Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist

'Send a Card to a Friend Day' is Every Day

Feb 16, 2024 by Victoria Noe, in Friendship

“My friends have overlooked my shortcomings, seen me through some dark days, and brightened up the rest of them. I'm glad to have them; I'm honored to have them; I'm lucky to have them.”

That’s a quote from one of my favorite movies, Murphy’s Romance. It’s from the speech given by Murphy, played by James Garner, at his surprise 60th birthday party. I was a lot younger than that when the movie came out in 1985. I’m older than that now. But I still feel the same way.

We just celebrated Valentine’s Day, which is preceded now by Galentine’s Day, to give friends their own day without the romantic pressure of February 14. Earlier this month, I promoted a holiday I found out about not long ago: 'Send A Card to a Friend Day' on February 7. The only requirement was that it be a physical card, sent via snail mail: emails or text messages don’t count.

During COVID, especially that first year, I sent out a lot of cards to my friends. Some were sympathy cards, some the normal birthday greetings. But most of them were of the ‘I’m just checking in’ variety. I will always feel paranoid when a friend goes silent; that’s a holdover from the early days of AIDS when a sudden disappearance often meant that person was dying or had already died. My friends know this and love me anyway. In 2020, I was most concerned about friends who lived alone, because the isolation we all suffered from with COVID was most acutely felt by those who had no one with them. So, I sent cards. A lot of cards. Send A Card to a Friend Day felt like a good excuse to get back at it.

I didn’t send out a lot, but I sent them to certain friends for specific, personal reasons. I heard back from them, all of them saying that the cards arrived at the perfect time, also for specific, personal reasons. I got a few, too. One in particular stood out, maybe because it arrived the day after another friend of mine died. Perfect timing, I guess. So I wanted to pass on what I learned from that little experiment:

  • Everyone likes to get mail, especially for no reason. Emails are fine, texts are fine, messages are fine. But nothing excites you like mail that’s not a bill. Mail that’s optional, not required. Mail that’s sent to you to make you smile.
  • We're still suffering from an epidemic of loneliness. We are Zoomed out, craving personal connections. Big crowds - on public transportation, in concert halls or ballparks - may still make us nervous. But one-on-one connections - like cards - ease that anxiety with tangible proof that someone cares about us.
  • Although we might not realize it, our bodies respond to positive attention. We sit up a little straighter, maybe get a tear in our eyes, or just laugh full out. It was no exaggeration to say that one of the cards I got turned my day around in an unexpected and wonderful way.

But don’t take my word for it. Buy some cards of your own and send them to your friends. They can be funny or encouraging, supportive or vulnerable. You don’t have to wait until February 7 rolls around again. All that matters is that you take the time to send a card to a friend you’re lucky to have.


You’ll both be glad you did.