. Very happy. Really, really happy. I should know! Ha! I'll call you soon to arrange a celebratory lunch at that little motel out on route 3. You know the place.

With best wishes,

Paul / flickr / flickr

Put Pen to Paper

Now that you have these stellar examples of notes for every occasion, you have no excuse not to indulge your friends with thoughtful cards and notes that will amuse, comfort, and congratulate your friends and loved ones, allowing you to share their trials and tribulations and become known to all as a good friend. It only takes a little effort to make a huge impact, and with a little forethought, you can create a remembrance that is worthy of being saved forever. Try it today, and you and your friends wont be disappointed.


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