Make the Move From Snail-Mail to Online Christmas Cards

Is it just us, or does it seem like the time-honored tradition of sending cardstock Christmas cards has very little to do with actually wishing anyone a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year? Those little December mailbox-fillers seem more like newsletters for the families that send them—informing the recipient of any new (possibly furry) additions to the family or perhaps a change of address.

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But since Facebook and Twitter are all the rage (even Grandma was in on it for awhile), it seems like those annual updates aren't really necessary. You can even easily send your heartfelt "Happy New Year" message with a mass text these days.

So we want to know: How many of you are still shipping out paper-and-pen scribbled snail-mail Holiday cards this winter?

As for us, we've never been the type to send cards to our entire address book. But for those far-away friends who we won't get to see in our hometown this Christmas, we're going to be making awesome use of e-cards.

If you're ready to join us and eschew paper cards, figure out your priorities and try one of these options:

If you hate the waste...
Send an e-card. Our research shows that it's 100 percent more cost-effective and "green" to send a free e-card. Scope out the offerings in the "holiday" section of your favorite site.

Our favorites are JibJab, Hipster Cards, Someecards, and the pet-centric Sloppy Kiss Cards. Or, if you're an on-the-go kind of guy or gal, try one of these e-card holiday iPhone apps.

If you hate the work...
OK, so Granny doesn't use e-mail and you still kind of like sending out (and receiving!) real cards. Fine. But you can make the load easier and keep your techie cred by using a service that prints and sends physical cards, all from the comfort of your office desk. Tiny Pics has a service like this, plus tons of gorgeous Christmas card designs to choose from.



(Images: Flickr member SamwiseGamgee69 licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member zephyrbunny licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, designer, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She lives in an apartment in Atlanta with her fiancé, their Boston Terrier and lots of serving dishes.