Before you go out to the store and buy another greeting card for a birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, graduation, or even for Mother’s Day (how dare I!), ask yourself why. Giving paper cards are part of our “must-do” lifestyle so you have to right? This year try giving e-cards or better yet, Vacation Time e-Cards.
The best gift is your time and what better way to celebrate a special occasion than sharing vacation time off. Plus paper cards are expensive and only end up in the recycle bin. An e-card with the gift of vacation time is a shared memory that lasts forever.
You most likely have received e-cards in the past. They were quite popular in the early days of the Internet, so why did they never replace paper cards? I guess with paper cards there is the nostalgia factor, wanting to look like you spent money to celebrate an occasion, and the efficiency of purchasing and mailing pre-made cards.
An e-card is just as good, no make that better! You can customize them in more ways like adding your own photo (think selfie), changing the font, colors, and styles, and turning on interactive features. They can include an in-card game, play their favorite song, or even support a charitable cause. You can even add an online store gift card so the receiver gets to shop for a gift they can really use!
There are many sources of e-cards online. I have no preference so you should try a few sites and decide which has the best selection, ease of use, and price. Many are free with options to upgrade to the premium version. Whether you are looking for a traditional, funny, edgy, or to support a good cause, there is an e-card source for you.
Do you have a creative streak? Think back to your childhood and how every drawing of yours was a work of art (at least according to Mom). With software on your computer and online anyone can play the role of greeting card artist. Instead of picking out a pre-designed e-Card, create a custom one-of-a-kind digital greeting card.
Choosing this e-card option shows the receiver that you really care! Your selection of layout, graphics, words, and style makes your e-card truly personal. An e-card does not have to resemble a paper card. A one page layout is the easiest to start and compatible with printing on a standard piece of paper.
First pick out a photo or graphic or take a picture using your phone or webcam. Make this the centerpiece of your e-card or for signing the card. Now craft the message. Add a large bold title to celebrate the occasion with style and color. Next add your personal message to the card. Write like you would in a letter or postcard using your own words. If you are experiencing writers block, search Google for examples of what to say and to inspire your own sentiment.
There are no rules and you are not limited by space on the page. So include as many photos and clip art graphics as you desire. The easiest design tool is your email client software like Gmail, AOL, or Yahoo! mail. Create a digital greeting card as a new email message with text, photos, and a few stylistic embellishments.
The powerful desktop option is to design your e-card using Adobe or Microsoft design software such as Publisher, PowerPoint, or even reliable Microsoft Word. For an online (hosted) app consider the tools included with Google Docs and Presentations which are free to use. Once you complete your card, export it as an image file to embed in your email or attach it as a PDF file.
For those with a bit more technical ability, record a video of yourself wishing or (not for me) singing the message in your e-card. You can upload and share the video privately or if you dare, post it publicly to Facebook.
Taking the idea of e-cards one step further, include a vacation opportunity with your e-card. So instead of sending a gift or a gift card, give your time (vacation time that is) instead.
We are NOT talking about taking someone on a week’s holiday to the Caribbean or Disney World. The idea of a “vacation” can be as little as a few hours and take place close to home. If you are a regular reader of VacationCounts, you’ll know all about the definition of vacation time. Let me explain…
Vacation time is part of everyone’s overall work-life-vacation balance. You know about work-life balance. The “vacation” part is the time you spend outside of work and home responsibilities. So vacation hours make up a part of every day, when you do whatever it is YOU want to do. You can have a vacation hour, micro-vacation, vacation day, weekend vacation, or vacation week or two.
To give others the gift of vacation time, make them a vacation offer they can’t refuse. Tell them for their birthday (or Mother’s Day, an Anniversary, or Valentine’s Day, or whatever occasion) you are going to take them on a vacation experience; one where you get to spend time off together.
The possibilities for giving the gift of vacation time are endless. Sign up for our VacationCounts newsletter so you are notified when we publish more articles on this and related vacation time off topics. Here are a few vacation e-card ideas to get you thinking.
As you can see from our starter list, your vacation e-card can include any way you wish to share your time off with a friend or family member.
When the next greeting card occasion arrives, go beyond paper greeting cards. Do send an e-card but mark the occasion one step better. Offer a vacation experience “gift card” to share your time off work and life with that special person. You’ll both benefit from the experience; however you can be sure the recipient will never forget your gift of vacation time.
So what is your favorite way to share time off to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or annual holiday? Add your thoughts and suggestions to the comments below as well as tips on how to design e-cards on your computer.
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.