Holiday Cards – Are they important to you?

I’m a firm believer in sending holiday and/or Christmas cards. It’s a yearly priority that has been important since I became an adult. For me, they serve a variety of purposes:

1) Most importantly, they give me a chance to send a warm holiday message to those I care about and are close to me.

2) For those people I rarely get a chance to see, it’s great to say hello and keep them abreast of how my family is doing.

3) As a networking tool, it has proved invaluable.

I’ve tried to convey the importance of sending holidays cards to those in my inner circle as I sensed that many wanted to although making the time to do it was difficult for some.  Having “no time” is a bad excuse because if something is important to you, you should find the time.

I’m as busy as anyone especially this year with travel to the USA, work, kids, moving to another city and much more. In addition, my wife has a new job. Together, we still managed to get 70 of our over 100 cards out by mid December.

I suspect that many of you reading this would like to improve upon or begin sending your holiday cards. If so, I implore you to do so. Yes, it will take some hours out of your November/December time although if you begin early, the time necessary won’t seem so cumbersome.

Cards of this nature may hold no interest for you. If that is the case, I would like you to consider this – sending at least 1 or more hand written notes/letters to those you care about during 2011. Maybe you do this already although most do not.

The art of the hand written note seems to be lost in the age of email/twitter/facebook/technology, etc. One of the gentle surprises I enjoy the most is getting a note from someone in the mail. It never fails to brighten my day.

Finally, the power of a holiday card was on full display as I was talking with a group of 10-15 executives a decade ago. As one person in the group was preparing to leave, he said “Thanks for the Christmas card George, I appreciate it”. His words came with a big smile and were loud enough for the whole room to hear! A wonderful moment.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

Southern Sweden during the Holidays!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi George!

Very good, thought provoking question! This is one I’m compelled to respond to because I’m one of those people who finds sending cards tedious, time consuming and uncomfortable. I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years and searched myself to understand why there is a discomfort factor and I’ve come up with what I believe is true for me. It’s a very different perspective and maybe a few of your readers will feel this sentiment resonate inside them, too.

It is very rare that I ever find a card that expresses exactly what I want to say to anyone at anytime for any reason. As nice as many of those cards are, I think they are never as good as the real thing. I believe the Hallmark Card company (or example) came into existence because it was a way for people to try to keep in touch with other over long distances before the advent of the telephone, telegram, internet, skype and etc. Even then, it was a tool (or more accurately, a crutch) for people who couldn’t find the time to write a real letter or felt they couldn’t find the words to adequately express themselves. George, I’ve heard you speak at least three or four times now and it seems it’s always genuinely from the heart and you never fail to truly touch others hearts. True, you are something of a wordsmith. You are intelligent, articulate and witty. Not everyone has a tongue that is as eloquent as yours. But we all have a heart. I’m no poet, nor am I as educated as you. But I know enough to speak from my heart and I know it’s something we all can do. When we use our heart as our guide we cannot go wrong. I don’t mean to say that greeting cards don’t have a place and time. The greeting card is a useful tool for sure, in some circumstances. I just believe they’ve had their day and we should try more personal methods of communication before sending a card.

With all the ways to connect now, greeting cards should be the means of last resort. A phone call to actually and directly speak to the object of my attention is my preferred method. I’ve heard so many say that the internet and electronic media is causing people to become more disconnected from each other. I suppose that is true in some instances where people allow that to be the case. On the other hand, I much prefer to hear the warmth of a voice telling me I’m loved or missed or whatever, as opposed to reading it from a card in someone else’s words. Skype is virtually an invaluable tool I use to see my son and grand-son from so many miles away. And the cost is cheaper than buying and sending a card if you already have a computer and internet service. I think it’s safe to say that for most of us, those are common commodities.

The technological advances we take for granted are there to make our lives easier. Why not take advantage of them? But that’s what I think and I know several people who would rather eat broken glass than think like me. Who knows? I could be wrong.