This is the season to be grateful, and indeed we are. We are also liking the many holiday cards we are receiving from family, friends, colleagues, clients and vendors from around the world. We don't want to sound ungrateful, but we wanted to bring up an important point that can turn a simple card into something meaningful as opposed to something that has no value. Let us elaborate.
A few days ago, we received two cards from two people (actually, one person and one corporation) we had never heard of. Both had just signed their names inside a pre-printed card. There was no personal note nor a hint as to our relationship to the sender. We both had no idea who the folks were, and as much as we appreciate a card, they have turned out to be meaningless. However, they could have become meaningful with a simple note along the lines of "nice meeting you at XYZ..." or "thanks for purchasing our database management software" or "nice working with you on XYZ project." We really do think it's important to take a few minutes to write a personal note on each and every holiday card. If you don't do that, it's just another piece of mail that's not meaningful. We think it's fantastic to go to the trouble of writing cards in this digital area, but let's take them to the next level and show the recipient that we have something nice to say about them. It's also an opportunity to show off your writing skills -- after all, we are linguists. With that, we are off to finish our last cards.