Holiday cards – your preferences?

by DaniGirl on November 6, 2009 · 29 comments

in Happy holidays, Life, the Universe and Everything

Yes, it’s early. I know, not even the second week of November and it’s my second post about Christmas — third if you count the Christmas light in my 365 post! But I’m trying to wrench a little organization into my life and planning ahead is giving me a small sense of control.

So! Christmas and holiday cards. Given that I’m such an avid photographer, you’d think I would like photo cards, but I’m not terribly fond of them for us. In the past, we’ve sent the boys’ Sitting With Santa photos as our annual card, but I’m more partial to an actual card. There’s more room for a message, and — well, I don’t know why else I like an actual card better, I just do! Not just any holiday card, though. I like a folky kind of image the best, simple and not glittery and not hokey. I spend way too much time thinking about this, don’t I?

For years now, more than a decade actually, I’ve been saving all the holiday cards we receive. The day the tree comes down, the photo cards go into one pile and the traditional cards go into another one. The photo cards get saved and the other cards get recycled into various Christmas crafts. Last year we made bead-marble fridge magnets out of Christmas card cutouts, for example. You can cut them up to make great gift tags, too.

So I’m really just rambling on because I’m curious… do you prefer to send out store-bought cards, hand-made cards or photo cards for the holidays? And what do you think of those annual newsletters? (I’d send out an annual newsletter myself, but it’s easier just to link to the blog!) Have you ever done an official portrait sitting for your card or do you use a favourite snapshot from the year?

You can mock me now, but blink twice and it will be mid-December…

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lynn November 6, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Ugh, I was just thinking about this today and wondering how I will find time to do cards this year. I do a store-bought card (I like stylized designs with snowmen on them — we always need a non-demoninational card for both sides of the family). I also do a newsletter since I might have a heart attack if any of my extended family actually knew about the blog :). I use a couple of casual shots of the kids from throughout the year in the newsletter.

2 Chantal November 6, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I don’t do a newsletter although I do like receiving them. I do store bought cards and if I happen to have photos on hand my close family get one. I have to admit that I didn’t do cards last year and I felt bad about it. And this year I am starting mine early. I was hoping to include a photo of the baby in the cards but his due date is just too close to Christmas.

3 Robin November 6, 2009 at 2:18 pm

My favourite card to receive is a nice Christmas card that doesn’t say “Happy Holidays”. Also nice to have a short note written inside or an added photo of any kind. Not fond of newsletters as you can’t hang them up. I send out cards with photos and short notes. I have found over the last 10 years the number of Christmas cards exchanged has dwindled…….I think the tradition is beginning to die.

4 Loukia November 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm

I too wrote a post about Christmas cards this week on my blog, too – funny! I have already bought my Christmas cards! I love the selection at Chapters, and that’s where I always end up buying my cards, when I’m not using my moms UNICEF cards. This year, I will also be giving out a photo card to select family members. I keep all the cards we receive.

5 coffeewithjulie November 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm

What I like to get? A photo card and/or newsletter. I just don’t really see the point of receiving a generic-type card that says “Merry Christmas! love Joe” and that’s it.

What I like to give? To close friends and family, a handmade card with a Santa photo of the kids. To everyone else – nada. I just can’t be bothered. I know, I should be crossed off the female race.

6 JustAnOttawaDad November 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I usually do both (sorta)… We do a traditional card for the writing space, but then I include a photo of the family inside.

This year we’re doing the (RED) cards to support (no, support is the wrong word, to fight AIDS in Africa, that’s better) AIDS in Africa. (

My wife handles most of the logistics, and writes the ones to her friends and relatives, I do the ones to mine. Grandparents get handmade cards from my daughter.

They do seem rather old fashioned to me, but sometimes it’s one of those things that allow us to slow down life.

7 p November 6, 2009 at 3:41 pm

usually traditional type cards with a short handwritten note and a fav photo from the year tucked inside. but last year I was behind, very behind, and ended up doing New Year photo cards and just wrote a short personal note on each … took off some of the pressure certainly and might just become a tradition!

8 Laura November 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Nothing irritates me more than someone who sends a card just for the sake of sending one with nothing in it. If you are going to pay the postage and send a card, either include a newsletter and fill me in on your life, include a family photo so I can see how you have all changed or write me a quick message. If the card is simply signed, I shake my head and think what a waste! I used to be a Stampin’ up! demonstrator, so am partial to homemade cards, but also love cutsy snowmen. Personally, I love the newsletter and I am guilty of doing one (even only by email some years). It may be generic, but it is practical and I really do want to catch up on everyone’s life.

9 Carly November 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm

I love giving and receiving Christmas cards and always prefer an actual card to a photo card. I’m totally in love with these – the best of every world in my opinion.

An actual card, with high quality photos and lots of room for family updates. All. In. One.

I heart you Tiny Prints.

10 Debbie November 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm

I like to send and receive Christmas cards. I like when there is a photo or note enclosed. I love the tradition of writing a Christmas letter to people I do not see very often. I still have a Chirstmas letter my Aunt had sent to my mother many years ago in my recipe box. It’s funny when I come across it I love to take the time to read it, they have both since passed away but I feel a closeness when I read the Christmas letter. I try to take the time to write a few Christmas letters and l always include a photo of my daughters.

