Each November, we all are getting ready for the holidays. We plan what we need to buy and determine what goodies we plan to bake.
The holiday decorations get pulled out storage, dusted off, and put on display. The music begins to play on the radio and you are in the holiday spirit.
Then, it hits you. You need to do your holiday cards! UGH!
You start to think about them and begin to weigh your options – traditional cards you pop in the mail or digital cards. Which should you do this year?
The difference between traditional and digital Christmas cards
The traditional Christmas card is the one you purchase at your local store. Or they could be the custom cards you order from sites such as Shutterfly or TinyPrints.
No matter where you find them, you need to sign, address and put a stamp on them. Then, they need to be dropped in the mailbox. (Some places where you can make custom cards will do all this for you — but of course there’s a fee.)
Digital cards, however, are much different. You can still personalize them. But rather than having cards in your hand, you will email copies to the people in your contacts list.
Why are more people sending digital Christmas cards?
We live in a crazy, busy world. And, the traditional cards take more time to buy, write and mail. Not only that, but they also cost more.
Digital holiday cards are a quick and easy way to send holiday wishes — but before you click and sign up, it is important to know if they are a fit for you.
The pros of sending digital Christmas cards
More and more people are moving toward using cards they email rather than paper copies for many reasons.
If you are into saving money, digital is the way to go. You can find cards for as little as $0.10 a person (and it goes up from there). A traditional card will cost nearly $0.50 alone, just for the postage.
Easier to send
Rather than track down everyone’s mailing address (or worry that someone moved and you don’t have their latest), you can use your contacts list.
There is much less worry that the card will not be delivered to the intended recipient.
When the holidays end and the decorations are taken down, the cards go too. And, they end up in the trash.
Even if they are made from recycled materials and you, in turn, recycle them, there is still waste.
Yes, a digital card will also have a carbon footprint, but it is much less than the paper card.
Can be more fun
Sites such as JibJab allow you to make an animated, custom card, complete with photos of the members of your family. It can be a creative way to send a card.
The cons of using digital Christmas cards
There are some downsides to sending electronic cards, of course.
When you send a holiday card, you sign it. That alone makes it seem much more personal.
Your signature on a digital card is typed, not handwritten.
Can be overlooked
Think about your inbox. During the holidays, it is filled with offers and discounts. It is easy to overlook the emails that you want to read.
So is the case with e-cards. They can end up lost in a sea of emails. Or worse, end up in the junk or spam folder.
How to save money sending Christmas cards
You may not be quite ready to pull the trigger on going digital. However, it doesn’t mean aren’t some other affordable options for you!
There is no reason to have to send a card tucked inside an envelope. Use a site such as Canva and make a fun postcard! You can have a personalized message typed on the back of each.
And, the cost for a postcard stamp is much less – which keeps more money in your pocket!
Buy in bulk
Visit your local warehouse and find a large box of cards at a price you can afford.
Write a quick message in each, and you’ve got a card ready to send the people on your list.
Buy them on Black Friday
Watch the sales flyers around Thanksgiving as there will be some hot deals on cards! Many stores will offer deep discounts.
Buy in advance each year
Make plans to shop the post-holiday sales. You’ll find all items discounted – including cards. Buy next year’s stash and get some serious savings.
Cut back the list
As time goes on, so do your connections to people. If you haven’t heard or spoken to people in more than five years, it may time to cut them from your Christmas card list.
Hand deliver cards
Sure, dropping the card in the mail is easier, but if you are going to see someone on your list anyway, why not deliver it in person? You save the cost of the stamp and it is even more personal.
Stop sending them
If money is really tight, don’t feel obligated to send any Christmas cards at all. You may have to skip them this year but can always start up again next year.
— By Tracie Fobes