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CARDS ADD ZING TO TRADITIONAL SPRING HOLIDAYS; CREATIVE GREETINGS HONOR MOMS, DADS, GRADS AND OTHERS

 WASHINGTON, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- After a long, cold, hard winter, people everywhere are ready for the warmth and color of spring. And nowhere is there more warmth and color than in greeting cards created for the holidays that help make spring a festive season.
 Remembering Mother and Others
 This May 9, millions of mothers -- and others -- will receive cards telling them how their "mothering" has touched loved ones.
 Approximately 150 million Mother's Day cards will be exchanged this year according to the Greeting Card Association (GCA), the national trade organization for the greeting card industry. That makes Mother's Day the fourth largest card-sending holiday of the year after Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter.
 While mom still reaps the lion's share of this praise, nearly a quarter of all Mother's Day cards are purchased for someone other than mother. Cards for grandmothers, someone "like a mother" and even nurturing fathers reflect the evolution of the American family.
 "If your family is non-traditional -- your parents are divorced, you live with your grandparents or dad stays home with the children -- you will still be able to celebrate this very special holiday by sending a greeting card," said Peter van Witt, 1993 president of the GCA.
 Other trends include cards for new mothers, mothers-to-be and large print cards for those with vision problems. Even newborns and pets can get into the act with cards for Mom (meant to be sent with a little help, of course!).
 Mother's Day is the second largest card sending holiday among Hispanic Americans. Recent studies also indicate that Mother's Day is the holiday when African Americans are most likely to send cards reflecting their cultural heritage. This year, many new designs allow these consumers to thank Mom in their own special ways.
 Flowers are still the most popular Mother's Day motif, although the colors and artwork are fresher and more elegant than ever. Victorian designs, some with delicate die-cut lace, are also favorites. Cards that play music, pop up, include real seeds and soil or are replicas of collectible dolls can double as Mother's Day gifts.
 Mother's Day remains a sentimental holiday, but many cards communicate in plain language that gives the feel of a heart-to-heart chat. And each year more people choose humor for Mother's Day. This year, blank cards are available for those who want to express their feelings for Mom in their own words.
 Beyond Pomp and Circumstance
 In 1993, graduates across the country will receive 81 million cards, according to the GCA.
 Along with greetings for typical high school and college students, publishers now create cards for the many older graduates who have returned to school.
 Special cards also mark milestones for younger students, such as graduation from junior high, elementary school or kindergarten. Thoughtful grads or parents can also choose cards to express appreciation to teachers for their help and support.
 Since 85 percent of graduates receive gifts of money, it's no surprise that money holders are among the most popular graduation cards. But there are more ways than ever to personalize that all-important gift of cash. Senders can find full-sized greeting cards with money flaps that allow them to include a note or even innovative designs like a mock diploma that rolls up to conceal a check or cash.
 Caps and gowns and diplomas, with traditional good wishes, are still favorite themes for parents, relatives and other well wishers. But humor is the preferred choice for graduates to send their peers. Many cards are bright and bold, with the graduation year in glitter or striking colors -- the perfect keepsake.
 Share a Laugh with Dad
 On June 20, America takes time out for a special salute to dads with Father's Day, the fifth largest card sending holiday of the year. The GCA reports that more than 100 million Father's Day greetings will be received in 1993. Classic designs with outdoor scenes, and duck decoys, cars, boats and other "masculine" motifs remain popular. But many cards illustrate contemporary fathers' increased parental involvement by showing fathers and children sharing experiences like fishing or golf. Colors are bolder and brighter, moving away from traditional browns and golds.
 Each year, more people use greeting cards to share a laugh with Dad on Father's Day. About one third of all Father's Day cards are humorous, according to the GCA. Some rib Dad about his talent -- or lack of it -- in home improvement or sports. Others poke fun at the sender, particularly cards from older children teasing about the aggravation they may have caused Dad over the years.
 Sentiments in Father's Day cards today are open, warm and honest, and many are in short, conversational prose.
 Changing family demographics have also made an impact on Father's Day and cards specifically for grandfathers, uncles, sons, great- grandfathers and new fathers can all be found on store shelves.
 -0- 4/30/93
 /CONTACT: Nancy Riviere of the Greeting Card Association, 202-393-1778 or, fax, 202-393-0336/


CO: Greeting Card Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:

DC-TW -- DCFNS3 -- 3017 04/30/93 07:32 EDT
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Date:Apr 30, 1993
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