Join Jamie Eslinger in writing three notes of gratitude

Imagine getting a card-a beautiful one, decorated with bright red holiday berries and words like "Peace" and "Joy." Inside, a friend, or perhaps a distant relative, a co-worker or a teacher, has written you a note of gratitude, a note thanking you for something you didn't realize they had noticed.

That's the idea behind The Card Crusade: You make a promise to choose three people (any three people) in your life and write them a note of appreciation over the holidays.

Jamie Eslinger (pictured above), 39, lives in Oregon and is a marketing consultant and the writer behind the popular blog The Promise 365. She came up with the concept after a cancer scare this past summer. During that uncertain time of tests and procedures, she sent out letters to loved ones, expressing her appreciation for them.

"It really helped me take the focus off of the fear and put it on to other people," she said.

So now she's teamed up with artist Julie McLemore (who lives part-time in Columbus) of the Green Ink Gallery to persuade others to follow her lead. McLemore's cards are prettily decorated in high res scans of flowers, plants and berries.

Head to thecardcrusade.com and enter your name/email, just to signify that you'll be sending out letters, and you'll be entered to win a year's supply of McLemore's cards.

We talked with Eslinger about the impact her notes have made and who she's writing to this year.

-Taylor Starek, @rogerstaylorj

What made you want to start up this campaign?

I had a weird year. It started this summer. I went to lunch in February with a friend, and she pointed to my neck and said, "What's on your neck?" It was a bump. I was freaking out. I'm a 20-year cancer survivor, so any lump on my body sends me into a panic. I started going to doctors' appointments, and I had to have needle biopsies, and they came back inconclusive. I had to have surgery, and we moved in the middle of all that. So I was incredibly overwhelmed. But my first year of doing my blog, I really learned this lesson in love. There are only two forces in this world: There's only love and fear. If you can focus on love, you can't be in a state of fear. I was really having to practice what I had learned. And the crazy thing is during my second year of blogging [2012], my theme was love more, fear less. I was doing all of these amazing things to push me past my fears. I swam with sharks in the Bahamas, and I thought, "OK, I've conquered my fears." And then this lump popped up, and it forced me to realize that my biggest fear is cancer. So I decided this year is all about abundance. I need to find a way to focus on gratitude and love, so I started The Card Crusade.

And you're healthy now?

Yes, the surgery came out great, and the thyroid was benign.

Who are you sending your three cards to?

This summer I sent to the big list: friends, family, college friends, coworkers. So I'm going to dig deep and find three more I haven't wrote to. I did do something this summer I never did before. I sent one of my cards to Sofia [Vergara] from "Modern Family." I saw her on TV talking about how she had thyroid cancer. She was a survivor and doing some PSAs and interviews. That stuff normally doesn't touch me, but I felt a sense of hope that everything was going to be OK. I never had that feeling before, so I sent her one. I don't know if it ever reached her, but I basically wrote I've never done this before, but I just want to let you know that you gave me so much hope.

Photo/graphic courtesy of Jamie Eslinger