Christmas cards and how not to send them

Charity not cards.

Some people seem to enjoy writing to each other to tell them they are not sending a card but have chosen to donate to charity instead. It is amazing how people have been duped into believing these two things are connected.

You may get a note that says something like this:

‘As Christmas approaches we have decided not to send Cards (all part of our quest to save the environment). Instead we will be sending a donation to help wildlife in Mesopotamia. We do however wish you a Merry Christmas.’

This note is usually accompanied by a badly drawn picture of a Christmas Tree by a 5 year old.

What this note really says is…

‘We really can’t be bothered with all that card writing malarky. So we will donate a few quid to some random charity so that we don’t have to spend hours agonising over them. And we will send out block email to just about everyone we have ever heard of to make them feel guilty and for us to feel better. In the meantime we will still burn our lights 24/7 and print a few rain forests per day with meeting agendas’.

It is amazing how people seem to connect sending money to charity as an excuse for not connecting on a personal level. It is incredibly easy to do both things. If you are not sending a card, then simply don’t send a card.

 The office signing ceremony

So someone buys or orders some nice office Christmas cards. They pile them up in the office and then begin to circulate them. They land on everyone’s desk in turn for signature. When they first arrive on the desk each person spends minutes or even hours thinking of something witty to say. In the end they write simply ‘Best wishes’ and their name. They sign them all and they pass them on.

Finally they reach the end of the entire office. 173 carefully placed signatures accompany a card featuring a comic santa and startled reindeer. Either that or a picture of some snow.

The next day someone prints labels from the customer database and these are stuck on the cards and mailed out.

The cards land on the desk of the intended recipients. They open it and inside it says

‘The staff of Greenham Electronics wish all our customers a very happy christmas and a prosperous new year’  followed by 173 squiggles. The recipient’s pause a moment and wonder who Greenham Electronics are and indeed who the card was intended for. They put it on a shelf (as the card is at least big and glossy and makes a nice decoration). 

 The email Christmas wishes sales greetings

Some people get confused and forget what Christmas cards are for, They are so used to selling that they can’t stop themselves. So they write messages like this:

Merry Christmas from all At Peabody and Smoke Consulting – Can we take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. Can we also suggest you click here to see our new website. We would be delighted for your feedback.

In which the Christmas message gets mixed in with a bit of random selling.

 The comedy Christmas card

I think the worst card we ever received came from Neil, MD of a web design company we used to work with, He kindly sent a picture of Santa writing the name of our business in the snow. It won’t take much imagination for you to work out the writing instrument; nor will it be a surprise to hear that Neil and his company are a distant memory.

So if you are in business and sending out cards this year. Please don’t treat them as mail shots. Give them a personal touch. Write things and connect with people that matter. Be authentic in your wishes.

 Music In the Office This Week

Well Christmas Music of course and the latest CD we picked up from iTunes is ‘A Very Special Christmas – 65 Festive Tracks’. The great thing about this CD is that there is no sign of the usual songs. It contains tracks by Springsteen, U2, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Run DMC and more. No sign of Cliff or Noddy Holder. naturally it has a couple of dreadful tunes but on balance, a great compilation.