‘Tis the season of spending hours online configuring the perfect holiday card that totally outshines all of the ones that will come through your own mailbox. Oh, and ’tis the season to shell out for said cards, also. So, here’s how to make the most of your dime by making sure everyone appreciates your sentiments.
To Christmas, or not to Christmas
Emily Post, queen of etiquette recommends using non-denominational greetings such as Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, or Happy New Year. This seems to be the new standard and probably best for colleagues, acquaintances, children’s teachers, etc. However, these are your cards, featuring your family photos, purchased by your money. As long as you can swing free shipping (tons of codes are available at Tiny prints, Vistaprint, and more), go ahead and get two versions of your card. One that is conservative in it’s use of denominational themes and one that expresses your family’s sentiment.
You may want to consider an e-card, real card hybrid plan this year. E-cards are a sure way to save money, plus they’re greener. And, with an e-card, the sky is the limit! Go ahead and send a slide show, if you so desire (just realize that some people may simply skip the slide show). However, you can’t exclude people who don’t regularly check email. Send dear old Aunt Sally a real card. And maybe you just go with an old-fashioned folded card instead of the fancy photo cards.
You may disappoint those who love to display their holiday cards. After all, if you’ve spent the time to create the greeting card, you should certainly allow people to display it, rather than fall away into the vast depths of cyber space.
Apostrophes show ownership. Saying, “Love, the Smiths” does not show ownership. The rules are:
Love, the Murphys
Love, the Joneses
Love, the Manns
Note: There is no apostrophe to speak of.
If you have the cards to spare, it’s a really nice idea to give cards to your neighbors, regardless of how close you all are. At the end of the day, you are neighbors and it’s just nice to make an effort to remind one another that you are there; just around the corner in fact. Should you need something in the future, at least you sent a card.
The Unreciprocated Card
You’ve been sent a card and were not planning to send them a card. Now, if you send a card, it is clearly only because they sent you one. This is a perfunctory card. You should not feel obligated to send your card to people. Sending the obligation card defeats the purpose of the card. If you were not planning on sending, or don’t have them to spare (because you ordered the bare minimum because who needs all these December expenses???), a simple phone call to acknowledge the gesture is more effective than a passive greeting card. Now, you’ve made actual contact with these people and hey, isn’t the point to stay in touch?