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Holiday handmade cards are priceless

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POSTED December 23, 2008 12:48 a.m.
I’ll probably be the last one sending Christmas cards via snail mail.
And that’s okay with me. That’s one tradition I’m determined to keep. Even when all my family and friends eventually jump into the electronic bandwagon and start e-mailing me Christmas greetings, I will still continue entrusting my greeting cards to the United States Postal Service which has always been reliable to me. They personally deliver your cards to their intended recipients in one piece and, with perhaps a few exceptions, in the same condition as when you dropped them in the mail with no extra charge for that personal service. And all that for just 42 cents, the cost of a stamp.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy and truly appreciate receiving messages of peace and love and Christmas blessings because they tell me someone was thinking of me. It’s the thought that counts. And as trite as that old saying sounds, that is what truly matters. Because what that really means is that someone cared enough to take time out of their hectic schedule, dropped whatever important task or errand they needed to do at work or at home with family and loved ones and created a message to touch your heart, maybe even typed those sentiments slowly with one or two fingers, to let you know that you are special, you are thought of, and you are loved. Double or triple the value of those efforts when a photograph or art work is attached to the e-greeting.
By the way, the latest in electronic greetings is the video e-cards, according to a recent promo e-mail I received today. Really, with the explosion of digital images, could video be that far behind? It’s here now.
“If you haven’t found the time to send your holiday cards, video holiday cards offer a fast, green and budget-friendly alternative to the print variety,” touts the press release sent on behalf of Mitch Fournier, founder of Sharenik, described as a video-sharing web site.
“Instead of seeing a picture of your nieces and nephews posed in front of a tree, you can now see them wave hello or even sing a song,” the promo goes on to say.
This virtual holiday card is even capable of including 15 videos or photos, instead of just one print, along with “the ability to send your card up to 500 friends.”
Wow, that’s an impressively special person with 500 friends.
The release concludes with Fournier quoted as saying, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million,” but won’t cost that much to send one. In fact, it’s free. And with the typical cost for creating and mailing a card at $1.50 each, Sharenik says your savings can really add up, the promotional points out.
No arguments there. But old traditions die hard, if they ever do. And they probably never will as long as there will be stubborn people like me who insist on doing things the old-fashioned way. Even if it means the snail’s-pace way.
Yes, I still have to upload my first video on YouTube. But even when that happens, I will never sever my long love affair with the still camera. And I am never going to deprive myself of the fun that can only be derived from the simple pleasures of creating something with your own hands for the special people in your life. I actually look forward to this activity every year — from the planning stage, to creating a new message for the current year, tooling the layout design, working with the photograph with the help of Photoshop, printing the copies on glossy photographic paper, and finally, addressing each card with the names of the people clearly written on each card and envelope. That way, the recipients know for sure that the greeting is specifically for them and is being sent with them in mind. I’ve seen some cards, especially the mass-produced ones that come from businesses, where the message is not addressed to anybody in particular, leaving you to wonder, was this meant to be sent to me?
Yes, Sharenik says the estimated $1.50 savings for each printed card mailed add up. But what that statement does not factor in is the personal touch, each caring hand print that leaves its invisible mark on the card, and the heart-warming thoughts that went into the making and sending of that special snail-mail greeting. The total cost to all that, to me, is priceless.
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