Every year it seems I have less time to spend doing all the traditional holiday things I feel I need to keep up with. In addition, the cost of postage seems to go up annually. For the past few years, I have contemplated this idea. This year, I finally went ahead and put it into practice.
I drafted my annual family Christmas newsletter as always, but instead of printing it out, (some years 2 pages long,) and draining my print cartridge dry by adding a photo of my son and dogs, I decided to make it a Christmas e-newsletter. I started it by explaining that I am changing the way I do things starting this year, and in the interest of reducing my carbon footprint, I am sending my Christmas greetings and photos via email.
In addition to saving time, money, stress, and the environment, I have freed up the money I would have spent on cards, pretty paper and postage, and donate it to the charity of my choice. What a win-win situation! As a bonus, when sending my letter via email, I can make it as long as I want and include as many photos as I wish at no extra cost.
Almost immediately after sending, I received a response from several friends who said they loved the idea, and planned to "steal" it themselves! For the few folks on my list whose email addresses I didn't have, or that don't have computers or email, I still sent them a card with a newsletter, but I can count the number on one hand compared to the practically 80 cards I have sent out some years.
Just make sure when you send those newsletters that you request the recipients who do have email addresses and would like to continue to hear from you, to please include it with their card to you this year, so they remain on your list for next year.
Honestly, it's the best idea I've had in a long time. It was really rewarding to pick from the many charities in my community whom I would send a check to this year. I ended up sending $50 to PAWS San Diego, which provides essential services to assist the low-income, elderly, chronically ill and disabled to keep their companion animals. (The unconditional love of an animal gives people a reason to live.)
I hope your readers decide it's an idea they'd like to adopt themselves this year. It's not too late. If you sit down right now and send that email, they'll have it before Christmas. That's more than you can say than if you sent a card.
Think of the numerous charitable organizations that will benefit from your common thrifty idea! I have started a list and throughout the year when I come across a charitable organization I would like to donate to, I will add the contact information to my list. By this time next year, I will have an entire list of worthwhile organizations to pick from. Maybe I'll split my donation in half or thirds and send to several!
By Donna N. from San Diego
Now, this is an excellent idea!
Although I don't do a newsletter and cannot donate to charity due to finances (I'm on a fixed income,) about 75% of my Christmas card recipients got an emailed note instead of a paper card. Because I'm severely visually impaired and utilizing my adaptive computer works better for me than having to ask sighted assistance, I'd rather use email than standard mail any day. For the few print cards we gave this year, I put both my recipients' names and my personal greeting on business labels. All hubby had to do was peel and stick... yet he still complained, and several cards didn't get to their intended recipients. :P
Like you, I've gotten positive responses from the simple email note I sent. I included a couple of Youtube vids that touched my heart. One old friend said she appreciated that more than a factory-generated greeting because she knew it came from the heart. It's an electronic world, I'm glad to see so many folks adapting so well!
Please Please Please for everyone's sake - let's do away with the yearly Christmas "newsletter". Let it die like the fruitcake! I hate to burst the bubble, but even the closet family members and friends, especially those you are rarely in touch with, do not enjoy hearing your accolades of the past year. A nice card with a sincere sentiment is Christmas, not a cut and paste computer-printed glorification and aggrandizing version of you and your families' accomplishments. They are interesting to no one but you! Merry Christmas to All!
I know we live in the age of technology greater than anyone could ever imagine, but I live in a world of no cell phone, and no e-mail cards for any occasion, let alone Christmas. I cannot bring myself to do it. I will continue to mail out my Christmas cards, not a list of 100 but to my brother and sister, relatives, close friends, and even people, who I keep in touch only once a year, but still mean something special to me.
Each card gets a personal note, which I immensely enjoy writing. No, I will never give in to sending an electronic Christmas, birthday, Easter, Halloween, etc. card. I hope others out there feel the same as I do. This world is impersonal and cold enough, and there is nothing like the feeling of getting a Holiday card in your mailbox.
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