So, today I am 50 — and, as my (older) brother helpfully pointed out, I actually started my 50th year on my last birthday, so technically this one is not that big a deal. Despite that, this is a hard trip around the sun to greet with my usual insouciance, followed by a concerted effort to change the subject.

This year, I’m grateful for the many, many gifts all around me, eclipsing the urge to make the quasi-New Year’s Resolutions I’ve made on earlier birthdays. But I do feel that by 50, I should have some wisdom to show for my journey thus far.

As tempted as I am to write a pithy, bulleted list of aphorisms — one I must confess I started in my head several times — I’m abandoning that route. First off, my list would be embarrassingly short, and in my opinion, these sort of things always sound brilliant in your head, but not so much written out.

So instead I will use my newly acquired half-century wisdom to leave the long lists for others to make on Facebook, and instead focus on where my expertise lays: cards, and in this case, some of my favorite birthday cards.

Let’s start with the Chanel suit of birthday cards: Sugar Paper. This beauty is letterpressed in sailor blue and paired with a pale pink envelope and gold foil dot envelope liner. It’s absolutely exquisite from every angle!

This design by Tay Ham succeeds on so many levels. Look, your loved one wants you stick around forever — just like most of us feel about RBG!

I love Emily McDowell & Friends just like anyone with a pulse, but ideally this is the year I finally stop lowering my IQ via reality TV and use the time instead to do a deep dive into, say, the Russian classics. In reality, I’ll consider myself lucky if I don’t get sucked into another one.

No one does letterpress quite like Rifle Paper Co. — the majority of their cards are digitally printed, so when they delve into this printing method, you know every dot on the card is going to be artfully placed!

Meanwhile, here’s a more typical Rifle design, complete with Anna Bond’s signature sensational flora & fauna.

Another really talented maker is Mindy Carpenter of Carpe Diem Papers. Her work is a joy to get lost in (as I always do every time I hit the High Design section at AmericasMart!). For years I have been asking her to send me images, and this year, as an early birthday present, she did! Yum 🙂

I must be middle aged, since Rosé makes me sluggish, then sleepy — so I’ll stick to appreciating this alluring gold-foiled design from All My Layers.

This type of experience is definitely more my speed. Thank you Hammerpress!

And this is not off the table either, unfortunately. Not that I’m getting maudlin or anything — I have a 13 year old daughter, so the next five years or so are bound to be emotional ones. This heartbreaking work of staggering honesty is from Tick Tock Press.

As tempting at is to hit a colorful object with a stick and get candy as a reward, I am probably (ok definitely) too old for a piñata, so I will stick to appreciating the engineering artistry (replete with laser-cut lettering) that is UWP Luxe.

At my age, no birthday post is complete without a nod to the Over the Hill theme. I rather like Waterknot‘s take on it. This up-and-coming maker was a great find in the Las Vegas Market‘s Pavilions.

This beauty is also from Waterknot, and it’s definitely more where my head is at today!

Finally, this lovely card from Ginger P. Designs just sums up the season for me, and puts a figurative design bow on the whole birthday kahuna.

I have nothing but gratitude to all this industry talent for helping us celebrate those we love! Take it from this old-timer: That is really the greatest gift of all.

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