Less Can Be More: Little Messages from the Heart Go a Long Way

Posted on 12.12.11.

Less is more applies to gifts, wrapping as well as holiday messages. Here are some of the makings of gift wrapping (yes, a road map from AAA!) that I used in a feature for Ballard Designs on “Gift Giving from the Heart” Click here if you want to see ideas for gift-giving and wrapping in a way that is personal, fun and meaningful to the giver as wells the receiver…. and then read on.

And now let’s talk about other holiday messages.

For some people, they can be elaborate undertakings, with family portraits taken in far-away locations. For others, they take the form of boxed holiday cards from the corner store, UNICEF or other vendors. Depending on the person, your holiday card list might include hundreds of friends, clients and acquaintances or as few as your closest family members.
The bottom line is that there’s no right and no wrong. The bottom-bottom line is that whatever you do needs to come from the heart.

With the ever-increasing cost of postage and the time it takes to sign, stuff and stamp letters, many people have stopped traditional holiday card mailings (which is fine, and actually, I count myself in this group, after about 30 years of mailings). Whether it’s for cost or convenience, more and more people are turning to e-cards, which is a great way of getting the word out to people.

BUT there’s another option that can be even more personal, which is to send a “from the heart” e-mail to a few people each day. Just think, if you send 5 a day over 10 days, you’ll have connected with 50 people.

Last week, I received a holiday e-mail from Sally White, who writes the community/social column for The Neighbor Newspapers and probably has thousands of people on her list. What ensued was that I responded and it led to a dialogue between us, which turned a “send” into a conversation and made it much more special to connect for both of us.

In response to my telling her how much I appreciated her message, here’s how she replied:
“Your book reminds me that, as the years go by and I keep in holiday touch with very long-time friends around the world, that we “connect” with on-going memories and experiences and how I value the little hand written notes. Please tell your folks to mimic hand written notes with their holiday emails. It may see folksy, but I like to add a P.S. for the old-timers!”… and the conversation continued.

It really doesn’t matter if you write by hand or by e-mail, what’s important it to just reach out and connect — and make it easy for people to reach back and connect with you!

Happy holidays — I hope you enjoy this season to it’s fullest!

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