I have a niece who turns 15 next week. She called me yesterday, all the way from Mexico, to invite me to her party. I felt heartbroken to say ‘no’, because it’s a big deal. In our culture, when a girl turns 15, her parents introduce her to society in a huge, formal party known as “Fiesta de Quinceañera”. At the party, family and friends enjoy dinner to live music. The party’s highlight occurs when the birthday girl dances with her dad and her 15 “chambelanes” – a fancy title for the guy friends of the girl. Since I won’t be in Mexico to mark the occasion, I still want to let her know that she’s on my mind.
After a week, I logged-in to Facebook to post “Happy Birthday Martha!” on her wall. Yet, staring at the sea of “happy bday”s, I knew she wouldn’t make it to my post. It’s just not personal enough. So, I did a quick search for photo or video cards. I found a birthday card app. called Mashup Arts . I downloaded it for free on FB and put it to use.
The app. created a slideshow that ranged from baby photos of my cousin to my favourite photo of both of us. I flipped to the next page of the card; the app.’s template offered me the option to keep adding photos or post a Youtube video. I kept the video the app. suggested—it featured the goofiest, singing coneheads. Before I clicked “send”, I uploaded a photo of myself and used Picnik to add a birthday hat and confetti – as if I was at her party. I sent the card to her FB wall, and took off to work.
I still wish to be at Mexico to celebrate my niece’s birthday. But, I felt pretty good about the app. The card was personal; it used photos of ourselves, and allowed me to upload Youtube videos. The fact that the app. was free stands as a bonus. Plus, I know that my niece will look at it because the app. runs on Facebook. I can’t wait to call her tomorrow to wish Martha a “FELIZ Quinceañera!”
Click here to view my card: