Where Is My Printed Christmas Card?

By | December 27, 2014

The number of Christmas cards I receive every year is going down, even as the number of e-cards and social media holiday greetings goes up. So it is at this time of year that the value of print vs. e-media is particularly acute.

When I receive an email card, I appreciate that I was on the email list, that whoever it was cared enough to include me in their contacts, but unless it’s a personal friend or family member, I rarely open it. It’s not personal, even if it’s personalized. It’s a contact list with personalization by check box. While I appreciate being included, I appreciate it for what it is.

When I receive a social media greeting, there is still some level of appreciation for the effort, but it’s less than email.

When I get a Christmas card, however, it’s a different story. I open it, read it, and set it up along the knee wall between the kitchen and the living room. There is often a handwritten signature, and even if there is not, the person or company went to the expense of printing the card and mailing it. There is a higher level of value. There is also pure beauty in these cards. The richness of the colors. The texture of the paper. The tasteful accents with gold foil. There in my kitchen, where I spend a lot of my time, I look at those beautiful pieces of art all season long — and remember which friends, family members, businesses, or clients gave them to me.

With email, there is a moment of appreciation. With print, that appreciation (and for B2B marketers, the branding and competitive differentiation that goes with it) lasts for months.

Print still matters. In this increasingly electronic world, it matters all the more.

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3 thoughts on “Where Is My Printed Christmas Card?

  1. Laurens

    You forgot to mention how many cards you bought yourself to send around. You can only be considered a print ambassador if you send more cards than you receive 🙂

  2. Heidi Tolliver-Walker

    Hmmm . . . I bought two packs of cards produced by a local Christian school featuring the students’ Christmas artwork (which I assume was short run printed on a digital press), but I never actually got around to mailing them, so does that count? I suppose it does because I supported the printing industry, but by not mailing them, I didn’t do my part of offset the USPS’ financial woes. Does that indirectly undermine my support of print? Oh, it get so complicated!

  3. Linda

    I must confess that I sent over 150 REAL Christmas cards this year. I address each envelope by hand–no labels for this girl–and write a short note to each recipient. I LOVE doing this…only wish it did not cost quite so much. I also must admit that I am a smidge disappointed when I receive a card in return (especially from those faraway friends) and there is no note…just the signature.

    What do I do with all of these beautiful cards? I put them on my dining room table and cover them with a see-through plastic tablecloth so my family can enjoy looking at them for the month or so that we are celebrating the holidays.

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