April Fool’s Day History

      One of only a handful of holidays commemorated around the world is, perhaps surprisingly, April Fool’s Day.  Every year, on the first day of April, people from every country and all walks of life come together in a tradition of playing pranks on one another—from the small-scale and relatively benign, to larger and (in some views) mean-spirited practical jokes.

      But what a lot of people may not realize is that April Fool’s Day has a real, historical tradition behind it.  Accounts differ, but the most popular belief is that the holiday came into being shortly after adoption of the Gregorian calendar.  People who hadn’t yet adapted to the times, and still lived according to the outdated Julian Calendar, were called April Fools. 

      While the first of April is usually associated with friends and co-workers playing jokes on one another, many times, throughout the years, larger hoaxes have been put on by organizations.  In the 1950s, for instance, a television station announced that Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa had finally collapsed; and in the mid 1990s, in one of the more notorious April Fool’s Day jokes, restaurant chain Taco Bell claimed to have purchased Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell.  Both occurrences—and countless others like them—prompted scores of panicked phone calls and written letters from members of the public.

      April Fool’s Day is by no means the world’s only prank-day holiday, but it has, for perhaps unexplainable reasons, emerged as the most popular one.

Get well soon ecards

A few years ago, I came down with a horrible flu-like bug, and while I called off work and went to the doctor, I didn’t think to call any of my friends or family.

A week later, after feeling better, I went to a little coffee shop where my friends and I congregated.  When they asked why they hadn’t seen me in a week, and I told them how sick I’d been, there was shock all around—my friends had assumed that I just decided to shut myself off for a while.  But finding out that the real reason I was gone, everyone felt badly about not calling, and not coming to visit me.  I laughed it off, said it was no big deal, and the whole matter was forgotten.

Months later, I got bronchitis, and I was out of commission for a couple of days.  This time, you had to stand in line outside my door.  All my friends showed up at some point with soup, vitamins, cold medicine and good wishes.  And though their visits didn’t make me feel physically better, I definitely was touched by the gesture.

When we’re not feeling well, knowing others are keeping us in their thoughts can be a big lift.  And today’s, when practically everyone has Internet access at home, a Get well soon ecard from gotfreecards.com can do just the trick—especially if you want to send your sympathy, without risking catching that flu yourself!

All Occasions

On this blog, we’re always writing about all the different occasions to commemorate by sending a free e-card.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, e-cards are always a convenient and cost-effective way of showing people, on holidays, that you’re thankful for their presence in your life.

            But you don’t have to wait for the next holiday to roll around on the calendar to take advantage of our free e-cards here at gotfreecards.com.  We have tons of birthday cards, of course, along with cards to say “Thanks” and to send your good wishes to that friend or loved one who’s been under the weather lately.

            Not only that, but even if you’re just looking for a way to let someone know how much you care, you should check out one of our “Friends” cards, or one of our quickly-growing categories of knock-knock jokes.  From the incredibly clever, to the just downright silly, there’s a joke for every taste and temperament.

            Feel like personalizing a card?  Or maybe commemorating one of the holidays we haven’t gotten around to designing for yet?  Click on “printable cards” at the top of the gotfreecards.com homepage, and just follow the step-by-step instructions on the screen (or see my earlier blog on the subject). 

            So you see, no matter the holiday or occasion, gotfreecards.com is your best spot for free, thoughtful, and funny ways to say that you care!

Birthday History

Ever wonder why we celebrate birthdays?  I did, too, and so I did some research, and what I found is pretty interesting.

            Celebrating birthdays, like many contemporary traditions, has its roots in Christian customs.  Centuries and Centuries ago, after human beings figured out how to follow lunar cycles, it wasn’t long before the first calendar, as we would recognize it, was developed. 

            Shortly thereafter, early Christians, who regularly struggled with pagans and those of other faiths for dominance in the societal limelight, got it in their heads that on the anniversary of a person’s birth, the pagans would send evil spirits to torment that person. 

            The solution, which probably made some sort of sense at the time, was to throw a huge party, in the birthday boy or girl’s honor, in the hopes that all the positive energy and good-will would drive away the evil spirits.

            Whatever their reasons were, I’m just glad that birthday celebrations have developed into what they are today; and I’m certainly glad I don’t have to worry about demons getting me on my birthday, too.  Remembering to write all those Thank-You cards is enough trouble!

Valentine’s Day – What not to do

Are you one of those people who make elaborate Valentine’s Day plans? Are you easily disappointed if everything does not go according to plan? Do you intentionally take it easy, not bothering to do anything special just to prove a point? Or is it just another day to you? 

Whatever you choose to do this Valentine’s Day, it might be a good idea to avoid doing certain things on this day.  

Don’t spring nasty surprises on your loved one

This is not the time to announce that you are quitting your job to write a book or that you have to cancel an upcoming vacation or that you may be going bankrupt soon. Unless it’s an emergency that can’t wait another day, resist announcing bad news on Feb 14! You have 364 other days to do it, after all. 

Don’t blow your budget

Avoid overspending, unless you have the key to a hidden treasure or are related to an Arabian prince. This might be tough to do if you’re in the habit of having Valentine’s dinner at the fanciest restaurant in town and splurging on the biggest rock available. However, if you know for a fact that you might spend the better part of the remaining year paying off your credit card debt, well, maybe you should reconsider downgrading to a nice, but less fancy restaurant and maybe a gift that you can afford.  

Don’t bring up pending issues

Maybe he forgot to pick up the dry cleaning….again.  Maybe you had a big fight last evening. Maybe, you are worried about losing your job. Whatever else may be on you mind, try pushing it away for at least a few hours and have a pleasant day or evening. Problems, issues, fights and the economy will still be here when you wake up on Feb 15. So, why let them ruin the one day you have been looking forward to? Our free Sorry and Love you ecards can help you make up just in time. 

Don’t stress yourself out

Holidays and special occasions aren’t meant to be stressful, but who would have guessed?

It’s ok if you haven’t been able to buy the perfect gift, couldn’t get the dinner reservation you wanted,  or if you are not feeling well enough to go out. Bottom line – don’t worry that you won’t have the Valentine’s Day of your dream. That will only make it worse. Make the best of whatever you have and enjoy yourselves no matter what you do or where you are. 

Don’t let pressure or guilt take over

I suggest turning off the TV at least a week before the big day. Switching channels during commercials won’t work because you’re bound to encounter them some time and they have this way of making you long for something you can’t afford or don’t even want. Same goes for friends, cousins and coworkers who go on and on about what they’re getting/giving/doing. If you feel pressured to match their lifestyle or to beat their budget, start running. The farther the better.  This is one time of the year when just listening to someone else’s plans can make you want to do crazy stuff either out of guilt or peer pressure. Don’t give in to either. It’s your day to spend as you choose with your loved one/s. And don’t let anything lead you into thinking otherwise. 

Don’t overlook the simple stuff

Sometimes all you need to express you love are simple things like a hand-written love note or a free Valentine’s Day ecard. Check out all our ideas for spending quality time with your loved one on Valentine’s day and don’t ignore the simple, beautiful gifts that cost nothing, yet create memories that last a lifetime.