Saturday, November 10, 2007

Day 117 - Laying My Cards on The Table

Deciding Whether Or Not To Mail Out Christmas Cards

This post is all part of my plan to make my holidays more eco-friendly.

To Send or Not to Send? That is the Question. Is it nobler to acknowledge our family and friends or the environment? This is a tough one for me.

I started sending out Christmas Cards about five years ago and it quickly became a cherished holiday tradition for me. I love picking out the cards, writing personal notes to family and friends, including pictures of the kids and hand-addressing the envelopes. But suddenly I find my wonderful tradition to be in direct conflict with my new environmental awareness. So what do I do?

Here are my alternatives I see them:

1. Don't send any cards at all - This is obviously THE most eco-friendly solution out there, but it is also the biggest joy-suck.

2. Send e-cards - Ugh. Really? I don't think I even want to consider this one. Even I have my "klassy" limits.

3. Send cards made from recycled paper and soy inks - This still requires resources (albeit partially recycled ones) and there's no guarantee that the recipient will, in turn, recycle my card. However, it does give me the warm fuzzy holiday feeling I'm yearning for. Bonus points if I choose a company that donates a portion of my purchase to an environmental cause.

4. Environment be damned and I'll send whatever card I like. - There is a hysterical card that vistaprint is offering this year which shows the merry old sleigh loaded and ready to go, with a reindeer, a polar bear and a penguin hooked up to the leads. Santa is sitting at the reins reading "An Introduction to Hybrid Power". Who would NOT want to send that card?!?!

I really am undecided on this one folks. Help a green girl out, would ya? Tell me what YOU are planning on doing this year as well as what you think I should do. I will then, in the tradition of great women everywhere, ignore your advice and do whatever the hell I want.

- Erin


Anonymous said...

Ok, so you just told me how much you loved doing crafty things with Nana's used cards.Why not give the kids last year's cards and let them do crafty things with them, write a note yourself so you share in the holiday spirit fun, then let the kids hand deliver as many as possible and mail the rest?I'm sure your immediate family would love having them hand delivered, which you could do either at Thanksgiving, or wait and let the kids hand them out when we get together for Christmas. They could also hand deliver many to your friends that you see in VA. Just a thought.

Vera said...

Oh my gosh, you're in Richmond too!? :-) That's so cool! I am planning on mailing out Christmas cards that I stocked up on the last year or two from those 50% off after Christmas sales. Hopefully I have enough of a stockpile to last me through another Christmas and won't have to think about it too much. We'll see. :-)

Green Bean said...

I don't generally enjoy sending Christmas cards - or didn't, that is, until I had kids. I love to send out a card that is a photo of my two kids in some sort of festive pose. I'm still undecided this year - I'll either not send at all or will order the environmentally unfriendly photo cards but only a very small number.

gregra&gar said...

Older than Hallmark, the tradition of taking the time your love for them deserves to make one for each would be a wonderful introduction for your kids to the genuine fellowship Yuletide means that their efforts could express so much more truly than anything off the shelf, including presents. Go with #3

e4 said...

How about phone calls? I know it's not the same, but even so, I'd rather chat with old friends than get card from them. I know there's still some impact via electricity or whatever, but I don't know how much. Just a thought...

Shan said...

I heartily agree with Uma and Greg & Gar. If you want the warm fuzzies with Christmas that we grew up with, it had so little do do with the commercialism. Let the kids make them - everyone I know would love to receive a hand made card, hand delivered would be lovely. If you want to go with the no-muss no-fuss option, here's a company that will print 75 photo cards in one week on recycled paper for about $70...

Heather said...

One more idea, and it's a fun, ooey-gooey, kid-lovin' MESS project. Why not make your own paper, and use it to make hand made cards?

Martha Stewart recently showed the world how to make it with a common household blender and some screen. It CAN be done, I swear! If you want the directions, let me know. I've done it, and it's fun AND simple.

lavonne said...

I admit to being a scrooge about cards. I stopped sending them years ago by procrastination and finally made it official. Naturally, the cards I receive have dwindled down to one or two per year, but it makes me sad. I don't like the feeling that my curmudgeonly attitude has been felt by omission on the other end. It doesn't feel good on this end either.

So I'm going to take one of the previous suggestions and call all my friends and relatives this year. What a great idea. Thank goodness I have unlimited long distance!