Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday Cards - what's your take?

As Tim mentioned, I've joined The Spokesmen podcast. It's a great collaboration of bike industry related folks talking about everything under the sun bike related. Although I said "um" about, oh, a million times, it was a great conversation and I look forward to doing another one come January (minus the 'ums').

The draw for me with this group of people isn't only the podcast, but the conversations that we have between podcasts. Sure, we talk about the subjects for the next podcast, but we also have started to form friendships with those that we didn't know prior and strengthen relationships of those we already knew. The podcast is an 'excuse' for us to have conversations offline.

One of the conversations that started this week is timely - holiday cards. Personally, I love 'em. They are my favorite part of the holiday season. Although I am conscious of the environment and how we can best help preserve it (I recycle, turn off lights in rooms I'm not in etc. etc), I will always send holiday cards - yes, the old fashioned ones that are written out and mailed.

The discussion started offline is whether or not holiday cards are a thing of the past or not. For example, a few years ago Shimano stopped sending cards and used the money they would have used for cards as a donation to a charity. I don't know if they still do that, but that is a good idea - then everyone can feel as though they have given back in some way without even moving from their desk! Shimano did all the 'work' for them.

Now, I don't know if they sent holiday cards, too, or not, but Specialized used their website to send a big 'happy holidays' to everyone, customers, associates and just, simply the curious, with their online holiday greeting - The Nutcracker Suite played on all bike parts. It's pretty amazing.

What do I do? I send holiday cards with personalized notes to everyone. This year the notes weren't long - some simply said "Happy Holidays" and my signature because we didn't get them in (printer error and snafu!) until last Thursday and they needed to go out. I needed to write out over 150 in one day. So, a short greeting, but personalized nonetheless. I wouldn't have it any other way. I like doing it and, I think, most people like getting them.

What is your thought? I've heard from one of my fellow Spokesmen that holiday cards are ok, if they are personalized, not just sent randomly with either just the company name printed and no signature or the bunch of signatures and no personalization. You know, you've all got them sitting in your office - you open the card and there is the pre-printed greeting and the 10 signatures of the people you work with at the company. But, is your name written in at the top corner of the card? Probably not. I'm ok with that - I think it is nice to be thought about at all - but some people would rather it be more personalized.

Now, do I remember the cards that are personalized a little more than the group of signatures - absolutely. But do I fault those that don't - with the time limitations we all have these days, no way. However, I do agree that the completely pre-printed cards with no signatures are lacking a little bit. Hey, if I can get out over 150 in one day/night, with envelopes handwritten, too (in green ink, of course!), you can sign your name over and over on some cards. Think of it as your one day to be a rock star, giving your autograph to everyone around the world!

So, what is your thought on the whole Holiday Card issue? Send 'em traditionally? Use new media to send your greeting? Don't send 'em at all? Let us know. 'tis the season, after all.

And with that, because I can't possibly know all of YOU as well as Time Magazine does.....I'll use this venue to wish each of our readers a happy, healthy holiday season and a new year filled with great riding days (and the time to go out and enjoy them!).

Happy Holidays one and all!

Posted by Donna Tocci at 3:58 AM

8 Comments

  1. Anonymous Carlton Reid posted at 5:59 AM  
    OK, OK, call me scrooge but I'm really not a fan of impersonal, corporate Christmas/Hannukah/Diwali/pagan feasting cards. I get lots. All driven from a marketing database and 'signed' with pre-printed signatures. Yuk! I recycle these straight away.

    The personal ones I keep and reply to.

    I had a little campaign on this topic a few years back and got quite a few companies to send money to charity instead of cards. Shimano Europe was one of them. They donated the money to a prize fund for schools wanting to create more bike facilities. Result!

    I'm all for festive cheer and even don't mind being 'sold' to with Christmas cards (I like the Specialized one with a cool looking female angel wearing the 'S') but please, don't send me cards you ain't signed, that's junk mail.
  2. Blogger Tim Jackson- Masi Guy posted at 9:27 PM  
    Ok Carlton, you're a Scrooge.

    I am probably the worst about holiday cards. I remember to do them every couple years, but usually I forget and then send email cards the day before Christmas... or at New Years. However, if I do remember to do cards, I do handwrite the greeting at least.

    It stinks to be as absent minded as I am...
  3. Anonymous Jeff Rowe posted at 9:42 AM  
    I liked QBP's e-mail card to retailers, which was a beautiful bike with a present in the basket, shot simply.
    It then had a few radio buttons and you could pick a charity for QBP to donate money to in your name.
    IMBA and Bikes Belong were on there, along with UNICEF and some more traditional organizations.
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