Pleasure or a waste of time?
This year, the traditional mailbox will probably fill up with even less Christmas mail. We’ll bet a case of our favorite beverage on that. Who bets against it?
We hire gentlemen and women with brain
In the company, which was successful for decades with this positioning of its founder, David Ogilvy, there was a clear instruction for us as employees: All clients and potential clients received a Christmas card, which had to be handwritten, with fountain pen and dark blue ink, and had to contain at least one personal sentence.
By personal phrase was not meant “We wish you a Merry Christmas”, but an individual message, for example, mentioning an incident from the year that was ending, which had a special meaning for the recipient of the Christmas card.
The Christmas cards were already produced in October, so that in the overcrowded calendar at the end of the year there was really time to formulate the personal greetings, because we also had the ambition to be, if possible, the first whose Christmas mail arrived at the recipients.
Waste of time
To this day, I follow the rule out of conviction and try to use a few evenings in the pre-Christmas period with candlelight and Handel in the background for this.
A complete waste of time are Christmas cards with pre-printed text that have only been signed. If the signature is also imprinted, the Christmas card is a complete affront. No Christmas card is by far the better solution in these cases.
It’s also perfectly fine as a company to say we’re focusing on other issues, there’s no Christmas card from our side. Consistent and better than cards with imprinted signature.
The hybrid Christmas letter
The Christmas letter, which is much more common in Anglo-Saxon countries, is a hybrid form. Important events of the past year are listed in it, and it also contains personal items that one hopes will interest the addressees. However, due to its printed form, it easily falls under the suspicion of a standard printed matter.
Some entrepreneurs use a Christmas letter to tell about business and private events of the past year
Of course, these letters contain more positive than negative news. If the latter are mentioned, then usually with the addition “but we are optimistic about the future”.
PR action with Santa hat?
Opinions are divided on the Christmas letter. Many consider these Christmas letters to be nothing more than a PR stunt with a Santa hat and throw them in the trash unread.
GloriousMe opens each Christmas letter because someone has taken the trouble to write a text and the choice of events and the way to tell about it tells a lot, even between the lines.
The head physician, whose calendar was always full to the brim and into whose medical care we would have confidently entrusted ourselves with any serious illness, because he radiated professional competence and humanity, made a point of presenting each employee with a handwritten, individual Christmas letter at Christmas, which contained a personal review of the cooperation in the past year. Gentleman with brain.
In times when the news feeds of social media channels fill up with new news in fractions of a second, pausing and looking back on the past year is a rare luxury.
The perfect imperfect Christmas photo
Most American colleagues who send Christmas cards with their own photo motif seem to have two to three perfect children, the perfect life partner and the perfect beach house. The annual Christmas photo showed everyone draped in the bright white sand in front, seemingly casual.
Moreover, none of these pictures should be without the dog, whose fur color perfectly matches the color of the sand on the beach.
European colleagues like it a bit more lively, humorous and with less use of photoshop. These cards are always in our front row and are not disposed of in January of the following year.
Half the pleasure
One of etiquette’s most conservative guides, the English company Debretts, which was founded in 1769 and publishes “Peerage & Baronetage” (2019), a “reliable and up-to-date” overview of all English noble houses, their coats of arms, titles and the correct way to address each, says electronic Christmas greetings are “acceptable.”
We agree with this, because the evenings before Christmas are often not long enough to write all the Christmas mail by hand. Especially since some cards have to be written twice to give the recipient at least a slight chance of being able to decipher the handwriting.
Even though no one would print out an electronic Christmas card and they are therefore only half the fun: Provided with a personal greeting, they can make just as much of a statement and, moreover, arrive on time in times when many are only sitting in their home offices.
Rarer and therefore more valuable
In this extraordinary year, it seems that many just wanted to close out the year quickly. The outlook for the new year is also mixed with a lot of skepticism and uncertainty, especially these days.
Bad conditions for Christmas cards, which traditionally end with a euphoric outlook on an even better next year and the promise to meet again in any case.
We therefore firmly expect that, while parcel carriers will not be able to breathe a sigh of relief in the remaining days until Christmas, traditional Christmas mail will be greatly reduced.
Easier and therefore less binding is a photo of the Christmas tree, a forwarded video or GIF, quickly sent electronically.
The Christmas cards that arrive in the traditional mailbox this year will therefore receive far more attention and if they are then provided with a personal touch, they will be particularly appreciated.
At the end of this special years we are all tired
Because we worked too much or because we were not allowed to work.
If time is too short in the next few days, send New Year’s greetings. Along with a sachet of lemongrass tea, the recipient will also be happy in January that you thought of him or her.
But now we really have to hurry to the next desk, there is already the stack of Christmas cards ready.