Making a Christmas card might feel like a burden sometimes, but it doesn't have to be! Here are some Christmas card alternatives-- from sending a digital card, to foregoing the tradition altogether from Amelia Peck, LMFT.
Each year I feel so much pressure to send out cards ever Christmas from my family and in-laws. With all the cards we receive from others, I worry about the message I'm sending if I don’t reciprocate the gesture. But this year our budget is so tight, I just can’t justify spending that money on holiday cards. Especially when I think that in a few weeks they’ll be in someone’s trash can anyway. I feel like I’m being cheap, but what are my options? -- Merry Obligated
Seasons Greetings, Merry!
There is a difference between being cheap and being smart. Choose wisely. You are right, there are many Holiday and Christmas Cards that end up in people’s trash cans. Sure, they look cute on someone’s card-holder for a few weeks, maybe even into the new year. But after Christmas, there isn’t much use for them long term. I know there are some people who might keep them, but probably not on display.
If your obligation gets the best of you, there are often deals on sites like groupon.com and similar sites that offer discounted card packs that you can personalize with photos that may be more cost-effective for your Christmas wishes. Also, be on the lookout for coupons to other popular sites that often have special Christmas deals you can get access to if you are on their email lists.
Trim down your recipient list. Your 300 closest friends do not need a Christmas Card from you. Sometimes, a good rule of thumb is family and people you’ve actually been in contact with this past year as a baseline for a card count.
Has there been a big event in your family this year? You could double your birth announcement or wedding save-the-date with your holiday card and get more bang for your buck! What’s worse than sending out over a hundred cards once a year? Having to do it twice a year! Sorry if that sounds a little cynical, but it is almost 2020 and a lot of traditional things don’t have to be so traditional anymore. Embrace it!
You could also go the much more cost-effective route of creating a digital Christmas card, or eCard. Printed Christmas Cards can easily cost over $150. Then you have to address the cards (yes I know the printer can do that for you, but that’s often an additional cost), get stamps, and the whole thing can become more of a task than a fun project.
My family took the eCard route last year, and honestly, I may never go back! Here is why I love that we now go the digital Christmas card path.
It’s not that I dislike getting people’s Christmas cards in the mail (don’t take me off your list!). I love hanging them up in our home. They become part of our decorations. All I’m saying is that there are options if this isn’t the best year for you to send out Christmas Cards. For those family members or in-laws who claim they rely on the Christmas card for updated photos of the children, it is probably cheaper to get them a cute photo of your kids framed for them. Then you have given them a nice keepsake and taken care of a Christmas gift for the season!
Don’t let feeling obligated to meet the expectations of others hurt your Christmas joy this season or your wallet! You will feel much better come 2020 if you make cuts where you can and live well where you must!