/ Money

Your view: is it OK to send electronic greetings cards?


Last Saturday’s convo about price increases on stamps pulled out some interesting insights into your views on sending greetings cards – or rather, avoiding electronic greetings cards…

I’ve already explained that I only buy stamps once a year – at Christmas – and don’t really bother any other time as I rarely post anything.

I also confessed that I’m a fan of sending well wishes via text and maybe a message on Facebook, too.

These e-greetings are mostly sent for birthdays, and to mark the occasion, I’ll probably throw a few emoticons in there and almost certainly a picture of a birthday dog, too:

Birthday dog
Getting personal

But is sending an electronic greeting a good way to send instant well wishes, or is it another example of technology destroying tradition?

John Ward is very much in favour of sending cards:

‘We send quite a lot of birthday cards to friends and relatives, and about two or three letters a week that require stamps. There’s also St. Valentines Day, Easter, get well, thank you, new home, best wishes, condolences, congratulations, family correspondence, and so on.’

He also pointed out that:

‘The internet has saved so much in other ways that it makes personal correspondence affordable as well as a pleasure.’

For Alfa, electronic greetings miss out the personal touch:

‘I like to receive greetings cards so also send them as electronic greetings seem a bit of a cop-out and rather impersonal. If I forget to send a card, I phone to say ‘happy birthday’, and wouldn’t dream of sending a text or email. ’

Both Wavechange and NFH agreed that e-greetings and e-cards just don’t cut the mustard and the decline of such electronic greetings is welcomed.

And Emgee noted that while electronic greetings cards lack thought, e-invitations can be quite useful:

‘Electronic greetings are nowhere near as thoughtful as finding the right card for someone, handwriting a personal message and going to the bother of posting it. Although I have received beautifully designed wedding invitations electronically with an electronic reply function and that is a good idea.’

It seems, however, that there’s still place for thoughtful and creative card sending.

Both John Ward and Malcolm sparked a degree of envy for me with their cards – Malcolm cleverly makes greetings cards from photo-print paper, and the hand-drawn cards John Ward receives from a friend sounds like they belong in an art gallery.

It had me digging around for my own card-making craft kit, which I bought a number of years ago with high hopes of finding the time to make them…

So are electronic cards an appropriate means of sending your wishes or invitations, or should they be banished altogether?


I’ve been using Jacqui Lawson for around 7 years now though I’m not sure about ‘Ian’s’ comment that it costs £20 a year. I recently renewed my membership for £13 for two years.

Some, the older ones, maybe a bit cheesy but the comments I get from overseas family and friends are really good and with the cost of postage these days it really is good value and, if you set reminders like birthdays etc. she’ll email a reminder to you.

The site could be modernised though.

Lynda Jane says:
12 March 2017

I’ve never sent an e-card, an e-mail or any other computerised communication for a birthday or other occasion, even though I started in computers nearly 50 years ago. I don’t use social media but, if I did, I wouldn’t dream of signifying someone’s special day by using that. If you can’t be bothered to spend a few minutes in a shop – you could even include it in your supermarket shop – finding an appropriate card for someone, writing it and posting it, then I really do fear for human interaction in the future. I’m a papercrafter, so I make all my own cards and it takes a lot longer than buying one in a shop.

I’d like those of you who only send electronic greetings to fast forward to a time when you’re much older, and imagine your mantelpiece with a laptop on it, instead of a row of birthday cards.

To advance, electronic greetings need to have a voice-recording facility. At the moment they are just a two-dimensional animated and crudely interactive replication of a conventional greeting card, albeit with a simple musical background. More and more physical greeting cards are now taking advantage of three-dimensional production and decorative techniques to make them more appealing. Compared with the cost of a card and envelope, the second-class stamp [currently 55p] is a minor expense and an attractive array of commemorative and celebratory stamps is available at post offices to add a more individual touch.

David Graham Denham says:
13 March 2017

This discussion completely overlooks the countless old people and disabled people who are not able to visit shops, for whom E cards are a godsend. Furthermore, viewing E cards to find a suitable one takes far longer than viewing the same number of cards in a shop. I would suggest that those who are fit and able-bodied should normally send cards through the post in the traditional way, but that E cards should be pertectly acceptable from others.

As an octogenarian, living in a small village without a shop nearer than 2 miles away, and a twice-a day bus service into the nearest town, I bless the activities of Jacqui Lawson to enable me to send cards easily. The message attached to each card is personalised and no-one [other than the recipient] can see it, unlike Facebook messages. I have been using these cards more or less since she first started and I particularly enjoy her Advent calendars.

e-cards are ideal for someone like me. Not everyone is able to get out to shop,someone else may not have the same choice in cards, and by the time they have the time to take one to the shop then it is too late.

I have more relatives in Canada than in the UK. My nephew in Vancouver introduced me to e-cards a few years ago, and I was very impressed. The Canadian postal service is pretty unreliable, and I have had items returned stamped with the message “Unable to deliver” with no further explanation.
I enjoy receiving the Jacquie Lawson e-cards, the new Advent Calendar kept me amused for hours, and I will probably invest £13 next Christmas and send my relatives an e-card each and save a small fortune in postage. At 82, and in poor health, anything that saves me a long walk in wintry weather is welcome.