This LA Times article via the National Greeting Card Association website made me think about the role greeting cards play during the holidays. Apparently, like other first-class mail, holiday greeting cards have been experiencing a steady decline since the mid 90s. The greeting card industry sold about 2.7 billion cards during the 1995 holiday season and expects to sell 1.5 billion during 2011’s holiday season.
This precipitous decline made me wonder if the 1.5 billion includes photo cards made on web-based photo services like Kodak, Snapfish or Shutterfly. I have noticed more and more folks are sending these types of “cards.” And, though it doesn’t help the greeting card makers, there are still lots of us who make our own cards each year.
But whether they are store-bought cards, photo cards or homemade, I think sending physical cards is a great way to connect via snail mail at least once a year with people who are special to you. A snapshot of opinions in Milwaukee suggests the feeling is mutual. Online cards just aren’t the same.
What type of cards do you send? Readymade, family photo, or homemade? I’m doing a hybrid this year: homemade with a photo! Do you receive e-cards from friends and family? What do you think about this option vs. getting some mailbox happiness?
However you connect, I hope you are connecting this season. It gets dark early, we’re all rushing around, many of us are fighting colds. It’s important to remember that we need to take the time to stop and reach out to important people in our lives as another year comes to an end. Thank them for being in your lives and let them know you look forward to more adventures in 2012!