The holidays are often equated with hustle and bustle, a never-ending to-do list, and whether or not we like to admit it: stress.
Let’s start with the food preparations. We’ve got busy grocery stores, ingredients that are out of stock (you can find us googling “what is a substitute for baking soda?”), and inevitability… ingredients you forget the first time around and have to make another trip. Forget it if you live in a cold, windy climate. Your car doesn’t warm up during your commute, the store is freezing, yet you’re somehow still sweating in your coat? No thanks.
Then there’s your gift list. Who do you slash and who gets a gift? It seems a new person or two is added every. single. day. of the holiday season. There’s the “Oh shoot! They got me a gift last year” and “I should probably get them at least a little something…”. It can be never-ending. Don’t get us started on the people who give a gift and catch you totally off guard that you made their list. It thrusts you into a mad scramble to find something to reciprocate (all without it being awkward). Oof.
After untangling a ball of tinsel and wrestling the light-up deer in the front yard, there’s the highly-procrastinated task of sending Christmas cards.
Let us set the scene of the ghosts of Christmas’ past. You’re sitting at a kitchen table at 10 pm. You’re struggling to stay awake through hand cramps and continuous envelope licking. You consider the sad reality: these Christmas cards might wind up in the trash by mid-January. Your train of thought then considers the sustainability of Christmas cards. Even so, you sheepishly power on.
We’ll leave the stress management of the decorations and food prep to the (other) experts, but personalized gifts and cards your people will love? Well, that’s our cue.
Enter Greetabl on stage right. We have endless holiday gifting resources, from nailing corporate holiday gifts to all the details on gift personalization. Whether you need advice on a gift for one or for a thousand, we invite you to explore our resources. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always live chat with our gifting experts directly on our website.
The next tradition to tackle: holiday cards. Team Greetabl has some new ideas to bring to the table. As we collectively create new traditions for the 2020 holidays, it is important to reevaluate the long-standing customs accepted as “just what we do”. We mindlessly complete these “must-do” tasks, only to hurry (and stress!) our way through the motions.
Instead of sending out mass Christmas cards, either handwritten or brought to you by Shutterfly, we’re proposing a new strategy. Let’s make this holiday tradition fewer but better. 2020 will be known for a lot, but it can also be known as the year of simpler things.
On the flip side, we know 2020 has left much to be desired in the realm of connection to your people. Especially in this circumstance, there’s going to be many people you’d like to touch base with during this holiday season, now more than ever.
But deep down, is this tradition of sending Christmas cards to distant people really cultivating the connection you’re so desperately missing? As we invite you to reconsider the auto-pilot traditions of the season, consider these 6 simple steps to generate a meaningful holiday connection:
1. Make a List, Check it Twice
Looking at 2019’s holiday card recipients, we’d like you to ask yourself a few questions. Are there people you send Christmas cards to that you don’t even wish a happy birthday? If you’re like us, yes. So then, is sending a Christmas card the move? Or should you connect with that person another way?
We can think of countless years we’ve filled out the address lines of our recipients, only to think, “Ugh, I really should call them!”. And unfortunately, we never do.
We recommend focusing on a smaller group of people who are present in your life. This allows you to leverage the thought of “fewer but better”, and start to see other areas of the holidays (and your life) that can be simpler.
Unsure who to put on your list? Think of your closest friends and family. Send to the people who you take a yearly vacation with but couldn’t because of COVID. Add those you will not get to see IRL this holiday season. Consider anyone who made a special impact on your year.
2. Upgrade Your Christmas Card
After you’ve created a revamped list, you can brainstorm a better option to send to your people. Greetabl makes it easy to personalize and elevate every card you send. We love this option to replace traditional Christmas cards! Personalized photos make a regular holiday card become sentimental and unique.
If you’re skipping out on professional family photos this year, Greetabl makes it easy to include photos without a photographer. Even one step better: your recipients can tear out the photos you include and display year-round. The personalized photos are not limited to the holidays. (Our hot take: the “Season’s Greetings” messaging on your Shutterfly Christmas card is cute, but it can only be displayed for a few weeks.)
