So this year I sent my first batch of Christmas E-CARDS. Christmas e-cards are a ‘thing’.
You might remember I wrote about my research into the current e-card options earlier in the year - whether to go paper or paperless - but I had never actually sent any.
Then a few weeks before Christmas my husband revealed he’d booked us a trip to the Christmas markets in Berlin as a treat. Yay! It was in that moment that I realised I would never be able to get everything done, and that in fact, something had to give. The cards.
A bit flustered and almost out of time to send traditional through-the-post cards to friends and family anyway - especially those living abroad (definitely those living abroad), I decided it was the perfect time to give e-cards a go
Full disclosure - I had some ‘credit’ at Paperless Post due to having featured many of their cards in my earlier post, so with an account all set up and ready to go, it was the easiest option. And it was actually really easy.
You don’t need instructions because once you click on a card, the options just present themselves and you progress through them choosing things like the colour of the envelope and liner, the font and size of your message, and whether you want a background or not. You even get to change the stamp to show postage in your home country - impressive - though I didn’t do it myself (because, time).
I chose this lovely ‘Christmas Square’ scene of skaters in the snow, with a backdrop of foliage and berries. What do you think? I’m always drawn to this kind of vintage-nostalgic image.
You have the option of sending yourself a ‘test’ version of your design to see how it all looks and to make sure you’re happy with it. I found the process so quick I wanted to make sure I had actually created a personalised card, but I had. Simple.
Then came the hard part: who did I want to send it to and did I have their email addresses?
You can upload email addresses in bulk in various different formats which would be handy for next time or for those more organised than me. I did it line by line and sent 10 cards initially to test out the process.
What I found particularly heartening is a ‘reply’ function that appears automatically, so the recipient can send you a message back. You never normally hear back from sending someone a card (especially to friends and family you hardly see or speak to IRL), so this added an unexpected interactive element to the whole thing which was a pleasant surprise. Who said e-cards are impersonal?
in summary, I would say e-cards are set to become increasingly popular as people lead busier lives and live a more global/nomadic lifestyle. I did feel a nice warm glow from having done something, rather than giving in and doing nothing due to lack of time and missed posting dates; I connected with family members in Dubai and Cape Town, as well as friends down the road. I will definitely do this again. One friend even messaged to say she loved the eco-credentials of my e-card - another fab bonus. Just remember: you’re still only as good as your (email) address book.
So although I saw another friend post on social media that her collection of Christmas cards makes Christmas special - the reliving of special memories while she is writing to a particular person, as well as the joy of receiving cards back, sometimes a trip to Berlin beckons. Maybe I could put this on an e-card?
PS. In the last few years I’ve noticed ‘New Year’ cards becoming a ‘thing’. I’ve only ever sent one to my Mum, because, well because she’s my Mum and I saw the most beautiful card one year that I knew she would love (she did). But it’s not something I want to start with everyone - double the December workload and all that, but I just checked, and there is a whole section for New Year cards. It’s not too late!