Monday, December 8, 2008

Questions about cards—HELP!

Cards yes? Cards no? Here is what is for sure: I HAVE NOT DONE ANYTHING ABOUT CHRISTMAS CARDS THIS YEAR.

Now that that's off my chest, allow me to explain. I haven't had time and will have even less time in the next few weeks. In past years I have spent so much money on cards, even when I buy them at the end of the season the year before. This year I was thinking about making them, but I know by the time I buy all the supplies and pay for mailing, the savings will likely be insignificant. And the time—did I mention that? Very little time.

So this year I have two ideas for cards:

1. No cards. Will people hate me? Will they even notice? Will they drop me from their list? I usually give people a couple years of not sending me a card before I consider axing them, but these are tough times.

2. Digital cards. I once received a card from someone by email. It was a beautifully designed image, complete with pictures of the kids, and carried a note "No trees died to bring you this card." I liked that. A few questions: Do you think this is tacky? If this is all I could manage, should I just skip it this year? If not, do you know any website that has templates for creating something like this? Shutterfly and all those sites seem geared strictly to print products. I'm not a designer, and my computer graphics skills are nonexistent, but I could probably work with a template in the way we do with Blogger. Evite has Ecards, but they're all pre-fab ones, and I would like to include a photograph and have some design flexibility. Is there a business opportunity here (not for me but for someone with actual skills)?

Please help!!

23 comments:

Sabina said...

Digital is different, but just fine. I think that if you blog, use email, or Facebook, then you should be infused in a world where it is okay to go digital...those you know do not have this lifestyle, print out the 2 copies and send them...let's not pretend we're the Queen of some Nation beyond modernity, and stand on some ancestral form of ceremonial etiquette. If you are comfortable with it, then click away. I'm sure you'll have detractors but very few people like change when you first offer it. We're a stubborn fixed species that way.

J said...

Last year my mom didn't have a prayer of getting her cards done in time, so she just sent out cards in January. She wrote lovely notes in the cards and they were winter themed, not Christmas cards. It's something to think about if you have people on your list who wouldn't quite get the digital card thing. (She has lots of great aunts who use computers but probably would have been horrified at a digital card!)

net-boo said...

Here are some beautiful, animated ecards for Christmas.

http://www.squidoo.com/christmas-ecards

MixinMike said...

Please, for God's sake, NO DIGITAL cards. Have our lives gotten too busy for cards? If we find the time to blog, we have the time for cards. Cards are special, they are still a not-too-far memory of snail mail. We open them, wondering all along who they are from and display them on our walls with scotch tape or together side-by-side with a string. Christmas cards are one of the few things that remain apart from doing everything on the computer. So I say a big NO to e-cards (so classless) and a big yes to spending some time making cards. Last year my nieces made cards with stamps and other stuff, I know it cost them nothing, and they wrote cute messages...SEND CARDS BY ALL MEANS!!!

lisagh said...

You might have caught me during a bias moment seeing about 10 minutes ago I just finished paying $120 for stamps and hand writing an individual note in 140 cards. They are all ready to go and will be sent out tomorrow. But you asked for it, so here's my opinion.

If you're going to send cards (and that's totally up to you) I think digital is only for the most casual of friends if at all. I wouldn't send digital/email/e-card type cards myself. But then again, I can't even bring myself to pre-print a signature.

It's one of the few lovely traditions we have left. I say go old school or don't go at all.

Purple Flowers said...

In past years, I've sent out New Years' cards. And since, I have received some of them too. I think it's nice for people to know you're thinking about them. But does it have to be before Dec. 25th? I don't think so. New Year's cards (w/pics.) have become quite common. I write my out the week between Christmas and New Years (closer to New Years)and I'm done. People will always love seeing a picture.
Good Luck w/whatever you decide.

dmmlandcruiser said...

Hey Cindy, I too have done nothing as of yet for Christmas Cards. I do this every year, waiting until the last minute to try to get that perfect picture. I still plan on sending actual cards because I think people enjoy receiving them. We love checking the mailbox each afternoon to see the new arrivals. Don't worry if they don't get there before the 25th, it is never too late!

ms. mindless said...

i don't think its the end of the world if you don't send a card. send out a small number of cards to closest friends and family members who might notice. most people probably won't notice one less card in the pile.

Carla said...

Similar to the New Year cards idea, I have a cousin who makes lovely handmade valentines and sends them with a Valentine's Day letter instead of Christmas cards.

