E-Cards Are Not Cards: How a Blended Family Can Send a Real Card

Okay, I’m about to gripe. But I’m not alone. I have had it with THE EMAIL HOLIDAY CARD. No, it’s not okay. And if it’s an email it is NOT a card. It’s an email, which we all get way to much of. All year we delete group emails. We rarely get personal mail through the mail box anymore. The holiday season is the one time of year we get some sort of personal mail. Something that a human had to stick a stamp on. Oh, goody, instead I will get less personal mail and more emails that lack any warmth. And don’t tell me they are green. That’s a cop out. They are powered and received on large machines that suck electricity faster than Tiger Woods can ask a cocktail waitress for her number.

I get it. Some years one is more overwhelmed than other times. Than either skip the ritual, or do a pared list like I often do in less well planned years. You know the great aunt who doesn’t even know what Facebook is let alone how to access the pictures you post there, people like that. Or if you are behind, send a New Years card.

I am not a fan of getting electronic greetings to begin with. If I have to sit and wait while some amusing Jacquie Lawson animated pixie talks about a bird landing on a leaf, and it unfolds same sappy greeting I’m going to stick a fork in my head.

Here is what I want in a Christmas Card: A picture and or a little something about your life. Or a short personal message. PERSONAL message. That means written to ONE person. Not everyone on your contact list. That is what Facebook is for. And even with people I keep in nominal touch with, I like seeing the pictures of the kids and the letter talking about the promotion and the terrier they rescued outside of church. I’m a dork that way.

When I got one or two of these email christmas cards a couple of weeks ago, I was like, okay, happy holidays to you too. But, now, it’s gotten to be too much. It must stop. We are already an overly casual culture. As Bill Maher joked, (paraphrase) dressing is so casual now that people aren’t going to be happy until they can walk around in a diaper.

Look, I always get my cards out late.

I have HORRIBLE handwriting.

I get overwhelmed and don’t send them to all my friends and family.

But, dang it, I’m still trying to keep this ritual going.

To that end… I wanted to share with you my personal journey with holiday cards this year and pass on a discount that I also enjoyed.

I think I am not alone in having a hard time finding one photo where all members are accounted for and no one is blinking. I don’t need a professional photo… we don’t all have to walk on the beach. We just need a decent picture. Where I don’t look tired and my back fat doesn’t show.

The single card holiday card is not my favorite. You know the kind that arrive, you notice how little Susie has grown and then it lies flat on the mantle or china hutch because there is nothing else to hold it up. When did the Christmas post card come into vogue? Well, better than an email card (which is not a card). It’s like bringing frozen apps to a party and expecting the hostess to heat them up (this happened to me last year). Don’t make me do the work to find a place to prop up the piece o’ greeting.

So, I stumbled upon a well known web greeting company, Tiny Prints. But they had the perfect blended family card. It holds 5 pictures. And not in a montage, but one where you can put a little story to 4 of the pics. And since a lot has gone on this year I thought this would be perfect.

I had some explaining to do. I had a baby, yet sent out very few announcements. We moved and never sent out a change of address. It’s not the kind you want to “woo-hoo every one, had to sell the dream house and now we are renting. Not sure how long we will live here, but the address is…” Yeah, let’s skip it.

I used the petite alma line at Tiny Prints. The one that has 5 pictures to choose from, plus you can write a little bit underneath about 35 words, so each picture had a caption/story.  

I always have a problem with typos or fitting a picture correctly, but they have a line where a real human who speaks English called me to clarify some of my choices/mistakes. They were cheaper than doing those ones on the Mac (which I tried and aborted).

So, if you are a late deliverer or REAL holiday cards here is a last minute discount for  Coolmom.com readers www.tinyprints.com/holiday and the Promo code is TPHOLIDAY.  10% off orders with an order of $75 or more. Expires 1/1/2010.

I also liked the graphics on paperculture’s card, but they weren’t folded so I couldn’t pull the trigger.

Yes, I wish I had a minion to run and get stamps and calligraphy the addresses so my friends and family don’t think they are getting a note from a prison, but I can hack it.

I’m not sending an email holiday card. It’s such a Teens decade thing to do, and I peaked in the ’90’s.

7 thoughts on “E-Cards Are Not Cards: How a Blended Family Can Send a Real Card

  1. gah. email cards! i emailed my aunt for her address, and got one of those annoying Jacquie Lawson email cards in response. gonna have to track down her address from my cousin… or, maybe i won’t send her a card at all.

    i am guilty of the flat card, specifically, the flat photo card. i switched to these years ago when i injured my pinky and wasn’t able to sign my name on 100+ cards and the ease (and low cost) has caused me to not go back to cards plus photos. i actually like the photo cards and since i have a large mirror on my mantle, i can just tuck them into the edges for display.

    my horrible handwriting (that damn pinky again), caused me to dawdle through my thank you cards for baby gifts. these are going out this week for a party we had in august. oh well… we’re also doing new year’s cards instead of xmas, since we’re behind on everything this year (lights are just going on tree today).

  2. Normally I would agree with you that I do not like the email greeting cards but in this instance I don’t: I have many friends that live in China and that may be the only way they can send a Christmas card to their family and friends and know that it will actually get there. I cannot tell you how many times I received a christmas card in April or May while living in China but the person actually sent it to me in December. I would have much rather received the sentiment in December even if it meant receiving it on the computer. I know this is an extreme circumstance but it was worth giving a pro example for the ecard. If you live in the USA and send them, then I agree. It is total laziness not to slap a stamp on the real thing.

  3. I dislike both ecards (kinda like laminat floors. Plastic with a wood grain sticker on it) If you don’t like buying stamps and spending time on wordy individual letters….I totally get that. I don’t like it either.

    But a quick email with a family photo attached that says “Merry Christmas” works for me. I know you thought of me and I like the family photos of people I have not seen in awhile.

    No stamp or link required.

  4. I totally agree!

    I don’t send out ecards except to online friends for birthdays!

    Does that make me a bad person?

    I rarely send out Christmas cards! About every other year. This year was supposed to be a card year BUT it didn’t happen.

    Be easy on me because I do have four kids!

    Happy New Year!!!

  5. not all ecards are made equally. if I get one I want something personal, a picture, a brief wrap up of the family. Not the animated deer saying “merry Christmas” yeah, yeah, got it. give something that’s from you.

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