HarvardHomemaker

By HarvardHomemaker

I'm a Harvard graduate and homemaker who blogs about living (and loving!) the domestic life with my husband and four young daughters. My blog now permanently resides at www.harvardhomemaker.com. Please visit me there!

Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 10:08:00 PM in Holidays
Tags: making memories,  family,  keepsake,  photo tip,  christmas card ideas,  cards,  christmas,  holiday

15 Great Sites to Get Your Holiday Photo Cards

It's that time of year again!  Time to start thinking about the ol' Christmas card!  If you need some photo inspiration, you might want to check out this post with 100 Photos to Inspire Your Holiday Cards.  This post with 125+ Family and Sibling Photos will give you some ideas as well!

Once you get a photo that you can work with, then it's time to figure out how to mail that out to your nearest and dearest.  I must say that I've become a big fan of ordering cards online that arrive all ready to go.  No more taping pictures into cards or sliding them into slots that always seem to rip!  I also love to have our names already printed inside.  I know signing each one is more personal, but we all know that the holidays are a very busy time.  If I want to do any sleeping in December, something's gotta give! 

So when my cards arrive, I just stuff the envelopes, print my labels, and off they go!  Some of the online companies below will even print the recipient addresses for you on the envelopes if you upload your mailing list into their system.  I know Minted even offers this service for FREE!!  Some companies (such as Tiny Prints and Shutterfly) will also mail your cards for you for a fee.  

So many of the card companies offer various options these days, such as printing on both sides of the card, fold-over cards, tri-fold cards, even cards that double as ornaments!  You can include multiple pictures or perhaps a brief summary of what your family has been up to over the past year (no more printing up a separate "Christmas letter"... save time and have the "letter" already printed in your card!).

If you are new to using online companies for your cards, or if you are simply looking for some different options, I thought I'd put this list together for all of us.  When I started searching, I realized there are a lot of great places out there to find cards and invitations!  My new favorite is Minted, hands-down.  In the past, I was only familiar with Tiny Prints and Shutterfly (they are great!), but I was looking for something different last year to switch it up.  I must say that Minted won me over and then some!  The quality of the cards was outstanding, and I loved how I could move the text around so it worked better with our photo... that way no letters ended up on anybody's face.  They also included vellum inserts since my cards were a fold-over style (with pictures on the inside).  Those inserts kept the ink from transferring to the other side of the card.  That ensured that the cards were received in the same condition that I sent them!  On top of that, their envelopes were really high quality, too.  I went with the brown kraft paper style, and I loved them!  I'm a big fan of all-things-stationery (I used to have my own hand-designed stationery company), so I know great cards and paper when I see them!

In today's day and age where most of our communication is done through texting, emails, Facebook, etc., I do love that this one time every year, the tradition still stands to send snail mail to all the special people in our lives.  There's nothing like going to the mailbox in December to find so many beautiful cards waiting for you to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season!

 

A GLIMPSE OF THE CARDS WE'VE SENT OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS

 

I have shared a screen-shot from each site to help give you a sense of the styles available so you know if it's worth your time to click over and check out their options.  I hope the work I've done below will save you some time and allow you to find a card you're excited to send this holiday season!

The Santa Video

MINTED:  My New Favorite!!!

I am quite possibly this great company's new #1 fan!  I can't say enough good things...

Because I had such a positive experience with Minted last year, I wanted to further highlight some unique cards they carry because I think their products are really special.  Their quality is absolutely outstanding with beautiful paper and envelopes, and if you choose, they even offer a FREE addressing service so your envelopes arrive ready to mail to your recipients!  They also include vellum inserts for fold-over cards to ensure that ink doesn't transfer inside during mailing... I love that extra touch so your cards arrive in perfect condition!  

* If you have recently moved, I love this card design highlighting your new state!

Foil-Pressed Cards

Available exclusively at Minted, these are absolutely beautiful!

Fun Mini-Books

These are a great way to share more pictures.  

You could also let each child have a page and describe what he/she is up to these days!  

* The image below shows a mini book that's open.

