01/07/2015 04.26 EST
I’ve been knocking around the world of work for more than 35 years now, so I feel qualified to make blanket statements and sweeping generalizations about plenty of things with only limited facts.
Holiday cards just aren’t what they used to be.
This year, I received no more than five actual holiday greeting cards. Five years ago, I bet I got at least 40. I don’t think I am any less popular than I was back then, and my office location hasn’t moved so I think something else is afoot – and that something is digital greeting cards.
I will just come right out and say that I think most of them are lame, not at all creative, and so politically correct that I’m not even sure what I am being wished. For the first time this year, I received several cards that said “Happy Everything.” I am not making this up.
The other problem with digital holiday cards is that their nature is dependent on the device on which you read them. I received an e-card from a large public accounting firm that appeared to be a bare brown tree in a field of green. I kept clicking on the picture on my PC but nothing happened – it remained a bare brown tree. Never wanting to miss a chance to take a shot at the managing partner of the firm, a friend, I immediately sent him an email complimenting him on the “nuclear winter” theme of the greeting. Later, I opened the same greeting on a hand-held device, and it came to life! Leaves grew on the tree! A dove flew into the tree! Still kind of generic, but much better than the original, and much less confusing.
In our search firm, we took a completely different approach this year. Since we are in such a “people business,” we wanted to send our greetings from everyone in our firm. We did that by grafting the faces of all of us onto a second grade class picture. Check it out below and let us know what you think.
All I can tell you is that we have received an overwhelming response to the card. People just loved it. I guess we will find out next year if we inspired anyone else to use their holiday card as a way to create an impression and bring a smile to people’s faces. Or maybe “Happy Everything” is here to stay.