Sending e-Cards For The Holidays
December 20, 2006
So you do realize that Christmas is in a few days, right? I hope you have all your shopping done, and packages and cards mailed out. Realistically, I know many of you haven’t had the time to do any of this, or just suffer from an extreme case of procrastination. Either way, there’s still hope for you if you send your greetings electronically.
E-card sites are nothing new, but as we move further into the digital age, these will probably be more and more common than paper cards. E-cards are also useful for your loved ones who live on the other side of the world where you can’t easily snail mail things, so you don’t have to consider e-greetings as pure last-minute alternatives. Here are some sites for you to send free e-cards:
Apple iCards (www.apple.com)
This is my personal favorite site to send e-cards from. Apple’s cards have a simple, classic, elegant look to them that you’re sure to love. If you’re a .Mac member, you can use your own photos. When you go to the website, make sure you click on the .Mac/iCards link.
Send free electronic greetings with e-cards and postcards with personalized messages. Cards for all holidays and occasions are available. You can send animated greetings using your own photos using the Smilebox software (PC only).
American Greetings (www.americangreetings.com)
Create free e-cards, printable greetings and invitations for Christmas, birthday and all your events. All year long, there are so many to choose from, including your own pics. If you send an e-card with Yahoo! you will end up with an American Greetings service.
Blue Mountain (www.bluemountain.com)
I remember Blue Mountain being around back in the days of dial-up Internet access.
“Way back” in those days is when I first started sending e-cards from this site to those who were advanced enough to possess an e-mail account. It’s actually another arm of AGINTERACTIVE (American Greetings).
Amazon (www.amazon.com/gp/ecards) Choose from 14 different categories of cards. There does-n’t seem to be as wide of a selection or capability as the ones mentioned above, but the cards are fairly decent.
There are so many more e-card websites out there, but the links mentioned are the ones that I consider to be the cream of the crop. Just remember that Christmas isn’t about what you give someone or how much money you spend, so e-cards are actually perfect, whether you are indeed a procrastinator or on a tight budget.
Volunteer Hawaii. With the giving spirit in mind, why not give yourself? That’s one of the best gifts you can offer. You can find multiple local volunteering slots with Volunteer Hawaii (http://volunteerhawaii.org), a virtual volunteer center to link your interests with what’s available. It’s also a service recently added to United Ways in Hawaii.
When you first click on the website, you’ll see links to the different volunteer opportunities available. The link to pay attention to if you’re looking to volunteer this Christmas season is the Holiday Opportunities link. There you’ll find a variety of requests such as toy drive helpers, gift wrappers, receptionists or Santa’s helpers.
Throughout the rest of the year, consider other chances ... there are so many to choose from! You can search for a specific event you want to help with, browse for all openings or make donations. To narrow the search down, you can enter in your ZIP code, category of interest or age group (if applicable). Just about anything you can think of is on there from domestic violence (my personal interest as a survivor) to substance abuse to homelessness and yes, even technology (people looking for webmasters, etc.).
If you’re on the other side of the fence, representing an agency that needs people, you can easily sign up and post your request on the website for prospective volunteers to see.
Volunteer Hawaii is a free service provided statewide to our community. The organization energizes and inspires people to actively create a stronger, safer and healthier environment in which we want to live.
This website is unique, and makes volunteering extremely easy and very accessible to everyone. You should definitely take advantage of it. However, if you have no computer and are still living in the dark ages of no Internet access, you can dial 2-1-1 from your home phone and it will automatically ring a Volunteer Hawaii specialist to search the database for you.
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