February 27, 2009

April Fool’s Day History

Filed under: about holidays — Tags: — ecards @ 12:02 pm

      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  People who hadn’t yet adapted to the times, and still lived according to the outdated Julian Calendar, were called April Fools.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.

February 24, 2009

Get well soon ecards

Filed under: Free Ecards — Tags: — ecards @ 1:24 pm

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 can do just the trick—especially if you want to send your sympathy, without risking catching that flu yourself!

February 21, 2009

All Occasions

Filed under: Free Ecards — Tags: , , — ecards @ 10:21 pm

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  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 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, is your best spot for free, thoughtful, and funny ways to say that you care!

February 16, 2009

Birthday History

Filed under: birthday — Tags: — ecards @ 3:21 pm

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!

February 11, 2009

Valentine Cards

Filed under: valentine ecards — Tags: — ecards @ 2:42 pm



Valentine Ecards

Valentine Ecards

When we were kids in grade school, Valentine’s Day at school meant a party in the classroom, treats for everyone, and no school work. What fun! The week before, my mom would take me to the store to pick out small Valentine’s cards for my classmates and some candy to go with it. The Valentine’s cards usually were red or pink and had an assortment of colorful characters on them; bears and hearts for the girls and superheros for the boys. The night before our Valentine’s party, I would fill out and address all of my little cards for all of my classmates and tape on a piece of candy. Sometimes there were those boys I didn’t like, or the bossy girl that I would rather give a bag of dirt to than the precious candy, but my mother would remind me that Valentine’s Day was for everyone and that no one wants to feel left out.


The day of the party, we’d all show up with our bags of goodies for our classmates, and once class started, we’d put our bags on our desk or the back of our chairs and walk around the room, putting our cards and treats into each person’s goody bag. And oh the joy when we got back to our desks and dumped out our bags to see all of the goodies our classmates had given us! This Valentine’s Day I want to recapture that joy by sending each one of my special friends and family Valentine’s e-cards to their email inbox, for what a special treat to get a special card just for them on Valentine’s Day. And the special treat for me? That all of the e-cards at GotFreeCards are FREE! Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 10, 2009

Valentine Ecards History

Filed under: valentine ecards — Tags: , — ecards @ 8:32 pm


Valentine Ecards

Valentine Ecards

Besides Christmas, for which holiday do people buy and send the most greeting cards? You guessed it, St. Valentine’s Day! We know some of the history of Valentine’s Day, but when did people start traditionally sending Valentine’s Day cards? Before the 1400s, people recognized St. Valentine’s Day only by orating their Valentine in song or speech. The only record that we have of the first handmade “card” written for Valentine’s Day is from the 1400s and is preserved in a British Museum.


These handmade Valentine’s were popular in Europe in lieu of gifts, but it wasn’t until the 1800s that Valentine’s Day cards started to be mass produced by factory workers. These cards were very elaborate and delicate at the same time, some proving to be very expensive, and all had to be hand delivered. Some were embossed in gold, others were 3-D, and a few even had movable parts!

The Valentine craze hit America around the 1800’s, and they became even more popular in 1840 when the world’s first postage stamp was introduced. This of course made it possible to send the cards rather than hand deliver, however hand delivering them may have proven to be more romantic! A woman by the name of Esther Howland was one of the first to create and sell Valentine’s in the US in the 1850s. Her cards and others were hand painted and decorated with frilly accessories, but by the end of the 19th century most cards were mass produced by machines.

Esther Howland probably never in her wildest imagination could have foreseen that her first cards would ultimately lead to e-cards; cards sent to loved ones via an invisible highway known as the internet. But the truth is that we have gotten here, and that St. Valentine’s Day is as important as ever, and that because e-cards are easy to send, they have become the wave of the greeting card present and future. Here at, the Valentine e-cards are just as elaborate as their ancestors from the 1400s, but they are FREE! Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 6, 2009

Valentine’s Day – What not to do

Filed under: valentine ecards — Tags: — ecards @ 2:03 pm

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.

February 4, 2009

Valentine’s Day Gifts- it’s the experience that counts

Filed under: valentine ecards — Tags: , — ecards @ 2:25 pm

Valentine’s Day offers an opportunity to reconnect with your loved ones. If you are looking for something fun, yet meaningful to do this Valentine’s Day with your special someone, here are some ideas you could try. 

1. Sign up for a class – Is there something you and your significant other have wanted to learn or try for some time now? Why not sign up? Whether it’s a new language, yoga, skiing lessons or a creative writing class – just choose something that you both are interested in and new to and enjoy the experience of learning, sharing and exploring a new skill together. It’s like going back to high school or college, only, more enjoyable.

2. Save up and spend, together -Valentine’s Day could be the day you go shopping together and finally reward yourselves with something you both want and have been saving up for. A new car, a video camera, an exercise bike, a new laptop, maybe even the down payment for your home….the gift may not be romantic in itself. But the fact that you both worked hard to earn, save up and spend time to pick out something that you can share for years to come, certainly is. 

3. An unplanned road trip – Remember how you always wanted to take a spontaneous road trip to nowhere? Well, why not do it on Valentine’s Day weekend? Just get in the car and drive. Go wherever your heart(or your GPS) takes you. We often spot beautiful sights on our planned road trips – bridges, little towns or lakes we wish we could stop at and enjoy. But we don’t because we’re always in a rush to get somewhere else. Well, this Valentine’s day, why not make it to nowhere and yet stop everywhere your eyes and heart tell you to. You never know – you might even end up experiencing the most gorgeous sunset of your life or the most spectacular view that you won’t find in travel brochures. 

Valentine’s day ought to be more about doing the things we love and less about doing what the TV commercials or store displays tell us to. Me – I’m not a greeting card and bouquet person.  A long mountain drive, steaming hot coffee on a hill top and a free ecard from my sweetie is all it takes to make my Valentine’s Day. 

Watch your inbox for more meaningful Valentine’s Day gift ideas, in our next issue of Let’s Catch Up. Haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet? Please register on our homepage.

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