3 Reasons to Stop the Holiday Card Madness

Now that the stress of the Thanksgiving week is past and you’re all caught up on everything you didn’t do that week, it’s time to think about holiday cards!

  • Have you purchased or made unique cards for each of your clients?
  • Including those you did business with earlier in the year but haven’t kept up with?
  • Have you decided which ones warrant a gift basket?
  • Do you know which holiday each recipient celebrates?
  • Have you considered using ethnic Santas to personalize the cards?
  • Have you gathered up addresses for all of the prospects you spoke to this year, as well as everyone who helped you out in some way with advice or a referral?
  • Don’t forget to read all the advice columns on making your cards stand out from the crowd!
  • Did you attach cute little ornaments to the outside of each envelope in a way that complies with USPS guidelines?
  • Are you exhausted yet?

I am. It’s time to stop the holiday card madness. Toward that end, here are 4 reasons NOT to send holiday cards this season, and what to do instead.

4 Reasons NOT to Send Holiday Cards

1. Nobody cares, 2. sometimes they’re annoying, 3. sometimes they’re sweet but still nobody cares, and 4. you’re driving yourself nuts.

Look, everybody is overwhelmed this season. It’s not just you, it’s your clients, too. And they’re already getting cards from everyone else. If you have a close, warm, friendly relationship and your card says something meaningful, the recipient might gaze fondly at it for a minute and maybe email you a quick note to say how much they appreciate it. Then they’ll feel slightly guilty because they didn’t send you anything and then they will go back to work.

On the other hand, if your recipient is not a warm, close, personal relationship, then they’re likely to feel annoyed at having their mailbox stuffed full of cynical cards from people who clearly only want to sell them stuff and are using the holiday as an excuse to stay in touch. Gag me.

Meanwhile, you’re stressed to the gills and worrying about getting your holiday cards right instead of focusing on how you can take better care of your clients and yourself in the new year. So skip it already, and skip the guilt. Seriously, nobody cares.

What To Do Instead of Holiday Cards

But, but but….. I’ve taken all the sales trainings. I know this is going to stick in some craws. You’re SUPPOSED to send cards. It’s all about the relationship! It’s about celebrating a great year together! Yes yes yes, I get it. I know. Go ahead and yell at me. Then try this instead.

While everyone else is madly running around looking for the perfect holiday cards, go buy yourself some pretty stationery or order monogrammed note cards or just pull out your stash of old cards with pretty designs on them and set them where you can get to them. Treat yourself to a nice pen if you like. But don’t do anything with it yet.

During the time when you would have been addressing envelopes, make yourself cozy and settle in for some annual planning for the new year. While you’re doing that, set aside about half an hour to an hour a month in the new year for writing thank you notes.

When, after the New Year, your monthly thank you note time comes around, pull out your pretty paper and cards, and write some thank you notes with your beautiful pen. Write them to whoever comes to mind. Anyone who has done something nice for you in the past year (or ever), anyone you feel warmly toward, a client who has been great to work with, a prospect you’ve stayed in touch with who gave you some useful advice.

Stay open and write warmly and gratefully. The notes do not have to be long. If you don’t already have the person’s address, you can message them and ask for it.

When they get your heartfelt, handwritten, personal note of gratitude, watch the fireworks erupt. Odds are, some of the people you write to have never received such a beautiful letter. Many of them will want to know how they can help you. Others will be moved to introduce you to someone. In every case, you’ll have done something lovely for yourself and another human being, and you get to feel really great about that.

Less stress, more benefit? Sign up for it. Have fun. And, uh, I better say happy holidays here because you know you’re not getting a holiday card from me… Happy Holidays!

Fen Druadìn Head
Fen Druadìn Head is an award-winning freelance writer and coach. Her work can be found all over the internet in publications as diverse as Redshift Magazine and Grit. Fen's fiction is represented by Ethan Ellenberg.