April 14, 2005
When You Care Enough to Send Matzah Love
Picture our forefather Moses as a child, standing outside a swimming pool, waving to other children in the pool. They look confused because the pool waters have been parted.
"The other kids always hated it when little Moses came to the pool," reads the caption on the card.
This is Hallmark's latest gambit into the specialty field, with humorous Passover greeting cards under its L'chayim: To Life label. According to American Greetings research, Passover is one of the top three Jewish greeting-card occasions. (What is the fourth? The Fast of Esther?) Hallmark's L'chayim label came about after the company conducted a survey in 2000 and found that people want cards that reflect "individual lifestyles or cultural heritage," and they have a "renewed interest in humor."
But the fifth question is, do they work?
"A Seder Plate for the New Millennium," tries to poke fun at today's health craze mentality. The shankbone is tofu-on-a-stick; the eggs are Egg Beaters, a cholesterol-free alternative, and the bitter herb is espresso.
Another Moses card pictures the leader as a lifeguard, splitting the ocean on a swimmer. "Before the Exodus, Moses worked as a lifeguard at the public beach."
Not all the cards attempt cynical humor. One features an animal figure surrounded by hearts saying, "Happy Passover ..." and on the inside it says, "With Matzah Love."
Some of the most clever Passover cards can be found online (for a fee) at the American Greetings Web site (www.americangreetings.com), which features animated, interactive cards such as "Find the Afikoman" and "The Official Matzah Cooking Survival Guide."
Some cards are evergreen, like "The Lost Tribe," where the Whinesteins, "the only family that didn't make it across the desert" each voice their individual complaints, like "For this, we left Egypt?" and "Are we there yet?"
When you get one of these cards in the mail, you know that we almost are.