Ornament Cards

What a great way to make your card into a keepsake for those you love!

Unique Card Shapes

One example is shown below.

Fun & Creative Designs

I love this conversation bubble design!

Various Interior & Backer Layout Options

There are so many ways to share more pictures or text inside (or on the back of) your card!

Tiny Prints

Until last Christmas when I decided to branch out, I had used Tiny Prints for every holiday card, birth announcement, invitation, etc. over the last several years.  They are absolutely fabulous!  One time I wasn't happy with how a photo was cropped without my knowledge (it was a minor adjustment they had made, but I still didn't like it), and with no questions asked, they immediately reprinted my entire order (225 cards!!) and sent it the next day overnight to me.  Another time they called me when they felt like a photo I had uploaded was slightly fuzzy.  I hadn't noticed the poor quality on my computer, but when I zoomed in, they were right!  I switched out the photo before printing.  I have always been so impressed with their service and attention to detail.  They have tons of great designs to choose from, and their paper and quality is wonderful.  You won't be disappointed if you order from them!

Shutterfly

I am also a huge Shutterfly fan.  I have ordered tons of photo thank you notes, invitations, prints, photo books, etc. from them!  I know you would be happy with Shutterfly as well!  If I have ever had a problem, they've always fixed it right away and sent a correction!

Wishing Tree Designs

I've only had one experience with Wishing Tree Designs, but it was a positive one!  I created my own invitation and thank you note for my daughter's first birthday (view it here), and I was really happy with how everything turned out.  I chose the Luxe Pearl paper, and I really thought it was beautiful.

More options below... 

Make the holidays special this year with a personalized children's book or other special gift from I See Me!

Night Owl Paper Goods

They will print your cards on real wood!  Very cool.  Paper options are available as well.

Family Christmas Ornaments

Cardstore

This company has a lot of great options for ordering a single card, too, meant for a grandparent or someone extra special.  (The prices below reflect the price for a single card.  The price drops drastically as the quantity increases.)

Land Of Nod: Design for Kids and People That Used to be Kids

A FEW TIPS AND IDEAS

TIP:  Check the Top of Each Site for Discount Codes!

Oftentimes, sites like these will display discount codes at the top of their site, but it's up to you to notice them and then remember to plug them in when you're checking out!  Don't forget to take a peek!

IDEA:  Print Extra Copies of Your Card and Save One for Each Child as a Keepsake

I have started printing a few extra cards when I place my order now in order to save one for each of my four girls.  I tuck them away in a file under that year/age that I created for each daughter.  Perhaps someday I'll do something special with them as a gift for when they leave home, but if nothing else, I thought they may enjoy having them one day.  Oftentimes there's an update printed inside the card, and it's already fun for them to look back and see how I described the stage they were in at the time!

IDEA:  Create a "Christmas Through the Years" Album 

This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions!  I started the album below the year we got married, and I often give an album like this one to new couples and new parents.  (Find the perfect album here!)  The ideas is simple:  I tuck away a copy of our holiday card, and then I also insert a few pictures that highlight that year's Christmas.  I also write a short description of how we celebrated.  I only allow myself to use 2 pages per year, so my entries are short and succinct.  

Now, thirteen years later, it's already so fun to flip through the pages.  We get it out every Christmas, and we all love to read about years past.  It's also neat to see our family grow at a glance.  With each turn of the page, our family has grown and changed.  And for those not good about keeping up with things like this, just keep in mind that you only have to do two pages PER YEAR!  Even if you just allow one page per Christmas, you could simply use your holiday card and then write a summary.  Easy!  What a wonderful family keepsake to have and pass on through generations.

If you'd like to give an album like this as a gift, you can find a version of the letter I insert on the first page here.  Perhaps that will help you find the words you'd like to use.  You can download the letter, and then edit it to fit your writing style and the occasion.  Hope that helps!

I hope it helps to have all these options in one place... maybe it will give you a little time back in your day during this hectic time of year!  Happy Card-Designing, everybody!  

Until next time,

HH

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