...it's an insult to send them: it shows that you can't be bothered to select a card appropriate to the recipient, write in it, put it in an envelope, address it, put a stamp on it, and post it by Royal Mail (or mail it through the US Postal Service). And the kind you find on the web are GHASTLY: repellent cartoon figures, twee pictures, revolting sentiments, pathetic doggerel, unfunny quips and often, worst of all, a bit of unutterably vile music. Yuck! Poo! Delete it before it befouls your inbox.
Yes, but there are exceptions...
There is a British company which produces charming and witty e-cards. It was founded by artist Jacquie Lawson in 2000, and she now leads a team of talented helpers—mostly her friends and family—including animators, a watercolourist, a musician and a web designer, based in Devon, London and the US. They have a range of 196 cards for various purposes: you can see them at their excellent website, www.jacquilawson.com.
There is still time to send out some of these for Christmas, or better still their magnificent 2011 Advent Calendar, a bit more expensive but very good value. If you don't want to buy this or anything else from them, you can pass a pleasant hour previewing their stock.
Other Men's Flowers is, of course, widely known for its venality; it will happily publish a plug for any product, however tatty, overpriced or downright fraudulent, provided the fee is right. But I can make an honest declaration of disinterest in Jacquie Lawson: I have no acquaintance with her or any of her associates and no financial interest in their company. I rather regret this, for they are clearly an agreeable bunch of people and have a deservedly successful business.