Christmas Cards or Mass E-mailed Newsletters?

Waiting behind two other vehicles to drop off the last of my Christmas cards, I noticed that Main Street looked like a Thomas Kinkade painting. Firemen volunteer their time to place wreaths on the old fashion lights and hang banners and garland across the streets each year. These heroes dressed in yellow rain slickers and firemen hats are not too busy to pass out candy canes to children in awe.

“What is taking so long with these cars?” Accustomed to never having to wait in such a small town, I became annoyed with the car ahead of me. “Oh, now what?”

The young woman in the car ahead of me walked toward my truck and asked me to roll down my window. “The boxes are overflowing and so we have to go inside to mail anything. Do you want me to take yours and mail them?”

After handing her my cards and exchanging smiles and Christmas greetings, I was on my way. As I passed the three boxes I noticed white cards sprinkled with red and green stuffed tight into the slot until not one more envelope could fit without being crushed.

How wonderful that Christmas cards are not a lost tradition. It seems I have received as many, if not more, cards than before this year. In an informal poll on Facebook, 49 out of 50 responders declared they send and like to receive actual Christmas cards instead of those mass Christmas newsletter emails.

Hooray! Christmas cards take some thought about the person you are sending them to. Every card I have received has at least one handwritten sentence or phrase acknowledging and greeting me or my family. It is addressed just to my home. I am more than a “send to all” button.

OK, you may be thinking you don’t have time to send cards. Well, if you must e-mail a Christmas newsletter, there is some etiquette that can be adhered to so that it is more of a true Christmas greeting and the reader may actually enjoy getting them from you each year.

  1. Keep it concise; no more than a couple of paragraphs.
  2. No mass “send to all.” Once you have the main newsletter written, save it and then e-mail it individually (not mass “send to all”) with at least one sentence written directly to them. Actually acknowledge who you are sending it to and wish them a blessed Christmas.
  3. Cut and paste. Your family and close friends already know what happened to your family throughout the year. It is impersonal and a bit insulting to send them a rehash of it all as if you were never present in their life.
  4. Write for the reason of your family’s blessings and Christmas. That is Christ! Give Him the honor of being the center of your letter. Otherwise, do not send your newsletter at Christmas, but another date such as on your birthday or New Years. Last year I received one newsletter on Martin Luther King’s birthday. The senders did not acknowledge Christmas or Christ, so I was glad it was not meant to be for Christmas.
  5. Above all, send your email because you have a heart for the recipient and for Christ. Push a prideful heart aside and fill it, and your letter, full of good tidings at Christmas.


Roxie said...

YES! It is about time someone said what most of us are thinking.

Mary said...

I agree. I prefer Christmas cards.

Anonymous said...

Christmas cards, not e-mail!

Emily said...

If people are too busy to know the person they are sending the email to, I would rather not get nothing at all. I do NOT like the newsletters whether in an e-mail or sent on a piece of paper.

Karla said...

Christams is the only time that I can't wait to get my mail. I love Christmas cards.

Casey said...

Very helpful guidelines. Thanks. ps...I enjoy your paintings.