Christmas cards are one popular form of greeting card, and they are usually sent to celebrate the Christian holiday of Christmas. Digital Christmas cards offer a unique take on the traditional card, as they utilize electronic technology. In general, digital greeting cards are available in two varieties: online cards and paper-based cards. The former types are sent via electronic outlets like e-mail and are viewable on electronic screens as words, pictures, animations, and — in some cases — videos. Other cards are actual physical objects that use digital technology to add features such as music or photographs.
During holidays, greeting cards are often a favorite consumer item. Traditionally, the cards consist of a folded piece of card stock with text and illustrations on the inside and outside of the card. Text typically offers well wishes and good cheer for a particular holiday. Illustrations on holiday-themed greeting cards usually contain popular symbols of the holiday. On a Christmas card, such images might include Santa Claus, Christmas trees, or biblical figures like Jesus Christ.
The same basic makeup applies to digital Christmas cards. Technology simply enhances the experience. For physical cards, special digital devices such as microchips or discs are installed into the card. Such features can make the card play back music, spoken words, or animation. In addition, these cards have a variety of tones ranging from humorous to sentimental.
Personalized digital Christmas cards can also include digital technology. For example, some services offer to take digital family photographs and imprint the pictures on a background pre-selected by the buyer. Names and special messages can be added to these cards. Individuals with the proper software and technical prowess can even make personalized digital Christmas cards by using design templates and other features. In some cases, an individual may be able to make a personalized greeting and record it onto a digital device that will be inserted into the card.
Another popular use of digital technology is witnessed in the emergence of online Christmas cards. These consist of holiday greetings or other digital announcements that are viewable on a computer screen or similar digital device. Individuals can use multimedia technology available online and via software to make their own greeting, or already-prepared cards may be available for purchase from online retailers. Computerized digital Christmas cards also offer more versatile presentation options such as animated pictures or video recordings. E-mail is perhaps the most common transmission source for online digital Christmas cards.