Sunday, July 8th

Le Quatorze Juillet: Bastille Day

Each year on July 14, the French and people of French origin celebrate Bastille Day – known as La Fête Nationale (the National Celebration) in France, and also called Le Quatorze Juillet (Fourteenth of July) and Fête de la Bastille.

Bastille Day does not actually celebrate the storming of the Bastille (a fort and prison in Paris) by the revolutionary mob. Instead, the date marks the anniversary of the Fête de la Fédération on July 14, 1790, an official event –  a cross between a military parade and a religious rally – in Paris to celebrate the end of the Revolution.

Today, the date is celebrated not only in France, but in Belgium, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Hungary, in various locations around the United States including New Orleans, San Francisco, New York City, and Seattle.

Greeting Card Universe offers unique, custom Bastille Day greeting cards including Birthday on Bastille Day, that make it easy for you to tell your family and firends, “Joyeux Fête Nationale!”

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Saturday, June 16th

Save a Life – Adopt

June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month in the United States. Adopting a cat (or dog) from your local shelter or rescue group will not only save a life, but provide you with the companionship and love only a pet can give.

According to the American Humane Society, every year during “kitten season” – that means spring and early summer, like now – thousands of newborn kittens flood already crowded shelters.

Before you consider adopting a kitten, here are a few things to do to help ensure Fluffy’s new home is kitten proof (and also puppy proof):

Put electric and power cords out of reach. If not possible, paint the cords with bitter apple (found at pet supply stores) to discourage chewing.

Keep oil lamps and candles out of reach to prevent kittens from knocking them over and creating a fire hazard or getting themselves burned. Remember, fur + fire = bad!

Store all ties, elastic bands, ribbons, plastic bags, cleaning chemicals, laundry detergents and bleach, flammable materials like gasoline, kerosene, etc., toothpicks, wooden skewers, and other objects that may be poisonous or cause a choking hazard.

Not all houseplants are safe. Some are very toxic to cats. Don’t leave any houseplant in a kitten’s reach, even if you think it’s okay. Better safe than sorry.

Cat World has more Kitten Proofing Tips & Tricks so you can keep the newest members of your family safe and happy.

Greeting Card Universe has a selection of one-of-a-kind greeting cards for Pet Adoption Announcements and Pet Adoptions Congratulations.

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Friday, February 17th

Five Cool Facts About Leap Day/Leap Year

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have thirty-one,
Except the second month alone.
To it we twenty-eight assign,
Till leap year makes it twenty-nine.

The old rhyme we learned in kindergarten still applies, but why do we need an extra day – Leap Day – every four years?

In school, we learn it takes the Earth 365 days to complete its revolution around the sun, but the number is actually 365.242199 (or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds). The modern Gregorian calendar allows for only 365 days per year. Those extra hours, minutes, and seconds add up. If we didn’t add a Leap Day every four years, our calendar would eventually be out of sync with the seasons. Can you imagine celebrating Christmas in the summer’s heat, or Independence Day when it’s snowing?!

Now we’re clear on the “why,” here are Five Cool Facts About Leap Day/Leap Year:

  1. Who invented Leap Day/Leap Year? Julius Caesar. In the Julian calendar introduced in 45 BCE, he calculated a leap year in every year divisible by four, which provided too many leap years! This was corrected in the Gregorian calendar in 1582, which has three criteria for a leap year: the year must be divisible by four; if the year is evenly divisible by 100, it is not a leap year; unless it is also evenly divisible by 400.
  2. Traditionally, on Leap Day, a woman can propose marriage to a man (instead of the other way around). It’s also known as “Bachelor’s Day” in some countries, and Sadie Hawkins’ Day in the U.S. – on February 29th, if a man refuses a woman’s marriage proposal, he”s supposed to pay a penalty.
  3. Three hundred years ago, Leap Day wasn’t considered a “true day” and no official business transactions were done on February 29th.
  4. One baby in 1500 is born on Leap Day in the U.S. “Leaplings,” as they’re known, usually celebrate their birthdays on February 28th or March 1st in the absence of a Leap Year.
  5. In 1712, Sweden created a double Leap Day (February 29th and 30th) as a means of correcting their calendar – the country still used the Julian calendar until 1753, when the Gregorian was adopted. And when the Soviet Union created an official revolutionary calendar in 1929, every month had 30 days – including February – but it didn’t catch on and the experiment ended in 1931.