Stuck on what to write inside your Christmas card? Greetabl has a writer’s block resource inside the builder. We leverage this tool for every major occasion and for every moment in between. Additionally, there are countless resources available to help craft the perfect sentiment. We love referring to the experts at Good Housekeeping for their holiday message guide. These ideas range from funny, generic, to sentimental.
3. Skip the Line at USPS
In general, shipping can be a bit of a pain point. That might be the understatement of the year, but we get it. Especially around the holidays, making a trip to the Post Office is high on your dreaded list of tasks.
So, let us do the heavy lifting here. Once your Greetabl gifts are ordered, your part of the job is done. Our fulfillment team hand packs every order in the USA, then passes your shipment off to USPS. You’ll get tracking details on every order you place. Translated: the guesswork and coordination are out of your hands. Think of us as a personal assistant for your relationships. You call the shots; we make it happen.
4. Have Heartfelt Exchanges with Your Recipients
You’ve heard it a million times: it’s better to give than to receive. We are a little biased, but Greetabl makes this statement truly come to life. Not only is building a Greetabl gift a fun process, but the reactions from your people are the part that shines. With a traditional Christmas card, you’re likely not going to get a call or text to thank you for the mail. But with Greetabl? Recipients are so touched by receiving a Greetabl gift in the mail, they’re eager to show their appreciation.
This is more than bragging rights on having the best Christmas cards. Greetabl gifts make for more opportunities to catch up with your people while making them feel special and adored. We need more of that right now. And most of all, we need more people who are willing to make an effort to celebrate others in a big way.
5. Find Alternative Ways to Connect with People Who You Didn’t Make the List
We cannot stress this point enough: we are NOT encouraging you to cut people off from communication. We ARE encouraging you to reconsider your outreach strategy. For alternatives to your mass Christmas card sends, try to implement a mix of the following ideas:
- Schedule a phone call. If there’s an old neighbor you’d like to catch up with, get on the phone. Schedule time in January when the holiday chaos calms down, so you have no excuse but to make time. Follow-through means everything here, people. Don’t be known as the “we should catch up!” person who actually never does. Get something on the calendar and set that in stone. Don’t bail when it gets closer to time because something else came up… hold your commitment!
- Send a text. This might seem basic and impersonal, but an “I am thinking of you and missing X and Y” can go a lot further than we ever realize. It can lead to a quick catch-up, and at least you know a little of what is going on in their lives (vs. with a basic card, not knowing at all).
- Send a voice memo. Okay, but really! We are big fans of sending voice messages around here. It’s more personal, more unique, and more impactful. You don’t have to worry about catching someone at the wrong time as you do with a phone call. You can pass off a voice memo on the fly… because let’s be honest, texting gloves are often great in theory but poor in execution. Hello, grocery shopping and connecting with old friends!
- Download the Marco Polo App. This one takes (minimal) effort on both sides to get off the ground, but we are all for leveraging this app. If you don’t already know, Marco Polo is like a walkie-talkie for video messaging. Your schedules don’t have to sync up, so it’s kind of like Snapchat (but more focused on connection!).
6. Spend Time Showing Gratitude for the Essential People in Your Life
Now that we’ve freed up some of your time (and saved your tongue from a few paper cuts), you can thank the people in your life who made a difference this year. The teacher committed to making virtual learning fun and engaging. The delivery worker who worked long hours to get you what you needed. The employees at your local grocery store who stayed positive through the stress.
Look around, heroes are in your circle everywhere. Their commitment has allowed your life to continue to “happen”, even when everything was put on pause or canceled. Get creative here. Hand-make a card. Order another Greetabl gift or two. Simply say thank you. Small acknowledgments go a long way and you’ll give them the stamina they need to keep going. By the holidays, our essential workers are going to be burnt out from the demands of 2020. Let’s focus on putting our energy into meaningful moments this year, like encouraging these incredible people along the way.