Richmond Times-Dispatch
Email Facebook Twitter YouTube Mobile RSS
|
 
LifestylesLifestyles

Buttoned Up: Real holiday cards are better than e-cards


»  Comments | Post a Comment

Right after Halloween, many people start to think about getting their holiday cards organized. But then life gets hectic, right?

Cut to a few weeks later, when you realize you still haven't figured out which photo to use on the card, let alone ordered any, and panic starts to set in. That's when last-minute types start asking themselves: "Is it gauche to send an e-holiday card?"

Sending "season's greeting" cards is a tradition that goes back more than 150 years, and is, quite simply, a lovely way to stay in touch with family and friends, no matter what you celebrate. They are nice to give and even nicer to get — we personally love the respite from the endless stream of junk mail that clutters up our mailboxes. We love opening the envelopes and seeing the beautifully designed cards — and, of course, the family photos. Sarah, for one, displays all of the cards that come to her house on a ribbon that hangs from a mantel in her living room. Having them displayed this way gives the feeling that far-flung families and good friends are right there.

We both strongly prefer physical cards to e-cards. Getting an e-card is certainly a step above reading a post on Facebook or Twitter, but the effect is still fleeting. After the computer is shut, the people who sent those e-cards disappear. They are more difficult to share with family members, and because they can't be displayed physically in the spaces where you celebrate, don't add much to the spirit of the season.

Yet there is nothing technically gauche about the format. It is better for the environment, they are less expensive and keeping it virtual is much easier for busy people to do. We would much rather send and receive e-cards than skip them altogether. Especially because e-card designs have improved dramatically in recent years.

One might argue that with the advent of Facebook, Twitter and a million other ways to stay connected, we don't really need holiday cards anymore. After all, if you know what your family and friends have had for breakfast today, already saw what their cute kids looked like in their Halloween costumes and know what their cats and dogs are up to as well, what else is there to catch up on?

In fact, it seems that Americans are letting go of their holiday-greetings habit. The U.S. Postal Service reports that Americans sent 7.5 percent fewer holiday cards in 2009 than they did in 2007, a trend that is expected to continue.

In the end, it's a trend that makes us sad. In this world of insta-everything, the act of taking the time and effort to hold another loved one in your thoughts for even a minute as you jot (or type) a quick note to that person is one of the greatest gifts you can give to card recipients and to yourself. Not only will it enrich everyone's perspective — after all, what is more important than friends and family? — but the time you spend sending and receiving cards offers an opportunity to reflect on all that you have to be grateful for.

So what's your thinking? Are you going to be sending greetings this year, or are you throwing in the towel? Are you in favor of e-cards or physical cards?

Terms and Conditions

Share This:

Share - Yahoo! Share - Facebook Facebook Share - More More

Advertisement

 
View More: No tags are associated with this article
Not what you're looking for? Try our quick search:
 
 

Advertisement

Reader Comments

*Facebook Account Required to Comment. If you are not already logged into Facebook, please click the comment button to do so.

Deal of the Day

Advertisement

Advertisement

Daily Email Newsletter

daily update 2

Get the morning's top headlines delivered directly to your inbox every morning. Sign up now!

 

Purchase RTD Photos

Baseball Hall of Famers in Richmond in the 1950s.
Baseball Hall of Famers in Richmond in the 1950s.
Close Title
 
 

Events & Things To Do

Advertisement

Media General
DealTaker.com - Coupons and Deals
DealTaker.com Promo Codes
KewlBoxBoxerJam: Games & Puzzles
Games, Puzzles & Trivia
Blockdot: Advergaming and Branded Media
Advergaming and Branded Media
Web Links: Advertise With Us | Contact Us | Email Alerts | Find Richmond Jobs | Mobile Alerts | RSS Feeds | Search | Times-Dispatch Shop | Public Notices
Newspaper Links: Subscribe to the Newspaper | TD-Digital | Kindle Edition | Place a Classified | Submit News Tips | Contact Us | Photo Reprints
Main Media Partners: Richmond.com | Goochland Gazette | Mechanicsville Local | Midlothian Exchange | Virginia Newspapers | Powhatan Today | PolitiFact Virginia

Calais - Powered by Thomson ReutersCalais - Powered by Thomson Reuters

MyYahoo!