Are you planning to buy and mail actual paper holiday cards this year? If so, you’re part of a quickly-shrinking minority. 

Cards used to be required for thank you’s, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. But these days, people are more likely to send a text or an e-card, or post their season’s greetings on your Facebook wall. In fact, they seem to be saving physical cards only for extra-special events - say, taped to a wedding gift, or carried to a birthday party they actually attend. And the statistics prove it. 

Over the past decade, the number of greeting cards sold has dropped 17%. But even when people do buy cards, their shopping habits have changed. Instead of searching the aisles for the perfect greeting card. People are more likely to customize cards online, while uploading their own images and words. And high-end paper stores are helping customers design their own cards with software that used to be only available to professional graphic designers.

A lot of people are also using websites where you can customize and personalize a card for any occasion. And then they’ll print it out, slap a stamp on it, and send it out, like Notes by Mail. 

Even Judith Martin, who’s also known as advice columnist “Miss Manners,” is okay with the change. She says the only situations that still require something handwritten are thank-you notes for a gift, or a job interview. And of course, nothing beats a card on Valentine’s day.