I finally sent my holiday cards last week. Despite my law firm’s new sophisticated contact system, ContactEase, my getting my holiday cards out has only gotten slightly easier and a little less time consuming.
Every year I face the same questions: Who should get a card? Does it matter? Will my card even be noticed in the flood of holiday mail? Is the time spent justified? Is the cost justified? Am I forgetting somebody? Am I killing a tree or two to create the paper greeting cards and envelopes? Should I use electronic greeting cards?
I still come down on the side that the time and expense of sending cards are worth it. It is, indeed, a pain in the neck keeping addresses current. I would guess that every year there is a 15% change in addresses arising from job changes, residential moves, and, sadly, from death. Invariably, I will forget to include someone who should be on my list. I am sure most of my cards get buried in the crush of holiday mail, but I do get a couple of people who will mention they got my card or will email me that they did and that they appreciate the recognition. I appreciate their acknowledgement and it makes my efforts feel worthwhile.
My main purpose for sending out cards on my business mailing list is to let people know that I am thinking of them and to stay in touch, even if it is just once a year. A physical card is a more concrete, satisfying way to reach out to someone rather than a global broadcast of an update on Facebook or LinkedIn or an email blast.
I do not mind receiving electronic holiday cards as some of them can be quite clever and artistic. I might even start sending them myself one day.
Is it mandatory for an executive or professional to send out holiday cards? It is a nice touch, but not necessary. People will certainly remember if and how well you did something for them more than the fact that you sent them a holiday card. A card is neither the cake nor the icing, but a nice sprinkle on the icing.
If you did not receive a holiday card from me this year and you thought you should, please pardon me and accept this post as my heartfelt holiday greeting to you and yours.