One of the more amusing aspects of this time of year is the effort some people make to reach out to those in their address book with holiday greetings of some kind.
In years past, this took the form of Hallmark cards, all very colorful, that I opened and put on the fireplace mantel and/or around my office to create a festive atmosphere. (I miss those cards, don’t you?) Now I get a lot of email greeting cards. (How boring!)
While I don’t print them and use them for decorations, they have the same flaw that the physical cards had: Who was that masked man that sent them?
While often times the envelope the card came in had a return address, sometimes it didn’t. It usually didn’t help that most people have hand writing that is worse than mine and/or only signed their first names. (Hey, this is personal mail. You should know who John, Mike or Bill might be. After all, how many could you know?)
The emails I get also risk getting deleted by “Matt’s law” which very simply stated is “If it is HTML, it is probably spam,” and I’m not talking about the mystery meat of the same name.
(Do you think this is a good time for me to beat the drum about outgoing signatures? Sure, any time is a good time for that message.)
Friends, if you want me to actually appreciate your thoughtfulness, you might want to tell me who you are. And, impulsive guy that I am, if you provide me with a phone number I might actually call you. (I’m not the Wizard of Oz. I actually do exist.)
I refer to the syndrome of the holiday greetings with no name or no way to reach back and touch you as the “personal impersonal.”
Even if I am clairvoyant and able to figure out your identity, is it possible my contact information for you in these turbulent times is actually current?
If you are going to take the time to send out a “personal” message of holiday greeting, could you take a few minutes more and ensure your message begins with my “greeting to use” of Matt and could you provide me with your FULL contact information? (You never know, I might even want to send you a gift, and I can’t do that to an email address.)
In this way, I will actually feel special that you thought of me, and I might actually be able to return the “love.”