Is the Holiday Card Going Digital?

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Admiring the array of annual Christmas cards and family pictures from loved ones hanging on the refrigerator or bulletin board is a classic holiday staple. But could it soon be a thing of the past to receive holiday cards through the mail?  According to a post by Tennessean.com, holiday card sales are declining slightly, and social media is likely to be a big reason for the change.

The article cites that Americans sent more than 1.8 billion Christmas cards through the mail last year, and the total this year is expected to drop to 1.5 billion. So is it the economy the reason for the decrease or is it social media?

There’s no doubt that social sites, such as Facebook, are changing the way we communicate with loved ones. When it’s easier to keep in touch on a regular basis with others via cell phones, internet and social sites, the need for an annual update or letter about the family becomes less important for many. The question is, will your friends and family see an e-card, e-mail or online message as an acceptable replacement, or will they still be wanting a traditional card to hang on the refrigerator?

“Sending an e-card or a message online can definitely save money on printing costs,” said Chelsea Janke of the Social Media Incubator. “Your loved ones will still be getting the same message or content, and it’s possible to include pictures or a video. There’s nothing wrong with sending a card in the mail, but you can look at an e-card as ‘going green’ by saving paper.”

While Janke still views the conventional card in the mail as a great way to celebrate the holidays and keep in touch with friends and family, she feels that social media will continue to affect the tradition.

What do you think? Is it acceptable to send an e-card for the holidays instead of a card in the mail?

12.22.2010

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