11 mrsgryphon November 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Started working on our cards last night, actually 🙂 The last couple of years I’ve designed my own photo card, and then emailed them out to everyone as a .jpg. I’m conflicted this year, since I’d like to get the design done in time to get them printed and sent out (“real” mail is way more fun to receive than an email, but I still have about 40 thank you notes to send for the already-six-months-old baby’s gifts, so the odds of Christmas cards getting done are slim!!). I do love receiving cards, but so many of them are just signed, without a note or a photo, and I feel extraordinarily guilty about all the paper and resources used to send those ones. I’d much rather receive a chatty email, but I guess Uncle Angus isn’t really into chatty emails and I should just be thankful I hear from him at all, right?!

12 Fawn November 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm

I started a yearly newsletter back when I was in high school because I’ve moved so many times, it was exhausting to write the same things over and over again to everyone. (In the days before e-mail!!!) Now I know that people look forward to them!

I also love getting a nice chatty newsletter from friends. I find it a little disappointing when a card is just signed and there’s no extra information — for some friends, we really only touch base once a year these days, so I really look forward to it. (Although one person insists on recording the events of every single month in agonizing detail. That’s NOT a newsletter, in my opinion!!)

I always include the links to my blog and my hubby’s, but a lot of people aren’t into reading blogs. (I know, I know! Hard to believe!)

13 Fawn November 6, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Oh, and the newsletter goes IN a traditional Christmas card, but I’d LOVE to get organized enough to do a photo card (REAL cards like the TinyPrints ones, not the Walmart strip).

14 Rebecca November 6, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Before kids, I just gave out whatever cards were cute. Now, I do a photocard with the kids for family and friends! For some people that I do a ‘courtesy’ card for (not really close with them) I still find fun, pretty cards.

15 Ari November 6, 2009 at 8:37 pm

I don’t send out any cards. Mainly because I don’t have many people to send them too, but also because I never know what to SAY in the cards.

Maybe if I had a family with kids I could send out a newsletter with it or something but til then it’s just me, saying “happy holidays, love Ari.”. Blah.

That being said, you should do a picture one for your card, maybe not necessarily of the boys but something Christmas-y?

16 Rebecca S November 6, 2009 at 8:56 pm

photo cards for family/friends, store bought for colleagues etc RT @DaniGirl: Holiday cards – your preferences?

17 Christy November 6, 2009 at 9:16 pm

I love photocards to see pictures of families we don't see often RT @DaniGirl: Holiday cards – your preferences?

18 Christine LaRocque November 6, 2009 at 9:39 pm

I make my own RT @DaniGirl: Thinking ahead: Holiday cards – your preferences?

19 Laura November 6, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Torn -I like photos from relatives & friends but a tree is a tree RT @DaniGirl: Holiday cards–your preferences?

20 Shan November 6, 2009 at 9:46 pm

I think we’re going to do a newsletter this year. We love getting them. It seems weird, though after all the blogging. I’ll see what I come up with. I’m also planning on some pictures. My brother shot some beautiful family pictures for us. Now to pick which ones to print.

21 Nat November 6, 2009 at 11:05 pm

My favourite by far were the ones we got made at from iPhoto … but my friend Julie (far far craftier than me) makes these wonderful photo/cut with ribbon thingies… I just don’t have the time … or the talent.

We didn’t do card this year… not sure what I’ll do this year.

22 Angela ( jhscrapmom) November 7, 2009 at 11:00 am

tiny prints is where i get mine done every year. it links right up to your flickr account ( the link is right on the bottom right hand corner of the flickr home page) and offers a bajillion options. i ordered my cards this week and they should be here by the 17th of november. i did the single photo card thing last year with three portraits of the kids ( loved it:))) but got alllllll kinds of fancy this year with my card, using 6 shots – front, inside and back!! if i can figure out how to link my card to you, i will.
but do it through flickr as it links to your account easily. go and play even – it is a ton of fun!!

23 Angela ( jhscrapmom) November 7, 2009 at 11:04 am

this was last years ( i missed christmas so sent out a new year’s card)|%20Christmas%20Cards/saved/10e611f461623389b6d842cfa430310d121d48d8.html
hope that worked

24 coffeewithjulie November 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Thanks to everyone for letting me know about Tiny Prints. I am TOTALLY doing that! (provided they ship to Canada, of course). LOVE IT — best of both worlds … some news, some photos.

25 DaniGirl November 7, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Me too, Julie! I’m totally convinced now — and they do ship to Canada!

26 Jody November 9, 2009 at 9:14 am

We do Target/JCPenney/Portrait Innovations portraits at Christmas-time, partly to get a family photo for the grandparents as a Christmas gift and partly to send as a card. Every year, I contemplate upgrading my camera and trying for a TinyPrints-style photo card, but now the formal portrait is a tradition and I’m having a hard time changing the format.

I send out a newsletter with the card. It used to be a quarter-page of 8.5×11, but now it’s an entire page, only with much bigger font. Probably about half of the cards go out to elderly relatives and the tiny 9-point font just seemed cruel.

27 Mom on the Go November 9, 2009 at 11:56 am

I’m a photo and newsletter person. When I remember, I get the photo-with-greeting card that is the length of a business envelope to make my life simpler. (Can be with photo studio or just from Kodak kiosk and your pic.) Grandparents, aunts and uncles on all five sides (Ken’s parents are divorced, we know only his stepfather’s people) report that they enjoy the pics and the stories.

Now to write the newsletter…

28 kgirl November 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I’ve always saved the cards too, but I’ve never sent any out. Every year I say I might, but then I don’t.

29 Shannon November 9, 2009 at 9:39 pm

I love making hand-made cards and try to whenever I can, although some years I am just too busy. I never should have started it, b/c family and friends grow to expect it and there is a lot of pressure to send out nice cards when people are saying “oh, we can’t wait to get your beautiful hand-made card this year”. Yikes!!

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