Thursday, 15 December 2011

Rethinking Greeting Cards

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In my guest for ultimate awesomeness, I've compiled some helpful tips for making my holidays fun, cheap, eco-friendly, and less stressful. My first post was about gift-giving, this is the second part of the series.

Image by tengrrl
I think the point of the greeting card is to reconnect with each other and, in this time of little sunlight, make us feel a bit brighter. Still, I don't often send holiday cards. Actually, I haven't sent them since I moved out of my Mom's house. I'm not a scrooge, I just don't do it.

Now, I've gotten some really nice store-bought cards in my day, some that have really suited me and some that are written beautifully. But, since I recently read that the number of greeting cards trashed each year is some number far too large to be reasonable, I thought I'd think of some alternatives for this and other times of the year. These are some solutions I'll use for spreading the cheer, having fun, saving money, and paper.


Part 2: Rethinking Greeting Cards

First-Pare down the list. Before you begin, ask yourself who you really want to send the message to. Selected friends? Coworkers? Distant family? Parents? Lover? Customers? Once you've got your list, you'll be able to figure out what will work from you to them. Sometimes buying a card (especially one as awesome as the one above) is the way to go and sometimes it's not. You don't have to put the same amount or type of effort in for everyone, so do what feels right. 
Ready? Go!

  • Send them out again and finally say goodbye to the pile of old cards- If you can't quite bring yourself to throw them out, why not reuse them? One of my aunts cuts the front off an old greeting card and writes on the back of it, post-card style. Pretty smart if you want to post something eco and wallet friendly. 
Image by Becky F
  • Make it- This is just kind of fun. I tend to make silly collages and drawings with my sisters. They are not only a good time to make, but require minimal materials, and look great on the wall.  Some of my other dear ones do this too and these cards always get space next to the photos I hang up. 

  • Do it virtually- Some say it's too impersonal, but I think it depends on how you do it. It could be an email, an e-card (my Mom is famous for hers), a tweet, whatever you like, and be anything from stating the obvious greeting to saying something really nice (and true) about the person. If you're graphically inclined, you might also find, make, or scan a photo or image that really fits the person and send it with a note. They may appreciate a new background for their digital desktop and they can print the image out if they really want to.
Photo by Muffet
  • Write it - If you're going to send a tangible object, why not make it personal. Instead of a short, generic message on the inside of a glittery card, why not write a letter or poem? It could be on a traditional card, but note paper will work too. Imagine many years from now, you or a relative pulling out an old letter from a trunk or photo-album. They hold it up to the light and see the age-worn page covered in handwritten prose about your importance to a loved-one. Now that's nice.
  • Say it too my face (or voice)-Sometimes a phone call, or coffee might be all you need, no postage. Spending time with a person you don't see often will shake up the routine and be nice for both of you. After all the greeting is, hopefully, about the connection. 

Sometimes buying a card is the way to go and sometimes it's not. It really depends on what you want and can do. I think I'll take a little from each of these ideas and not worry about getting them all done before Christmas (some letters, emails, and collages now, get-togethers when everyone's schedule's a bit easier).

Giving is also about you; don't stress yourself out.



Do you have other ways you like to send cheer for holidays, birthdays, etc.?  Leave a comment, I'd love to hear about it. 

Don't forget to subscribe to stay up to date with the next installment of this holiday series and more posts. Up Next: Holiday Dinner, Asking for Help, and more.

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