When I was a kid (middle child alert) I LIVED for my birthday. It was MY day. My mom had three girls in three years (ouch) and then two boys. I had to take what I could get. And that was March 8th.

Anyway, since it’s my birthday week (oh yes, we celebrate all week) I’m getting stuff in the mail that, well, doesn’t exactly excite me. My dentist sent me a form letter. My chiropractor, a postcard for a free adjustment hastily signed by the office staff. Aveda sent me a coupon for a free custom perfume which I redeemed today – part of the “experience” involved me having to produce my frequent flyer card AND signing the coupon. Happy Birthday to me. My insurance person, another form letter. You get the idea.

It’s like someone, somewhere at some lame marketing conference said, “Birthdays are an easy way to thank your customers for their business,” and everyone in the audience put their PDAs down and said, “Did I hear easy?”

It’s NOT the thought that counts. It’s the following-through-in-a-personal-I-really-value-you-and-know-that-your-favorite-color-is-yellow-so-I’ve-made-this-card-myself-using-paper-I-hand-dyed-and-folded-in-the-shape-of-a-flying-pig thought that counts.

Just an example.