Calendar filling fast as card firms tap new vein of cash

It's 12 May - does that ring a bell? It doesn't? How could you forget that today is Happy Nurses' Day?

In that case 23 April (Secretaries' Day) or 15 October (Bosses' Day) probably means nothing either. If Mother's and Father's Days weren't enough, there is now a proliferation of greetings cards for almost any day of the year to show appreciation for those around you - or to induce guilt if you forget.

There are now greeting cards for around 21 special days of the year, encompassing saints' days, and religious festivals as well as the more unusual.

Today is Nurses' Day - so chosen because it is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing. While the Royal College of Nursing is putting out surveys to gauge reaction to the idea, Clinton Cards have as many as six different design of cards to mark the occasion.

A spokeswoman for the RCN said: "We've encouraged the Nurses' Day cards and we welcome the fact that it is getting bigger and bigger across the world ... It should be a huge celebration of the work of nurses, a chance to recognise and value them."

John Condon, purchasing director for Clinton Cards, said the company had sold 10,000 of these cards last year and was hoping to shift as many as 15,000 this year - small beer, however, when compared to occasions like Valentine's Day when sales are in the millions. "People think a lot of nurses, they do so much for so little and this is a way of saying thank you," said Mr Condon. "I think it's a combination of families who have got people with nurses in and those who have been in hospital who want to say thank you to those who have looked after them."

Like Nurses' Day, most of the ideas for new cards originate from America - although Age Concern has trademarked Grandparents' Day which falls on 27 September this year. "We did it to raise awareness that grandparents are important members of society," said a spokeswoman for the charity.

"We trademarked it so that we could get donations from the cards sold, although that hasn't worked so well in the last couple of years."

Religious festivals such as the Jewish Hanukkah and Passover, the Muslim Eid-al-Fitr [end of Ramadan] and Eid-al-Addha [to celebrate Haj - a festival that takes place in Mecca] - and the Hindu Diwali [festival of lights] have been taken up by mainstream card companies.

Other recent innovations include patron saints' day cards - for St Andrew, St Patrick, St George and St David. "St George's Day has come on in leaps and bounds," said Mr Condon. "This is the third year and we have had lots of correspondence thanking us for introducing it."

For the consummate crawler, Bosses' Day has been a godsend. Last year saw 1,500 fawning employees buying cards for their employers - although Mr Condon said that the favoured tone appeared to be "mickey taking and joshing" rather than serious.

t Almost half of Britain's casualty nurses have been assaulted at work and almost all of them, 96%, have suffered verbal abuse. The study by ICM for the BBC's Here and Now programme and Nursing Times also showed that one in three of 500 nurses interviewed felt unsafe at work and most believed not enough was being done to protect them.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz