I just looked through over 60 holiday cards. Many were unsigned by a human hand. Some had the entire staff’s signatures. A few had short, nearly unreadable notes from the sender.
Truth is, these cards annoy me.
- I don’t celebrate Christmas. Nothing says, “I don’t really know you very well” like sending me a Christmas card.
- Even more dulling, there’s nothing new or joyous or novel about 98.3% of these cards. (Lorie Vincent, your amazing card and gift were the exception.)
My guess? Most Senders feels obligated to purchase and send holiday cards. I in turn feel obligated to open and read them. And then I get worked-up, and before you know it, I’m blogging about this hollow holiday tradition!
What if - instead of participating in this empty end-of-year charade - we abandoned it? We could replace it with acts of sincere gratitude and generosity when it’s more appropriate.
- Every year, my insurance agent calls me on my birthday to say “Happy Birthday.” At first, it seemed a little weird, but now I sort of look forward to it. It shows he’s paying attention.
- Once, Jennifer Alexander (President of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce ) mailed me a personalized note along with a clipping of a local article I was in. Yes, this feels a little like something my mom would do, but I really appreciated her thoughtfulness. She’s a busy lady; she didn’t have to do it, but she took the time to do it.
- I just emailed a long-lost acquaintance after I read a great article he’d written in a professional trade magazine. (Nice job, Burt!)
If you had the choice between receiving only thoughtful notes any time of the year or receiving dozens of impersonal cards one time of the year, which would you choose?
I’m going with “A,” thank you very much.