Christmas cards: Printed or cyber?

Dear Aunty B,

I was planning our usual Christmas card send out last week when my young staff expressed horror at the environmental waste. They told me I was “old school” and that in the new millennium, you send e-cards.

The marketing manager has done an e-card, which looks fantastic, but now my Christmas cards are coming in I feel that we have done the wrong thing and I wish I hadn’t listened to them!

Are the e-cards likely to upset my clients? Can you answer quickly as I am just about to send them.


Leigh H,



Well thanks a lot Leigh, I was hoping to get to my glass of Verve on Christmas morning without making a call on this controversial issue!


But you have asked, and my view is thus:


Your card will create bad cheer among some members of our community. There are many people in the business world of an insecure nature who like to stick their Christmas cards in their venetian blinds as proof that they have friends after spending 100 hours a week staring at their computer. They will hate your e-card. How on earth can their PA decorate their office? What does it say about their network?


Baby boomers in particular might object to this modern form of Good Cheer. I recently read a diatribe by KPMG’s Bernard Salt, a self confessed baby boomer, who spent a whole column in a newspaper (yes, young readers, newspapers still exist) grizzling about people who do not observe Christmas card etiquette.


Leigh, if he is on your list, cross him off now. Here is what he wrote: “The worst cards are of course those cyber cards sent by email. Let’s see the care and effort you have put into me. You have sent a pathetic email attachment to your contacts list and you think that lets you off the ‘Christmas Wishes’ hook? I think these cyber cards say a lot about the business naivety of the sender.”


But Leigh, before you panic further, I have good news. Many people, particularly those people truly concerned about climate change and the environment would welcome an e-card. They believe printed Christmas cards are a waste of trees – (just like newspapers).


They also know that relationships are not about the remnants of dead trees being hung in venetian blinds at Christmas. But it is about regular catch ups through the year by phone, email and in person.


Still not decided? Then be a trend setter and do the right thing.


Tell your clients that concerns about the environment have caused you to send e-cards this year. That should make any grumps feel guilty and keep their thoughts to themselves. It should also make your staff proud to work in an environmentally aware company.


If you feel like you have any clients who may hate e-cards, sneak out and buy some Christmas cards yourself. But stay true to the cause. Card manufacturers are coming out with some great alternatives. I heard about some cards that come with a seed. You plant the card and a tree grows. Or you could send them a small tree instead of a card.


Or how about this? Send the Christmas card with a note to remind them to take it to a Planet Ark bin at a shopping centre straight after Christmas and have it recycled.


I have to go. I have to put a stop on Bernard’s e-Christmas card! Bernard, Happy Christmas! You aint getting a card this year but let’s catch up for a coffee soon!!


Aunty B.



Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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