Darling Cards are more than a photocard that you open and put up on your refrigerator. Darling Cards start a conversation. These folded cards tear into two halves; one photocard with a personalized note from the sender, and one postcard with fill-in-the-blank questions to mail back to the sender. When you send Darling Cards as your holiday cards this year, you’ll start a conversation to keep in touch with the people you love.

One of our Darling team members Virginia Hawkins dreamed up this concept of holiday cards that start a meaningful conversation. A long-time follower of the Darling brand, Virginia joined our team this summer. To learn more about Darling Cards, read her story below.

I love receiving holiday cards. I love opening the mail, seeing the faces of people I love, and pinning their cards up on my refrigerator and pantry. Last year, I kept them up on my wall year-round. When I see those cards on a daily basis, it is a reminder I have my people, I am connected, I am loved, and I belong. 

I know some people look at holiday cards as a pain point. The agonizing process to get a family photo taken at Thanksgiving. The process to choose a photo everyone likes. The pressure to get it stamped and stuffed and addressed and out on time. The holidays are already full of hustle and bustle.

Why add another thing? I get it. I designed Darling Cards because I want holiday cards to be about more than sending a superficial “hello!” in the mail. Holiday cards should remind us that we are connected and we belong. Darling Cards start a conversation so we can connect with the people we love.

Darling Cards aren’t just a photo with a generic holiday message. It’s actually a perforated, fold-over card that turns into two cards: a cute holiday card with your personal message, and a postcard for your recipient to mail back to you.

When you create your own card on our website, you’ll fill in a few quick questions to spark a conversation. When your recipients get your holiday card, they’ll read your message with your questions and answers. Then, they can tear off the back and answer questions to write their own message and send it back to you. Their postcard includes a slot where they can write a question for you to answer.

Thus, a conversation is born. Darling Cards are my creative answer to the question, “In my current stage of life, how can I remain connected to the people I care about?” Then, I sat down and imagined the questions that I would ask if I got to sit in front of a fire one-on-one with every person I love this holiday season.

How was 2019?
What are you grateful for?
What are you thinking about trying?
What have you learned this year?
What are you excited about?

Then, our team wrote those questions in a way that everyone could answer them. Life isn’t confined to one-on-one relationships, so our questions aren’t either. Whether your recipient is a single friend or a couple or a family with children, everyone can answer these…

 Then, we got to work on the designs. In addition to traditional holiday photo cards, you’ll see that we created lots of options for non-photo cards. If you are single and feel weird sending a solo shot, or you were enjoying turkey so much at Thanksgiving that you didn’t get up to take an entire-family photo, or it was just too much to make it happen this year—that’s ok. Don’t let that prevent you from connecting with your people.

You’ll also see a lot of options for New Year’s cards. Our logic was the same here. If wrapping gifts took all the energy you had, or hosting family was all consuming, or for whatever reason, you couldn’t get it together in time—that’s ok. Don’t let that prevent you from connecting with your people.

If you go through the ordering process, then you’ll see the minimum is only 25 cards. If lots of cards would stretch your budget, or collecting addresses seems too onerous—that’s ok. Don’t let that prevent you from connecting with your people.

I wish Darling had a fireplace where we could host everyone to come have great one-on-one conversations with their friends and family members, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Amidst the hustle and bustle of our real, everyday lives, we hope Darling Cards will offer an opportunity for you to pause and connect with your people.

I’ve lived in four different cities since I graduated from college. As life shifts between different stages, it takes effort to maintain my friendships. I care about my college roommates, the families I babysat for in high school, my coworkers from my last job, the family members I can’t seem to keep up with regularly. When life is especially crazy, I have to work hard to maintain friendships with even the people who live near me!

So, I’m excited to send these cards. My friends are going to get this card in the mail this holiday season. I got this quick photo of my dog Scout and me one day last summer.

I’m not wearing make-up, it’s a solo shot of me with my pet, and it was shot on an iPhone. My card is not a picture-perfect card of a picture-perfect life. If I were sitting in front of the fire with a friend, then I wouldn’t need to showcase a picture-perfect life I don’t have. So for me, my Christmas card doesn’t need to either.

I’m sending my card out with joy and gratitude that I get to connect with such wonderful people in my life. I am excited to spend this holiday season with a deep sense of connectedness and belonging. I hope you will too.

Create your own Darling Holiday Card to connect with your people this holiday season. Cards are produced and shipped within 4-9 days.

 FAQ for Darling Holiday Cards

  1. How does this work?
    a. Head over to this website to see our designs and place your order. On our partner site, you can upload your own photo, customize the text and order your cards. When people receive your card, they’ll have an opportunity to write you back quickly and easily. When they tear the card along the perforated line, they can keep the top half with your card and your message. On the bottom half, they can handwrite answers to the same questions from your message and mail it back to you.
  2. What is the postage for a Darling postcard?
    a. Normally you can use a 35-cent stamp for a postcard. Since these are 5×7 cards, your recipients need to use a regular Forever stamp like you would on a normal letter! It mentions this on the card itself so they won’t miss it.
  3. Who should I send Darling Cards to?
    a. The people you love! Think about family members, neighbors, former roommates, classmates, coworkers, clients, and family friends. Do you have a special friendship with your barista, hair stylist or mechanic? Think about the people you interact with all year long. Darling Cards are a great way to keep in touch and maintain relationships with your community.
  4. But, collecting addresses is so much work.
    a. We get it! That’s why we wrote this article about how to collect addresses easily.
  5. Can I add my own question to the card?
    a. Yes! We included a special spot for you to add your own question. There’s also a spot for the recipient to write a question back to you when they mail the postcard back to you, sparking a new conversation. When you get their postcard back, pick up the phone or write some snail mail to answer their questions!
  6. How long will they take to arrive?
    a.  Our partner site says to “Allow 2-3 days for production time and an additional 2-6 days for delivery time.”
  7. Why is the website URL different from darlingmagazine.org?
    a. Our printing partners have amazing software where you can upload photos and get your cards just right. They created this special page so you can customize Darling Cards with your text and your photo. Even though you’re not on the darlingmagazine.org website, you’re still with Darling!
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6 comments

  1. This is such a great idea! It’s so easy today to let meaningful communication get lost in the noise of social media and technology (although shoutout FaceTime for helping my niece recognize me in person haha). I think some people feel uncertain about what to write in their holiday cards for fear of seeming braggy, etc. and this is an awesome way to stay in touch and updated with the things in our lives that really matter.

  2. This is such a clever idea and thank you for giving us the complete run down on how it all works-very helpful!

  3. What an incredible idea! This conversation card is quite possibly my favorite card I have received this year. I’m currently in a crazy busy time of life and this card helped me to stop, hear from a friend, and let my friend know a little about me…. just like we were sitting by the fire.

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