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This Year’s Christmas Card Project

2010-01-04Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Since about the time my older son Koji was born back in 1997 I’ve made an effort to get a Seasonal Greeting Card into the Mail and over the last five or six years these cards seem to have become more and moor elaborate and have included everything from the legendary “Magic Jumping Fish” to paper models of my S-Cargo to mini-milk carton ornaments to this year’s effort which was all based around the shape of that classic Little Tree Air Freshener.

In recent years it seems like we’ve needed to send out between three hundred and three hundred and fifty of these cards and need both an English version as well as a Japanese version. The need for the Japanese version stems from the fact that for years I worked in Japan and still want to stay in touch with friends and colleagues there as well as the fact that my wife is originally from Japan and we send these cards out to her family as well. Beyond the three hundred and fifty-ish cards that we had printed, I also ended up sending out some where around a hundred and sixty ’email versions’ of the card, so in the end, over five hundred people were exposed to this year’s effort at seasonal creativity with a promotional twist.

This annual extravaganza ends up turning into a bit of a labour of love and this year’s card was no exception. 2009 was quite a busy year for me contract-wise and on the week that I would normally devote to getting Christmas Cards into the mail I was sailing aboard the GRAND Princess… On the way to the airport to join the ship (my wife drove me out) we stopped by Staples with a memory stick containing a PDF version of everything and dropped it off at their Print Shop to get printed. While I was away on the ship my incredible wife hand cut the three hundred and fifty-ish air fresheners out, punched holes in all of them, attached the little piece of elastic and assembled the cards where the freshener was place on the card to make it look like it was dangling from a car’s rearview mirror.

When I got home from the GRAND on December 21, I finished printing envelopes, and started stuffing. I also managed to get the email-versions sent out each with a bit of a personal note included On December 22 the cards going to international destinations made it into the mail. On December 23 those to Canada got sent. On December 24th we finished some last minute Christmas shopping and on December 25 and 26th I crashed, chilled and enjoyed the sense that I had just barley gotten this year’s effort out in time to get a pre-December 25 post mark. December 27th I was back at the Airport flying to join the Monarch of the Seas.

So why make such an effort and spend so much time, energy and money on a Seasonal Holiday Greeting Card? I get to the middle of the process every year and I ask myself the same question. It starts of innocently enough being yet another avenue to poor creative energy and one I quite enjoy, but somewhere in the middle of the assembly-line like process of stuffing, licking and sticking envelopes it sort of becomes a bit of a drone job… The true impact of the cards only really makes sense to me in the months that follow because inevitably over the course of the year as I run into past clients and colleagues who’ve received the card and comment that it’s one of the things they look forward to each year. That what in essence is promotional tool has become a yearly tradition taps into a much greater resonance than a standard mailing. That’s when all of the effort makes sense.

One Response to “This Year’s Christmas Card Project”

  1. […] in December when I was sending out festive greeting cards I created an email version of the card that I could send out along with the three hundred and fifty […]

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