Monday, December 13, 2010

christmas card conundrum


It is the same every year.

Around October I think about Christmas cards. I think how great it would be, to send one out---- to catch up with friends and family, to take a cute picture, to write some kind of clever family update that is entertaining without being cheesey or braggy. In October I decide it is both possible and a Good Idea.

Then I forget about it until early December.

And in early December I start to realize that there isn't time. No time for picture taking or update-writing. Though again, it sure would be nice to do a card. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day.

And every year it's the same: I run out of time and steam, watching the cards of friends and family flood our mailbox. I promise that I'll do it next year.

I'll let you guess where I'm at in the Circle of Christmas Card Delirium right this minute.

This year there is something new. I've started to contemplate the alternative of mailing a card, which is of course: emailing a Christmas greeting. (This is where you come in.) I'm wondering about the Social Acceptance Rating of email Christmas greetings. I think it shifts every year---- like maybe a few years ago this type of thing was considered to be Lazy. But as the cost of postage keeps rising, and the number of people who are online and emailing and regularly writing on Facebook and such keeps rising--- the idea of doing a Christmas card in an email seems more and more practical.

What I want to know, from all of you, is where you stand.

Would you rather receive some kind of greeting over nothing at all? Or do you think the Christmas email is a Grand Cop Out? Postage is horribly expensive, after all. Does an electronic greeting still do the job of sending news and sharing a cute picture and letting you know that the sender is thinking of you, or do you lose the meaning when you lose the tactile experience? I know that Swistle has an awesome and perfectly-worded scoring system (highly recommended), but I'm wondering again about that social acceptance shift that I mentioned earlier. As time goes on, does it become more the norm, or will I be considered a Christmas Card Pariah for even considering it?

Please advise.


Bird said...

We don't celebrate Christmas but I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting other people's cards in the mail. It brings me back to the days where getting mail used to be fun and exciting. Plus I like to see people's creative side.

Some years we do an electronic "Happy Jewish New Years" card which includes a picture and little note and people seem generally pleased and accepting of that. I went electronic because of cost and inability to get mailed items out by the needed date.

So I think its fine either way, but I still love receiving cards in the mail.

Midnight Rambler said...

I am all for the Christmas email. As much as I love getting actual cards in the mail, I then feel a huge amount of guilt when I just throw them away at the end of the season. And what to do with all those great photos people send out? I am not a album kind of person, so they usually end up in a box somewhere. But when I get the email ones, there is not guilt involved with throwing anything away, in addition to saving money it also saves trees, and I get to save the photos into my electronic photo album, where the photos will then show up randomly on my screen saver all year long.

Just my two cents, of course, but you asked :-)

serenity now said...

I love seeing the pictures and reading the news, no matter what form they come in. I personally prefer the tactile experience of holding the card/photo and opening the envelope that came in the mail. But I also respect the practicality on so many levels of the holiday emails. This year we're doing a combination (some folks get mailed card and some get emailed version) because we're tired of trying to reconcile life's complexities with the all-or-nothing way of doing business.

ixBeths said...

I would agree with everyone else. I love getting actual MAIL, but an electronic greeting is better than no greeting.

We send out actual CARDS about 3/4 of the time, but it didn't happen this year. I try not to stress.

Chadillac said...

I would advise against emailing Christmas cards. Maybe I'm just old school, maybe it's a revolt against the depersonalization of us all through technology. I just feel like an emailed Christmas card would be less appropriate. Maybe I am just behind the times. Yeah, postage gets higher every year, but I feel like the personal effort says something. Maybe in a few years I'll feel differently. There is just something about the onslaught of all things online that leaves a bad taste in my mouth sometimes. Do a card. Costco will print it in like a day. Maybe this year it won't be ideal, but if you do it, next year will be easier.

Kayoung said...

I'm with Serenity Now. I like to receive them (and I put them in our Christmas card scrapbook). I also understand that people can poop out with so many holiday to-dos. Quite a few people are posting their holiday greetings on Facebook and I'm okay with that too (but I don't print those out for the scrapbook).

Rose said...

I don't see anything wrong with a cyber greeting, but one time, someone was highly offended that I did that instead of sending real mail.