Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Greetings

   Today a couple of our local news stations featured stories about the steep decline in greeting card sales, 5% per year, year after year. The headline read, "Holiday sales can't save greeting cards." It's something all of us in the industry have known for a long time, as cards have been on a slow decline for 25 years. It's sad in a couple of ways: the first being that despite all my talented colleagues, the company wasn't able to muster a visionary strategy to change that trajectory.
   The other sad thing is that I miss sending cards, and especially receiving cards, around Christmas. Here we are on December 15 and I have received 5. When I started at Hallmark I had 100 by now.
   I didn't send them this year for the first time—it's a lot of work, and a lot of expense—frankly, I just can't afford it now. Stamps are 49 cents, plus the cost of the cards, and all the time put into creating and addressing them. As an artist, I can't bring myself to send prefab cards. Last year I sent a few photo cards, but when I received my order the quality was so poor that I returned them for a refund. Seemed worse to send a terrible-looking card that I'd put my heart into creating, than sending nothing at all.
   But I do miss the chance to connect with my beloved friends and family, and I have felt a tinge of guilt for not doing it, as I savored opening each of the 5. Sheesh... five.
   Keep hoping all my friends at Hallmark figure out what to do. I'm still cheering for them, despite the odds.