In a holiday season when family gatherings are verboten and office parties have gone the way of coal in stockings, people are returning to an old tradition to share joy and well-wishes. Folded pieces of oaktag are decorated with pictures or drawings and often smudged by an overzealous ballpoint pen. A dusting of glitter, a reference to a shared memory, a hint of perfume—all attempting to bridge physical and emotional divides harrowed by a relentless pandemic.
They are, of course, greeting cards. Long the domain of grandparents, dental offices, and work clients, these physical displays of affection are making a COVID-19-era comeback.
The trade association for the roughly $8 billion industry had anticipated a strong season, and that’s exactly what happened. From the greeting card giants that dominate display racks to the small hand-crafting boutiques, business is booming.