Christmas controversial

Written by Deena Waisberg

What was once a marketing staple is going the way of candy cigarettes, cap guns and Benny Hill reruns: the company Christmas card. But while political correctness has quashed some arguably harmless cultural artifacts, there’s a business case for canning Christmas greetings.

“Canada has become more multicultural and someone who doesn’t share the Christian faith might be offended by a Christmas card,” suggests Lewena Bayer, co-founder of In Good Company, a Winnipeg-based etiquette consultancy. In a recent poll on, 42% of respondents said they will send generic holiday greetings this December; 28% will stick with “Merry Christmas” and the like; and another 25% won’t send any greetings at all.

That leaves 5% who will avoid Christmas clutter — and potentially achieve greater impact — by sending New Year’s greetings after the Yuletide rush. It’s a good strategy, says In Good Company partner Karen Mallett. But she suggests an even more targeted approach: recognizing a few significant personal occasions throughout the year will generate a better ROI than sending all the cookie-cutter Christmas cards Santa could possibly drop off.

© 2003 Deena Waisberg

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