Saturday, 11 December 2010

Festive e Cards and Video Messages

Some people, my mum included, will probably never see the e card as a worthy successor to an actual hand written card. Perhaps its a generation thing, as certainly more of the younger people I know aren't really fussed when it comes to card giving -  over the past ten years I've noticed a steady decline in the number of cards being doled out each year (or perhaps they simply aren't heading my way?).

Personally, I'd rather not bother. I don't like buying them as they can be ridiculously over priced, especially personalized ones for relatives, not to mention that they are heading directly into the Kerby Box come January 6th. Plus there's that moment of slight embarrassment when you receive a card from someone you've forgot to send one to, or vice versa. I know a few people who carry around spares just in case this happens, but when you're talking postal days, there's nothing worse than receiving a Christmas Card through your letter box from such and such on Christmas Eve, knowing full well that you've missed them off your list.

So if traditional card giving isn't your cup of mulled wine, what are the alternatives? Well there is of course the e Card, which has come a long way since the crude CGI of the early days of the internet. There are tons of sites out there that offer free cards that can be customized, and made extra special for a few extra pence; though in terms of style and content, it seems that we still can't seem to shake of the need for dancing animals dressed in hats and scarves. For businesses and organisations this can not only save money, but also send a message of greener practice. And there are other alternatives. Photoshop users can create their very own Christmas photograph, adding reindeer antlers and Rudolph noses here and there, or you can produce your own video message with a webcam and post it on Youtube and Facebook.

One of the best video message tools I have come across in recent weeks, is the quite fabulous Portable North Pole. This site allows you to enter certain data relating to a child or loved one, including name, favourite food, what they want for Christmas, plus upload photographs, and the recipient will receive a personalized message from Santa himself. I've already passed this on to my sister for the Bethster to enjoy.

But if you still want to send a traditional card, why not try making them yourself from recycled bits and pieces, and when it comes to getting rid of the cards you've been given, why not retain them and make into gift tags the following year. At least that way they are getting a bit of a second life.

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