There is always pressure this time of year. There is pressure to get that special someone the right gift and to get your shopping done early. Be sure to spend more time than usual with loved ones but at the same time don't forget that your company wants you to participate in its holiday party. Lately, we all must be sure to wish people the proper and politically correct holiday greeting - this has become increasingly important. But is there anything more stressful this time of year than choosing the holiday card?
Holiday cards come in many forms. You know that no matter what you send, it's going to end up on display in someone's home for 3 weeks (just like their kid's drawing on the fridge). Even with that knowledge, many people simply phone it in. They go to the local Hallmark shop, buy a couple boxes of pre-printed stationery, sign their names, and send them to every aunt, uncle and cousin they can think of. Low effort, low thought.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are the people who write the annual review of their family's activities from the previous year. How many different ways can someone talk about Bob's promotion, Sally's trip to Europe and Billy's first steps? Apparently, many. Anyone that creative gets special treatment when it comes to in-home display.
This doesn't even start to tackle the thought that goes into how a business wishes their customers season's greetings. Many of them have migrated to digital, coming up with interactive wishes that look great but can be expensive. Ah, but if you come up with a cool one you might be able to draw a sponsor. I mean, if you can sponsor the Heisman Trophy, why not a holiday card?
So, in a world where we remember birthdays via Facebook, what should our expectations be when it comes to wishing (and being wished) Happy Holidays? If someone DMs you to say "Happy Birthday," I think that is socially acceptable. A text? Totally OK. Congratulations on the new job? Who calls for that anymore? Why do we still put the holiday season up on a pedestal?
I suggest we embrace, once and for all, the fact that society has a shorter attention span than ever. We can see the same pictures of your family online that you spend $150 on at Shutterfly to send in the mail. In fact, send me a Hipstamatic picture. It's cooler and cheaper. Still want to write the family letter? Just send me the link. I won't think less of you for being non-traditional. I'll think more of you for embracing change.