I won’t waste your time by rehashing a bittersweet rumination on the digital age and traditions we’ve lost along the way, but I am invoking the idea. Here’s why you should skip the automatically generated social media greetings and send out physical Christmas* cards this year. Click here to order online, then enjoy a job well done, my well-prepared friend!
*or Hannukah, or Yule, or Kwanzaa, or Festivus, or New Year…
A little effort goes a long way
Let’s be honest: how many of us are resistant to certain traditions because they just seem like a lot more work than they’re worth? When “the way things are done” is handed down rather than self-created, certain items tend to fall out of fashion. I’m here to tell you that sending holiday cards is not only easier than you might think, thanks to our myriad ready-to-print designs, but also well worth any effort that goes into it.
Even though dropping a card in the mail is a simple task, the fact that you went the extra mile to design it, pick it up, and physically make sure it ended up on someone’s doorstep means a lot more than throwing someone into a tag list on your chosen social media. Keep old friends in the loop and wow close friends with a fun, printed gesture of affection—the benefit will far outweigh the work.
PS—if you need to make one more stride toward simplicity, let us print your address labels, too! Order in-store, or provide instructions with your online card order and we’ll add them manually.
What’s a holiday without ritual?
There’s a reason that, were I to list off names of holidays, I could guess the images that flash through your mind. Turkey for Thanksgiving, a heart with an arrow through it for Valentine’s Day, fireworks for Independence Day, carved pumpkins for Halloween—every celebration includes, necessarily, shared rituals that allow all co-celebrators to connect with the experience in a similar way. Without rituals, a holiday is just another day in which people go about their business, with varying depths of meaning and pleasure but without a common thread. It’s the little things, like a fridge full of cards from loved ones, that give the holiday season the power it has to unite and uplift us.
Beautify the world
Speaking of the “fridge full of cards,” it’s worth noting that sending out a nice looking greeting card is great for simple aesthetic reasons. Almost everyone that receives a slew of cards will find somewhere to set them up as decoration; let their home be brighter with the spirit of the season and add to the display! Who doesn’t want to see the smiling faces of people they love set off in a sharp-looking design?
Rhythm for your legacy
The fun doesn’t end with the year. Keeping copies for yourself can be a wonderful way to punctuate the record you make of yourself and your family. My parents have their Christmas cards from their first ten years of marriage—including limited hand-colored prints—framed and lining the stairway to their basement, and it is a fantastic display. If you’re into capturing the whole year’s experiences (yes, we have great collage templates from which to choose), a box full of your cards will develop over time into a highly-distilled, extremely potent way to look back over your life as it goes on. Start now, reap the benefits forever!
Take time to reflect
Aside from creating an archive, carving out some time to reflect on what parts of your year you want to share and save forever is beneficial in the present moment. Gratitude doesn’t self-generate, after all, and the stress of preparing for the holidays can all-too-easily overshadow the nice things going on. Think of making a card less as work that needs to be done and more as a chance to focus on all the special moments from the year now drawing to a close.
Get great family photos
I was fortunate enough to grow up with a wildly enthusiastic photographer for a dad, so we have no shortage of family portraits. Many folks, however, are not so fortunate. A decade can slip by like no time at all, and as a lab tech, I personally scanned and/or restored the “only photo of [someone] as a child” more often than I would have liked. Holiday cards are a great “obligation” to have, as they can force you to take at least one nice picture as a family each year—something for you and the following generations to treasure.
The moment you take to write out someone’s address (maybe a little note, too) and the moment they take to open your card and look it over are moments, however brief, of direct emotional connection across time and space, unhampered by distraction or the next item on the news feed. It’s those moments of connection that are important to developing a relationship, and for those with whom you’re not extremely close but still care about, it’s a great way to let them know they’re still within your personal universe. One thing this world never gets too much of is love, so why not show it every way you can?
Set your small business apart
All of the above apply equally to a business small enough to have a heart as well as to you and I. If you’ve got a way of mailing your current and/or potential customers, warm well-wishes for the holiday season can be a great way to remind them that your business is made up of real people who are a part of their community as well. Heck, it might even help remind you that your business is just people, doing their best to connect with other people around them! Show your gratitude for past business and encourage everyone to keep it local in the new year.
Thanks for reading, and happy holidays! Sincerely,
Dustin Sigaty & Mike’s Camera, your local camera store