MONDAY MADNESS: Holiday Card Conundrum

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It’s a little maddening to think of the holidays just around the corner.  They seem to come so quickly each year.  I think we’re all in agreement when I say they can be fun, busy and totally stressful. 

What’s your tradition?  Do you send an updated family photo on preprinted, pre-signed holiday cards with address labels?  Are you in the habit of including a list of family adventures and accomplishments from the past twelve months? Or is it possible that you hand-write your Christmas cards and address every envelope?  Believe it or not, I think there may be a small percentage of the population pondering the return of pen and paper when it comes to season’s greetings.

We all know the process involved in holiday cards (picking the perfect picture, card design, font and color) is time consuming.  We also know that most people on our address list are now ‘friends’ on Facebook and lucky enough (or forced) to see updated pictures of our children throughout the year.  Further, we regret to admit that holiday cards can slip into the category of something ‘obligatory’ instead of ‘elective’ while we find ourselves busy with other tasks and commitments during November and December.  Why bother?

However, truth be told, we all race to the mailbox after Halloween to see when the first holiday card arrives.  We may even battle other family members to see who gets to open it.  We even pull out that special platter or bowl to showcase the collection for repetitive viewing.  I’m guessing there’s even an unwritten chart of sorts as to who had the most unique card, creative photo shoot, or possibly traveled the furthest during the previous year.

I admit it. I’m guilty of all the above.  I debate on with which picture to choose, whether to design a custom card and how much writing to actually do.  I justify the pre-printed family name and year by hand addressing all envelopes.  I even struggle with where and how to showcase the daily intake.  To make the process more time consuming by hand writing each card could be considered blasphemous (in a pardon-the-pun kind of way) by some.

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Fortunately, I work in the paper industry and have the privilege of helping others design their holiday cards.  I’m happy to report that my first few orders were for cards with a beautiful pearl finish, holiday theme and substantial space to write a message.  Yes, you read that correctly. These customers are choosing to take the time and hand-write a personal message to their colleagues, customers, business associates and friends.

Perhaps we should follow suit.  Imagine the surprise when your friends and family read a holiday sentiment handwritten by you.  They’ll be sure to create a new column for you on that chart, titled ‘most thoughtful.’

I challenge you to the task.  If your list is simply too daunting and it’s too late to change up the system, pick half to send handwritten cards to.  Is that still too many?  How about start with one-third of your list or just a dozen. Try it and see how you feel.  I’m sure it’ll warm your heart better than eggnog.  It’s certainly fewer calories - which has to count for something.

Candidly yours,


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