What I Learned About Holiday Cards This Year

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.

 

ssg elementary

 

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.

John Salveson
John brings more than 30 years of experience consulting with a broad range of organizations, including life sciences and pharmaceutical companies, banks, insurance companies, manufacturers, professional service firms, healthcare providers, retailers, service organizations and non-profit institutions. John helps companies define their talent needs and execute creative strategies to recruit and retain that talent.

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