Are Christmas cards becoming a social Blunder?
by FFE EU News Staff
As Christmas swings by, greeting cards are once again hitting the sales charts. But does their popularity make them lose their sense of purpose? Here are some reasons why Christmas cards may be a social pitfall:
1. Bulk purchases. Buying identical postcards for friends means letting them see each others’ cards in mantelpieces. But author Simon Garfield still assures the public that identical cards are not a problem since they were sent ‘absolutely in the Christmas spirit.’
2. Round robins. Round robin letters are usually sent with greeting cards and present opportunity for parents to boast about their successes. Most receivers are either too familiar with the sender to appreciate the gesture or just don’t care enough, leading round robin letters to become sort of a seasonal joke.
3. Additional expense. In the UK, the prices of Christmas cards are rising. Buying one card may not seem pricey, but purchasing in bulk can add up the numbers. The solution? Turn to modern means like the internet or trim the list of receivers down.
4. Dated. Speaking of technology, greeting cards have become a remnant of the past and are seen as ‘old fashioned.’ However, the cards remain a part of the tradition.
5. Religious sensitivity. Will non-Christians receiving Christmas cards with nativity scenes find the gesture inappropriate? While our modern sense of religious sensitivity has opened our eyes on the dos and don’ts of interacting with people of other religions, many still hold to the idea that cards are all about love and not exactly the Christian faith.
6. Revealing addresses. In an age where technology has allowed us to chat online and identity theft is so easy to accomplish, many people find asking for addresses an intrusion to personal information. Not everyone find it easy to part with addresses, so expect only those closest to you to reveal their address.
7. Emails as an alternative. Emails are fast, easy to accomplish and comes free. However, Garfield says ‘The worst cards are the electronic ones.’ This is because spamming is also easy to do, and this is a definite no-no in the netiquette book.
8. Cards inseparable from presents. Presents almost always come with cards and act like handshakes or a kiss hello. They carry salutations and wishes that come with the gifts exchanged, making them less of a monetary expense and more of a heartfelt gesture.
9. Generic messages. Cards with the usual ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’ greetings printed on often takes the fun out of the gesture. Not only are they generic, they are also depressing to look at. The solution is to fill in the space with a personal message that will add a festive mood to the card.
10. More cards mean more trees. The paper used to make the cards come from trees, and there are people who worry that greeting cards are not environment-friendly. But the Greeting Card Association said that there are cards made of recycled materials and alert buyers to be more ‘careful and not wasteful’ when they make their purchases.