feature from LDN magazine:
for the Holidays
Starting a family tradition: Sending season's greetings in the
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[December 05, 2012]
In the new digital age, the
time-honored tradition of the annual Christmas card has begun to
decline. Writing a letter, buying stamps and mailing off the
numerous cards has become more expensive over the years.
Today, new online greeting companies will email a greeting from you,
from the comfort of home, for free. And the cards offer all manner
of styles and presentations, including features a paper card
couldn't deliver, such as quaint winter scenes that have animated
snow piling up while smoke curls out the home chimney. You might say
they are the new Currier & Ives.
There are also companies like
Skype, which allow computer users to speak face to face.
With families being spread farther across the country, Christmas
gifts are also getting more difficult to share. However, electronic
gift cards and regular gift certificates have become a staple in
Sending a Christmas greeting should not be just something from
the past. There are ways to keep sending the seasonal messages.
Many families have turned to the one-page picture Christmas card.
Everyone dresses in a holiday sweater for a group shot. This is a
quick, easy option for busy families. Many photographers will do
holiday sittings for a minimal cost. The developed pictures can then
be taken to Walgreens or Wal-Mart to create a Christmas postcard
that will soon be on its way with a "Merry Christmas!" so faraway
relatives can see how everyone has changed in the last year.
Electronic greetings have recently become part of the holiday
greeting process. Most everyone has a working email address and
therefore can receive most Christmas greetings sent over the
Internet. The cards will even sing and dance for the recipient. A
quick search of "online holiday greeting" will bring up loads of
online greeting sources.
At skype.com, an account can be created in order to have a
face-to-face chat online. The computer has to have a Web camera
readily available, but seeing the faces of loved ones is amazing.
Faraway grandparents can actually view grandchildren opening
presents. A Skype account is easy and convenient to set up. This
type of face-to-face interaction is not limited to Christmastime and
can be used year-round.
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The traditional Christmas card and letter is still a great
option. Many long-distance family members and friends catch up
through the annual letter. It is still fun to decide what kind of
Christmas card theme the family will send: sophisticated to
whimsical, commercially prepared or customized.
The costs may be a deciding factor and vary widely. An electronic
greeting can cost nothing. When mailing, in addition to the card
costs, postage has increased from last year to 45 cents per stamp.
However, there are bulk mailing rates for those families who have
more than 100 greetings to send.
Finally, there's deciding how to send the Christmas gifts. If
mailing gift cards is the way to go, all stores and restaurants have
some sort of gift card available for purchase. Even online stores
like Amazon offer gift cards.
Here in Lincoln, the chamber of commerce has
available. These encourage shoppers to shop locally, which supports
the community. Chamber Bucks can be used at a wide variety of local
stores and restaurants. Check out
for a full
It doesn't matter how a Christmas greeting is sent. What matters
is that most recipients of a Christmas card are excited to hear from
the sender, no matter how the greeting got there.
[By HANNAH MICHALSEN]