This is the time of year when people are frantically trying to find the perfect holiday card. Get your family photo taken, or buy holiday card set. Assemble the address list. Address each envelope. Buy stamps. Go to the dreaded post office. It is quite the production!
Do you send holiday cards? I see fewer holiday cards each year in my mailbox. There is nothing wrong with sending cards, especially if you like doing it. On the flip side, there is nothing saying you HAVE to send cards each year. It’s a personal decision and I am going to weigh the pros and cons of sending out holiday cards.
Pros of Sending Holiday Cards
- Viewing Photos of Friends and Family – So many of us do not live near our friends and family. This is a perfect opportunity to share select photos of your family. Don’t you enjoy seeing how your friends and families have changed over the year?
- Updating Your Address Book – Yes, this is a pro! Each year, you can maintain an updated list of addresses. You can ask for updated addresses, or use a website like Postable to collect addresses. Simply send them a link, and have them type in their updated address! With an updated address book, you’ll easily be able to send birthday greetings or other mail.
- Receiving Them – How do you feel when you go to your mailbox and see an actual card from someone? Admit it, it feels pretty special. Maybe you don’t send to every single person you know, but think about the people who could use a smile on their face when they see a card from you. If you can’t manage to squeeze in time this holiday, why not choose another special time of the year like Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving?
Cons of Sending Holiday Cards
- It Takes Time – Especially if you want to add a brief personal message to them. I find that most people will add a note to those people that they do not see on a regular basis. They may even do a form letter to save some time and then add a brief one line or two to the letters on a few select cards. An alternative to the holiday card is to send a New Year’s card. Your card won’t get lost in the shuffle and maybe you have more time AFTER the holiday to leisurely send the cards.
- Writing Out Addresses – This can be a long process. Can you send your recipient list to the printer and they can address the envelopes for you? Even if it means printing the addresses on labels and peeling them off and sticking them on the envelopes.
- Oversharing – There is nothing wrong with updating loved ones on key events that occurred during the year. Keep it brief and remember that the purpose of holiday cards is to share the love and joy not to share your political opinions and go on and on.
- Environment – Let’s face it, sending cards means paper is being used, and to do that, trees are being cut down. To avoid adding to the environmental costs involved with this tradition, one may compromise and send an e-card or post a blanket greeting on social media.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention to you what to do with your holiday cards. As an organizer, I am aware of any category that can cause clutter. Cards are one of those areas. Do not feel obligated to save every card. I am sure there are a few choice ones that you will want to save but don’t save them if you are just going to throw them in a box and never look at them again. I know a few people who put them away with their holiday decorations and look back on the cards each year. It is ok to let the cards go. I give you permission.