It has advantages as the once-a-year update on her family: she sends them at a time of year when she has plenty of time to spend on the project, and I read her letter more carefully than holiday letters, because let's face it, what else are we getting in the mail in February?

adozeneggs said...

I just ordered my cards online and have to say that I agree with Lisagh. I'm not a fan of the ecard. With all the email and cell phones it's nice to get an old fashioned hand written card in the mail.

ElleBee said...

I'm echoing some of the other folks...I think Christmas cards are one of the last touchstones we have to "the real world". I do, however, like the idea of going green, so I'm torn. If you do decide to go digital, Scrapblog is a super easy way to create a card, and you can email viewing permissions to anyone you want, or you can save the page as a PDF and email that (or post it on your blog!).

KK said...

I am so with you on the cards! I haven't done a thing. I was thinking about just cutting my list down to make it more manageable!

Impoverished Preppy said...

As someone who has also NOT taken care of her cards. I sympathize with your situation. Honestly though, I do think digital cards for Christmas are a bit tacky. I think you're better off sending them with a generalized winter or holiday theme and knowing that they might get there after Christmas. I have an aunt who teaches high school and her cards ALWAYS arrive two weeks after Christmas - but they are hand made and include pictures of the kids. I am not offended by the fact that they arrive after Christmas and I appreciate the time and effort put into them. My cards will likely go out a few days before Christmas this year, and I'm okay with that. In other words, better to send nice cards and have them arrive late than to send something that feels rushed and have it arrive on time.

Good luck!

Love,
Queen of the Procrastinators

Impoverished Preppy said...

Please excuse the fragment in the above post. I've cut back on my coffee and the results have not been good.

More, More, More said...

You could send Happy New Year cards...

Kate said...

The year we moved right before Christmas - I put together a little slideshow & emailed it to everyone I would have sent cards to. I bought a few individual (non-photo)cards to send to older relatives we wouldn't see that year.

This year, I decided to pass as well & may do the same thing again. No one was upset at not receiving a card - or at least they didn't say anything & no one took us of their list the following year!

KatieGirlBlue said...

Hmmm....before I weigh in, bear in mind that my opinion may not be completely pertinent, as the one and only time I ever sent holiday cards was a complete disaster, and they ended up being "January cards" because I couldn't get my shit together.

That said, I love e-cards. They almost always have pictures, which is all I care about (I know, I'm the grinch), and there's less obligation to return the nicety associated with them.....plus, you can send lots and lots for little to no money, just a bit of time, so you don't have to decide who actually makes the list. "Postman? Sure, he gets a card. Local barista? Why not! Ob-Gyn? What the hell?" I mean, it's nice to be nice to everyone, from what I hear.

I will be shocked if you still want to meet me in SLC after reading this comment.

Kate said...

Posted my Xmas slide-show from 2006 if you want ideas...

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

What about not stressing about it now and do someting mid January? A New Year's card. I have a friend who always intends to send them in Dec but ends up finally mailing them in Jan or Feb. You could prob get something fun on sale and it wouldn't even have to be a red/green Christmas theme at that point. Or snapfish and shutterfly make cute photo cards with whatever you want printed on it. So the only work would be to stuff it in the envelope and stick on a stamp.

Jackie said...

I love to receive Christmas cards but hate doing them! Still think it's a nice gesture. Let's people know you are thinking of them.

Monica said...

I really don't get why people are so easily offended by different types of cards. Email, photo cards, real cards...I like them all and am happy to receive one!

Pink Preppy Party Girl said...

I like (with a strained face) sending cards and love getting them.... any card or format is appreciated. This effort just lets your friends/family know that you care. Last year I put my list on the computer to make the famously tacky labels. It really helps me because I am never on top of this. I posted my card on my blog.

Jen Yu said...

Even though I had emailed you about this, I figured I'd voice my $.02 in the discussion. I rather hate getting a pile of xmas cards each year with nothing but a signature on it. What the hell is that? I used to send cards each year - with a nice handwritten note to each person. Screw that. For the past four years, I have created a web card with about 28 photos and minimal narrative for friends and family for new year's greetings. People *love* it. Granted, these aren't just any random crap photos (I sell my landscape photography). I choose the best 28 out of 5000+ photos I shoot each year - a mix of nature photography, food photography, ski porn, and some portraiture. Something for everyone, better than a card, and greener. Plus, I get far more replies from folks via email with a longer "note" than I would otherwise, and there is no pressure from them to send me a card.

Babe, if you want help - drop me a line. I'll see what I can do for ya.