Every November we all prepare for the holidays. We plan what to buy and determine what goodies we want to bake.
The Christmas decorations are pulled out, dusted and displayed. The music starts playing on the radio and you are in the holiday spirit.
Then it hits you. You have to make your Christmas cards! POOH!
You start to think about them and weigh your options – traditional cards you pocket in the mail or digital cards. What should you do this year?
The difference between traditional and digital Christmas cards
You can buy the traditional Christmas card at your local shop. Or it can be the custom cards that you order on sites like Shutterfly or TinyPrints.
No matter where you find them, you have to sign them, address them and stamp them. Then they have to be placed in the mailbox. (Some places where you can make custom maps will do all of this for you – but there is a fee, of course.)
However, digital maps are very different. You can still personalize them. Instead of having cards in hand, email copies to the people on your contact list.
Why are more people sending digital Christmas cards?
We live in a crazy, busy world. And the traditional cards take more time to buy, write, and mail. Not only that, but they also cost more.
Digital Christmas cards are a quick and easy way to send holiday wishes. However, before you click and sign up, it’s important to know if they are right for you.
The pros at sending digital Christmas cards
More and more people are turning to e-mail cards rather than hard copies for many reasons.
If you want to save money, digital is the way to go. You can find cards for just $ 0.10 per person (and it goes up from there). A traditional card costs almost $ 0.50 for postage alone.
Easier to ship
Instead of trying to find everyone’s mailing address (or worrying someone has moved and you don’t have the latest address), you can use your contact list.
There is much less concern that the card will not be delivered to the intended recipient.
When the holidays end and the decorations are removed, so will the cards. And they end up in the trash.
Even if they are made from recycled materials and you recycle them, there is still waste.
Yes, a digital map also has a carbon footprint, but it is much smaller than the paper map.
Can be more fun
Sites like JibJab allow you to create an animated, custom card with photos of your family members. It can be a creative way to send a card.
The disadvantages of using digital Christmas cards
Of course, sending electronic cards has some disadvantages.
If you send a Christmas card, sign it. That alone makes it seem a lot more personal.
Your signature on a digital card is typed, not handwritten.
Can be overlooked
Think about your inbox. During the holidays, it is filled with offers and discounts. It’s easy to miss the emails you want to read.
It is the same with e-cards. You can get lost in a sea of email. Or worse, you end up in the junk or spam folder.
This will save you money when sending Christmas cards
You may not be quite ready to pull the shutter while working digitally. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have other affordable options!
There’s no need to mail a card in an envelope. Use a website like Canva and make a fun postcard! You can enter a personalized message on the back of each.
And the cost of a postcard stamp is much lower – which keeps more money in your pocket!
Buy in bulk
Visit your local warehouse and find a large box of cards at a price you can afford.
Write a short message at a time and you’ll have a card ready to send the people on your list.
Buy them on Black Friday
Check out the Thanksgiving sales flyers as there are some special offers on cards! Many stores offer deep discounts.
Buy in advance every year
Make plans to shop for the post-holiday sales. You can find all discounted items – including cards. Buy next year’s stock and make serious savings.
Cut back the list
Over time, so will your connections with people. If you haven’t heard or spoken to people in over five years, it may be time to cross them off your Christmas card list.
Hand deliver cards
Sure, dropping the card in the mail is easier, but if you still see someone on your list, why not deliver it in person? You save the cost of the stamp and it is even more personal.
Stop sending them
If money is really tight, don’t feel obliged to send out Christmas cards in the first place. You may have to skip them this year, but you can always start over again next year.
– – From Tracie Fobes