A few weeks ago, I went to buy a few boxes of Christmas cards for a relative. As I strolled the Walgreen’s aisle, searching for the appropriate ones, I was surprised at the variety and selection that was there. I couldn’t help wondering in the age of online greeting cards, digital cameras and the Internet, who sends paper cards for the holidays anymore?
According to greetingcard.org, 2 billion boxed and individual Christmas and holiday cards are sold in the U.S. annually. They are the most popular of the seasonal cards and account for a whopping 60% of sales. That’s a lot of cards.
Each year, I receive about 20 cards from relatives and friends, and I love getting them. Cards typically reflect the tastes of the sender and I find it interesting to see how my friends’ tastes have changed over the years, whose greeting is to the point or whose needs the blank side.
My taste runs from artsy to irreverent and fun and my favorite place to find those kinds of cards is at the gift shop at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Some I love so much, I hate to part with them. As a result, my stash currently numbers between thirty and forty.
What do you do with your cards at the end of the season?
At the end of December when I’m taking down the Christmas decorations I also put away the cards I received, usually in large envelopes or empty shoe boxes. Every year, I promise myself to make something with them – collages or scrap books – but so far, I haven’t. I hate the idea of not knowing who sent me what.
Paper or electronic?
Approximately 500 million ecards are sent annually and according to greetingcard.org, their popularity and availability have expanded card sending overall. Ecards are fun and spontaneous and mostly free and if you’re concerned about the environment, they are the perfect alternative to paper.
In years when I haven’t been organized enough to write and mail the cards in time for them to reach their destinations, I think about sending ecards instead. It’d be much simpler and easier, I tell myself. And although I’ve sent ecards for birthdays, I can’t bring myself to do so for Christmas.
Turning ecards into photo cards
If you’re like me and have lots of photographs, consider turning some of them into cards. Shutterfly, Snapfish, Kodak, etc., all have instructions to help you make your photo cards. Here’s one I’d use.