Christmas cards in high demand

SEE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/12/08/christmas-cards-in-high-demand

So much for Facebook killing the Christmas card — sales are up, big time, says an Ottawa retailer.

“We sell, like, 50 to 60 boxes a day,” said Gary Stern, who co-owns Paper Papier in the Byward Market.

And it isn’t just a girlie thing.

“We have a surprising number of men of all ages who are happy to shop for the Christmas cards. They take it very seriously,” said Stern’s business partner, Andrew Hay.

This year, customers are splurging on high-end cards.

“The greeting-card industry in general just continues to grow and grow, which is a very interesting contrast to what one might think, given the electronic age that we live in,” said Hay.

Vickie Iacobellis is part of the generation using social media and smartphones for pretty much everything, and says sending Christmas cards is something she’s never done.

“I wish I do, and I think about doing it every year, but I don’t,” said the 29-year-old Ottawa resident.

Her preferred methods are “mainly Facebook, e-mail, sometimes texting,” she said, explaining closer friends usually get a text on Christmas Day.

On the other hand, Patrice Egalite, 25, says his cards are already addressed and waiting to be dropped in the mailbox.

“I believe that there are sometimes words that cannot be expressed over the phone,” said Egalite.

He acknowledges most people he knows don’t send cards.

“Nowadays, I would say it’s more a phone call or Merry Christmas text,” Egalite said.

Those methods don’t cut it for Max and Kristina Guenette.

“We do get the e-mails and the e-vites and that kind of thing, but it’s still a nice touch to get the Christmas card,” said Max.

For Kristina, “it’s all about the texture. It has to be a good, heavy weighted card,” she said.

The Guenettes usually buy two sets of cards: one with the word “Christmas,” for family and friends. The second set is neutral, along the lines of “happy holidays.”

“At work I have probably four to five different religions on my immediate team, so I have to be a little bit more conscious of that, for sure,” said Kristina.

But finding cards that actually say “Merry Christmas” is easier said than done — and they’re in demand.

“I think that people really enjoy the C-word. I think that people would like to have cards that say ‘Merry Christmas,’” said Hay.

“Unfortunately, a lot of our manufacturers haven’t quite caught on to that fact. I don’t really know why, whether it’s an attempt to be politically correct, but it is Christmas, after all.”

@ottawasunkroche

CANADA POST DEADLINES:

  • Within province: Dec. 16
  • Local: Dec. 19
  • Out of province: Dec. 15
  • United States: Dec. 13
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