Sending holiday cards are a way for people to reach out to friends and family in a small, but lovely way. Whether you celebrate a holiday or not, mailing a card says “Hello, I am thinking of you during this crazy time of year.” On the other hand, what a hassle it can be! Yes, it is so nice to send and receive a token of cheer, but sometimes the cons outweigh the pros. There has been a decline in holiday card usage and that might be for a few reasons.
One of the major reasons that so many people nowadays do not bother sending cards is because of the internet. Between email and social media platforms, what is the point of sending a physical card? People often are up to date with each other’s lives because of the openness and we of sharing that the internet provides. It can get very expensive very quickly to mail cards, which is a huge imposition on (potentially already tight) holiday budgets. Emailing or simply posting on social media does not cost a thing. Let’s break down these options.
Sending an email is instant, direct, and simple. A photo can be attached and the message can be personalized. Yes, to make it even faster, you could BCC everyone on your list, but then the messages themselves would not be individualized. Emailing even the same message, but simply addressing the email “Dear so-and-so,” can make a difference in how the email is received. A personal touch goes a long way.
Probably the quickest method of sending holiday cards is electronically, but also the least personal. Unless sending individual people private messages or wall postings, one post on social media is not going to say much. Yes, of course it is nice to see, but it is generic and distanced. This is not to say do not post a holiday message or photo on social media at all, but do not think that it counts as a proper holiday greeting to your friends and family.
The time and thought that goes into a physical card is more than the others combined. While often people tend to print the same card to send to everyone, some will write a personal message on the card. At the very least, the addresses are typically handwritten and that takes time and shows you care. The effort and money that goes into physical cards says that you care way more than an email or social media post would say.
Each of these are different and will jive with different people. When considering the options, think about what is best for you at this time in your life.
Some questions to ponder are the following:
How much will this cost?
How much time will this take?
When do I need to do this all by?
What should I write in each card?
Should I design it online and get them printed?
Who should I send a card to?
Do I have all the addresses for the people I want to send a card to?
Will I have to do this every year if I do it this year?
Regardless of what you choose when it comes to sending holiday cards, just keep in mind that a huge part of the holiday season is to be generous and grateful. If you can, try channeling those into how you spread the joy and reach out to others. In other words, taking time to even just use someone’s name in an email message can make a bigger impact on the recipient that just saying “hello.” Think about it.