When it comes to the argument about writing and sending greeting cards for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Thanksgiving, Boxing Day, what have you, people cite everything from lack of time to lack of funds as their reason for cutting back – or not sending at all.
For personal greetings, many families have opted for the “Christmas Letter” in which they share everything from children’s academic accomplishments to employment changes and more. To make this easier, you may want to compile a list of your Facebook posts and organize them in a letter – throwing in a few photos to break up the monotony.
Christmas letters are great for close friends and family, but be sure you don’t make them too long or too detailed (if you wouldn’t read it yourself, why do you expect it of Great-Aunt Ethel?). A great idea is one (short!) paragraph for each family member, accompanied by a photo. Keep them short and sweet – one-sided, whenever possible. You may want to do a condensed version on the back of a traditional family photo card for those whom you consider “close” but don’t see that often. And just a simple card will do for others, like former neighbors or co-workers with whom you still keep in touch.
For business contacts, a traditional card is preferred. But there are a lot of options available so you can customize your card with a photo or custom greeting. Be careful about using logos or text that sounds like a sales pitch. Greeting cards are a time to thank our customers and clients; they’ll be turned off by a card that doubles as a direct-mail ad.
I’m all for hand-signing cards whenever possible, even if you’ve had your name pre-printed in the card. Depending on the size of your list, you also should hand-write the name of the recipient, rather than leaving the top of the card blank – the lack of personalization leaves it feeling like bulk mail.
Business orders of greeting cards usually are ordered earlier in the year, but there are still some great options for smaller quantities or cards for personal use.
There’s just something about receiving a card in the mail that makes me spend a few extra minutes thinking about the sender – and isn’t that what the holiday season is all about?