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Holiday Greetings: E-cards? Paper Cards? Letters?

E-mail & E-cards for the holidays

The classy thing to do is to send a paper holiday card instead of an e-mail or an e-card greeting to your friends, relatives, vendors, guests, and clients.

Having said that, it’s a big and interconnected world and there are so many exceptions.

  • Take your financial situation into consideration when purchasing a large number of postage stamps and holiday cards, then look at the closeness of the relationship. Decide who will receive holiday greetings by e-card or an e-mailed note.
  • Generally, your family and closest friends will receive holiday cards.
  • If it’s a business relationship, always send a holiday card with a brief note and your signature. It’s business. As a representative of your brand, you must be memorable.
  • If your relationship with a global colleague is primarily on-line or through national and international telephone calls, then it makes sense to send your holiday and other important regards by e-card or e-mail.
  • Most definitely send an e-card or an e-mail holiday greeting to your traveling, hard to reach business colleagues.
  • Should you receive a card from either your insurance agent (who you’ve only met with once) or from someone with whom you have no meaningful relationship, you do not have to reciprocate with a holiday card. Thank the person when you see him or her. A brief telephone call or an e-mail is also acceptable.
  • Given our economic times, you may want to trim your paper holiday card list by telephoning or e-mailing (or e-carding) local relatives and friends.
  • Consider using your postage stamps for out-of-town friends and relatives.
  • Keep in mind that the holidays are the perfect time to do something special for your closest friends and excellent professional associates. A holiday card or a handwritten note is always well-received. Given the number of e-cards out there, this will make you standout as quite special.

Paper Holiday Cards

The holidays are a wonderful time to get back in touch with friends, clients, guests and acquaintances. Don’t do this by simply signing your name to an array of cards that have some pre-printed sentiment on them. This may come across as insincere.

  • You are sincere, so write something on the card. It can be, “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas,” “Thinking of you at the holidays,” “Let’s get together in the New Year” or, “All of the best, Long Lost Linda.”
  • Send Chanukah cards to your Jewish friends. If you send a Jewish colleague a “Seasons Greetings” card, it is very thoughtful to handwrite, “Happy Chanukah” on the card.
  • Send “Happy New Year” and “Seasons Greetings” cards to your Muslim and Buddhist friends.
  • If it is a mixed household of any kind, send a “Seasons Greetings” card.
  • Always use a black or very dark blue ink. This is both professional for business and a very upscale thing to do!

Annual Holiday Letters & E-Mails

I’m not a fan of holiday letters. This is like sending out spam in longhand to lots of people you haven’t kept up-to-date about your life’s major events.

  • There must be a reason you haven’t updated them throughout the year.
  • Still, having said that, it is true that a short, one-page holiday letter or e-mail, well composed and written in a happy tone, can be a delight to receive.

Have the happiest of holidays. Whichever way you choose to acknowledge your colleagues, clients, guests, families and friends, do so with joy. Happy New Year!

Excerpts of blog taken from the book: Hospitality Management – People Skills & Manners on and off the Job. Copyright © 2015 Lyn Pont, PhD

— Isadore Sharp, chairman and founder, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

“Pont’s book is a must-read for anyone considering a career in hospitality.”

See the book at: www.HospitalityManners.com

Visit Lyn at: www.MannersForBusiness.com


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