Are Christmas or holiday cards still valid? This time of year the post office must be inundated with mail - almost like election season. It seems almost daily there is a swarm of cards from friends, business associates and family with pre-printed messages of joy and wellness for this year and next.
Then, at the bottom, the cards are signed and someone is tasked with sending them out.
The problem, as I see it, is that there is almost no meaning to these and they arrive when so many others are delivered as well. This almost becomes like firehosing on social media so, from a business marketing standpoint, Christmas cards seem almost irrelevant.
Now I can see Santa and his elves going over and getting the biggest thugs at Hallmark and coming to my office to have a word with me over this. But hear, er, read me out.
Cards with a pre-printed message that are simply signed really tell me that someone went through their mailing list and the only personal message there is the signature, but the cards could be in a stack and the card really isn’t anything different than they’ve sent to everyone else on their list. Are they really “thinking of you during this holiday season?”
Sure they might read ‘thinking of you’ this holiday season, to me, the sentiment is “hired a staff member to process my database.”
Now you should also know that I have stopped exchanging gifts with people at the holidays. While this noble tradition certainly boosts our economy in these not-so-United States, it is really nothing enjoyable any longer in my world. While it’s fun to get little kids gifts who don’t have jobs, by the time you’re my age you can afford what you want when you want it so gifts aren’t really as exciting.
And the feeling of obligation that surrounds getting gifts causes the giver to feel anxiety and the recipient has to pretend whatever they got was awesome. Boy, maybe I associate too much with the lead character of A Christmas Carol.
Unless, of course, the giver has come up with some magical idea that sweeps the recipient off their feet. In that case, holiday gifts are awesome for the giver and the recipient. A totally personalized and thoughtful item is truly a wonderful gift. But the obligation to find
And the same is true of greeting cards. When they’re a personalized message that’s truly thoughtful I really dig Christmas cards.
However imagine if, instead of Christmas cards (fooey on being politically correct, darnit) you sent cards for Spring or Summer or Fall or Elvis’ birthday or some other completely unexpected occasion instead?
Now you’re doing the unexpected so even if all the cards are robosigned it wouldn’t matter - now you’re going to actually be sending a message! After all, when was the last time you got a Groundhog Day card? Or, perhaps, a coffee shop gift certificate for National Coffee Day (September 29).
I don’t think that Hallmark stock is going to go down appreciably based on this blog post but I do hope you thought about standing out either here during the holidays or at some other time of year. And I’m actually not advising against sending greeting cards if that’s your thing, but it’s always good to stand out from the crowd in a good way. That’s the bottom line of this message, not to adopt Grinch-like tendencies.
And have a Merry Christmas, as well. I hope you thoroughly enjoy this time of year with your favorite people. And all the cards and letters you’ll get.