Place Orders Early For Holiday Cards
Every year, usually about the heavy, lagging middle days of January, families across the country lift that wicker mail basket, in whatever form it may take, and sift out the holiday photocards from the holiday bills. American Express goes one way; the Smith family of Virginia goes another. Con-Ed goes one way; Uncle Bill, his second wife and their children, all smiles, go another.
The bills get paid, and presumably, the photos go in a drawer or an album or a packet that will never be opened again. The glossy red-green-blue-white messages of the season, laser-printed and thumbed through once or twice, form a happy family of casual acquaintances, bosses, mailmen, milkmen (if there are any left) and dental hygienists.
These photocards start moving from the end of November right on through the joyous New Year. They can be accompanied with any number of sidecars, from the all-too familiar “family catch-up letter,” to a $20 bill, the surrogate gift.
For better or worse, photocards are a tradition of the season. So traditional, in fact, that numerous Web sites, from Kinkos.com, to Shutterfly.com and Kodak.com, all offer a holiday card service in the interest of cashing in on the season of flying photographs.
These sites, and their cousins across the World Wide Web, all work on what might be the most bankable holiday theme of them all: convenience. The shutterbug in the family can log on, load pictures and select patterns and greetings in a matter of minutes, and have them in the home in a matter of days.
The trick, and for readers who’ve thumbed through this copy of the Tribune already, this may be becoming a theme, is getting materials in early. Since the arrival of cards depends, like everything else in the season, on the speed of the postal service, the earlier photos are submitted, the earlier they arrive.