Nashville Web Developer Blog

Tech and the Holidays..

By JJ Rosen|December 25th, 2019|Atiba News|no comments

Happy (digital) holidays from the Jones Family! 

That was the subject line of an email I received the other day.   

Our friends the Jones’s had sent their annual holiday card via email.  Just the like the paper versions we had received in years past, their “card” contained a few pictures of their kids and dogs as well as a brief re-cap of all the cool things they did over the past year.   

How cool I thought.   For thrifty people (cheapskates) like myself not wanting shell out the cash for the printing and postage of a traditional holiday card the Jones’s approach seemed like a great idea.   “We should do this too!” I thought.  I was all in. 

Sadly though, the rest of my family was not. 

When I presented the idea to my wife, she immediately vetoed it.   Flinging words like “etiquette” and “laziness,” she ended the debate by asking me: “What’s next?   Are you going to start sending thank-you-notes over email too?” 

Hmmm.  That’s not a bad idea either I thought.   After all, it’s much more efficient to send an email than a physical card through the mail.   With the same exact content as paper mail, an email arrives thousands of times faster, has no cost, is environmentally friendly, and can be sent to hundreds of your closest friends with a single click.  Why not? 

When you think about it, email has replaced postal mail (“snail-mail”) for nearly every other form of communication.  Letters, bills, legal documents, and even junk mail have made the jump to digital.    

But for some reason, there are still some types of communication that have remained old-school.  Holiday cards, wedding invitations, postcards, thankyou notes— sending these in email is at best frowned-upon.     

Why is this? 

Most people see it as an expression of effort.    

Sending snail-mail is harder than sending email and thus enjoys an elevated status in the eyes of the recipient.  It allows the receiver to put something on their mantel or in their keep-sake drawer to look back on later. With a 50 percent drop over the past decade in the amount of first-class mail that is sent through the U.S. Postal Service, I concede, receiving a personal note on paper can be considered special when compared to receiving the same note via email.    

But, as we have seen with all forms of communication, the momentum of technology cannot be stopped.  Old rotary phones took more effort than modern dial-tone phones but most of us are happy to get a phone call from a friend regardless.  

I admit, I am in the minority on this 

Die-hard holiday card senders (like my wife) will make the argument that some things are sacred.   Older technologies like vinyl records, books, and printed family albums keep us connected to a simpler, less techo-geek driven time.  They will say that a written letter or nicely printed card is a form of art that should be kept alive in the name of tradition 

At the risk of sounding like a nerdy-holiday-socially-challenged-scrooge, I would argue that the content of a message matters more than the delivery mechanism— it’s the thought that counts. 

So, while our friends and family will be receiving a printed holiday card from us in their mailboxes this year, next year I hope to keep up with the Jones’s and just send out a holiday email.  Happy (digital) holidays! 


JJ Rosen is the founder of Atiba.  A Nashville IT consulting and custom software development firm.  Visit or for more info. 



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