Have a special “Leapling” in your life and want to celebrate this once-in-every-four-years event? Greeting Card Universe offers unique, custom Leap Year Birthday cards for you to send your best wishes and a smile!

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Friday, February 10th

Kindness Never Goes Out of Style

February 13th-19th is Random Acts of Kindness Week, when many people, groups, businesses, and communities around the globe try to make the world a better place by showing kindness to others.

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”
—William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

How can you practice kindness, not just during this special week, but every day of your life? Simple things, such as paying a stranger’s bill in a restaurant or saying “thank you” to a person you see all the time but tend to take for granted (like your teacher or the barista at your favorite coffee shop) can go a long way into bringing a little sunshine into someone else’s day.

You can take it further by volunteering your talents or gifts to benefit people in need in your local community.

Sending custom“Thinking of You” greeting cards is a great way to touch base anytime with anyone. Greeting Card Universe also offers fantastic custom Thank You greeting cards that let you express your appreciation – and share an act of kindness with someone else – in unique and colorful ways.

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Friday, January 20th

Tu B’Shevat

In 2012, the Jewish holiday Tu B’Shevat, also known as the New Year for Trees, Tu’ Bshvat, and Tu’ Bishvat,  begins on Tuesday, February 7th.

“And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of. But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD withal. And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God.” — Leviticus 19:23-25

In the 20th century, it has become customary in Israel and elsewhere to plant trees during this time period. Tu B’Shevat is sometimes called “Jewish Arbor Day.”  In addition, the day may be marked by eating a new fruit, or familiar fruits such as figs, grapes, olives, pomegranates and dates, or dried fruit or preserves, and may also include a seder.

Greeting Card Universe offers customized Tu’ Bshvat greeting cards featuring beautiful, unique designs to send to every member of your family for the holiday known as “Jewish Arbor Day.”

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Friday, January 13th

G’day on Australia Day

Commemorating the First Fleet arriving at Sydney Cove in 1788, Australia Day is Australia’s national day, taking place each year on January 26. In every territory and state, Australia Day is an official public holiday.

This is the joy-inspiring day
That gave these blessings to our lot
Then let us share the social rites
Join hands, all malice be forgot!
This little star, once marked by none
Now shines a bright – a BLAZING SUN!
—Charles Tompson, A Song for January 26, 1824

Did You Know?
5 Cool Facts About Australia Day

  • While records indicate a form of Australia Day or Foundation Day was celebrated as early as 1808, the first official observation took place in 1818.
  • In 1826, the first Anniversary Regatta – later renamed the Australia Day Regatta – was held in Sydney Harbor, and continues to be held annually, making it the world’s oldest continuous regatta.
  • Australia Day became the first Australian official public holiday in 1838. However, all capital cities did not declare  it as a public holiday until 1888 (with the exception of Adelaide).
  • The Australian of the Year Award, presented on Australia Day, was first given to Macfarlane Burnet in 1960. Burnet won the Nobel Prize that year for his physics research.
  • In 2002, 7 million people participated in Australia Day

Celebrate Australia Day with friends and family with a customized Australia Day greeting card from Greeting Card Universe – our one-of-a-kind selection will make them smile!

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Friday, December 30th

Looking Forward to the New Year

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay –
Stay till the good old year,
So long companion of our way,
Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One little hour, and then away.
—A Song for New Year’s Eve, William Cullen Bryant

The Greeting Card Universe family wants to thank all our customers and partners, as well as our highly valued artist community, for their help in achieving our goals, and their contributions to our successes in 2011. We look forward to serving you and working with you, and achieving even greater success, in 2012.

Wishing you a safe and happy New Year!

