Every November I plan to write out all my Christmas cards and post them off to all my relatives and friends so they receive them early in December. That’s the plan! However, the reality is I usually get around to it in the second week of December and then usually in batches a few days apart. I hate it when I haven’t sent my cards and I start receiving them. Every year it gets later and later – or should I say, harder and harder to write out all those cards!
One of my cousins has emailed all her usual Christmas card recipients to tell them they will not be receiving cards this year – instead they are donating to the Philippines Typhoon appeal in the names of all those who they normally send cards to, and they have requested that we don’t send them cards too. I like the sound of that.
I have noticed that more Christmas cards are arriving in my inbox instead of my letterbox, so I thought I might investigate some alternatives this year too. So, here’s what my research has produced – my favourite techie alternatives to the traditional Christmas card…..
Farm Africa is a charity working directly with farmers to pioneer techniques to boost harvests and reduce poverty. Send an e-card and each one you send will help African farmers provide for their families. Just create an account, select your card, buy credits, personalise you card with a message and send it to one person or your entire email address book. You can send from one card (GBP1), up to 50 cards (GBP20).
Another free iOS app, with over 100 designs and regular new additions, you can add photos directly from your camera roll, personalise with your message, then email, save to your camera roll, or share via AirDrop, Facebook or Twitter.
Greeting Card Maker
This great app is for iOS and Android phones and tablets. You can create a custom card - Select your background, choose from over 500 images and clips, or draw your own, choose your font and font colour for your message, and you’re done. Or you can choose a readymade card. Your card can be emailed, saved, or shared via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. It’s free, but with in-app purchase of add-on card packs.
Touchnote – Christmas Edition
If you’d like to send real Christmas cards this is the app for you. Use your own photos to create beautiful Christmas postcards or greeting cards. Christmas postcards can be sent almost anywhere in the world (Christmas deadline for most is 17 December) for $1.49 or less. The post cards are printed and sent from the USA, Australia, UK and Germany. You can send Christmas cards too, but they are printed and sent from the UK, so they take a lot longer to arrive (deadline 3 December) for $2.28 or less.
You can also use Touchnote on your computer – www.touchnote.com
Jacquie Lawson e-cards
This is what I've decided to go with. For an annual fee of AUD12 I can send unlimited animated e-cards throughout the year, and they really are beautiful. There are cards for every occasion and the hardest part will be choosing which one. You can even create an address book so all your email addresses are stored for birthdays, anniversaries etc.
Especially for Christmas they have a gorgeous animated Edwardian advent calendar. This isn't an e-card, but a software download and every day from 1st to 25th December a new animated story or interactive game becomes available to view. The advent calendar is free for you with the normal subscription – but you can also give it as a gift for $2 each for 10 or more copies. I think that would make a beautiful gift that I think would more than makeup for not getting an actual Christmas card. Take a look at the advent calendar here.
Do you still send real Christmas cards? If you don't what do you use?