Thomas Jasak and his wife recently continued one of their favorite holiday traditions: mailing Christmas cards — 125 in all — to their friends and relatives.
“It’s important to us because it’s nice to keep in touch with people to let them know we’re thinking of them,” said Jasak, a Vaucluse, SC, retail associate.
Although First-Class Mail volumes continue declining in the digital era, holiday greeting cards remain a beloved mainstay for many people — especially Postal Service employees like Jasak.
Consumers annually purchase about 1.6 billion Christmas cards, including boxed units, according to the Greeting Card Association.
USPS research collected last year shows holiday greeting cards account for 39.9 percent of households’ personal correspondence, although total holiday card volumes are down 9.4 percent from 2014.
Because of this decline, employees say the cards that remain in the mailstream are more likely to stand out.
“As a former carrier now in payroll, I know how few handwritten pieces of mail get delivered nowadays, and how much it means to those who receive them, including me,” said Georgia Ramin, an Eagan, MN, accounting technician who prepares her cards with help from her 7-year-old daughter, Poppy.
Dena Ray, a Chicago District human resources specialist, knows her brother, Leroy, will send her a Christmas card this year, just like he’s done for the past 25 years.
“My eldest sister is a retired postal worker, so I guess all those speeches she and I made about sending cards and letters to keep us gainfully employed actually worked,” Ray said.
Other employees have simpler reasons for preserving the tradition.
“It’s touching to get the cards in the mail,” said Kathy Krzanowski, a Providence, RI, revenue assurance analyst. “It really feels good.”