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Saturday, September 10th

In Memoriam: Our Lost Pets

Each year, National Pet Memorial Day is observed on the second Sunday in September – a day when we remember, with love, those pets who have passed  over the Rainbow Bridge.

“Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge…”
—Author Unknown

When pets come into our lives, they become more than just animals. They’re cherished members of our family, giving us devotion and unconditional love. When they die, it’s a heart-wrenching time of grief and loss. National Pet Memorial Day is a time set aside to honor the memories of the pets we have loved and lost.

On this day, many pet cemeteries hold open houses, special ceremonies, and other events.

Here are five things you can do to observe National Pet Memorial Day:

  • Share photographs and stories about your pet with family and friends. Recall the good times, the special times, the times that make you laugh or cry – the wonderful memories you hold within  your heart.
  • Make a memorial website or web page to pay tribute to your lost pet, featuring photos and anecdotes.
  • Visit your pet’s burial site with family and friends, and hold a memorial service, inviting everyone to contribute their favorite story. Afterward, come together for a shared meal.
  • Volunteer or contribute to a local animal shelter, rescue group or humane society.
  • Contact a local pet cemetery to find out if they offer sponsored plaques on trees or benches.

In addition to observing your own personal National Pet Memorial Day, share this time with others who have lost beloved pets. Send a pet loss sympathy greeting card – Greeting Card Universe has many beautiful pet loss condolence cards to express your loving  sentiments.

It takes us back to brighter years,
to happier sunlit days
and to precious moments
that will be with us always.
And these fond recollections
are treasured in the heart
to bring us always close to those
from whom we had to part.
There is a bridge of memories
from Earth to Heaven above…
It keeps our dear ones near us
It’s the bridge that we call love.
—A Bridge Called Love, Author Unknown

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Thursday, August 18th

Just Because Day

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN…

Every day of the week, we do things because we have to: we go to work, we do our chores, we fulfill our obligations and responsibilities. However, there is one day of the year, every year, when you can do things “just because,” and that day is August 27th – designated Just Because Day.

We’re not sure who dreamed up this holiday, but what a fun idea, and what a great way to be reminded to do something nice for someone for no other reason than “just because.”

So perform a random act of kindness. Take your kids to the zoo. Surprise your husband with a special little gift. Buy a cup of coffee for the person standing next to you in line at the coffee shop. Stay in touch with family and friends by sending them a smile with a  “Just Because” greeting card from Greeting Card Universe.

And don’t forget to tell someone special  “I love you” for no reason… just because you can.

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Friday, July 8th

Le Quatorze Juillet

Or Bastille Day in English.

Also known as La Fête Nationale (or National Celebration), Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille (a medieval prison and fortress) which took place in Paris on July 14, 1789, a milestone event on the road to the French Revolution, as well as the Fête de la Fédération in 1790 – the one year anniversary of the popular uprising and storming of the Bastille, and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy, which did not last long.

Bastille Day did not become an official national holiday in France until 1880, when politician Benjamin Raspail proposed a law in May. The law was adopted by the Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly) and approved by the Sénat, and proclaimed on July 6th.

“Do not forget that behind this 14 July, where victory of the new era over the ancien régime was bought by fighting, do not forget that after the day of 14 July 1789, there was the day of 14 July 1790. … This day cannot be blamed for having shed a drop of blood, for having divided the country. It was the consecration of unity of France. … If some of you might have scruples against the first 14 July, they certainly hold none against the second. Whatever difference which might part us, something hovers over them, it is the great images of national unity, which we all desire, for which we would all stand, willing to die if necessary.”
—–Henri Martin, Chairman of the Sénat, 1880

Bastille Day is celebrated every year around the globe on July 14th. In France itself, the annual and very popular Bastille Day Military Parade held in Paris and broadcast on French television, is the world’s oldest and largest such event. Greeting Card Universe help you take part in the celebration by offering an uncommon selection of Bastille Day greeting cards to exchange with family and friends, so you all can enjoy a truly bonne fête!

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