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.

Ideally, I would love to be able to write a note to everyone on my list, but the time spent doing it would take me to next Christmas, and so I have to be content with just signing my cards.

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.


Copyright © 2011 by G. A. Finch, All rights reserved.


  1. Gail,

    Thanks. Your comment validates my sentiments and motivates me to go the extra mile to reach out to my circles. As you point out, relationships must be nurtured and even a small communication has a positive impact. Be well and may your New Year be prosperous.

    G. A.


  2. G.A.,

    I believe that reaching out — electronically or through the mail — to those who have made a difference to you is important. Relationships can’t be taken for granted, and your card sits proudly on my window sill.

    May the New Year bring you all that you need to be happy.



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