‘Tis the season to send holiday greetings – have you thought about how you’ll make yours stand out? While a simple generic card and an update letter may have been the norm a decade or two ago, today’s family Christmas cards are more festively creative than ever before. The important thing to remember is it’s not a competition! Your holiday card should simply be an expression of your family. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to team up as a family and collaborate on a creative, fun card that’ll put a smile on any recipient’s face.
Here are 15 ways you can make your holiday cards stand out this merriest of seasons!
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Holiday Card Ideas
Let Fido & Fluffy Take Center Stage
Let’s be honest – your pets are just as much a part of the family as any child or spouse. When you’re designing your perfect greeting card, don’t be shy about including pictures of the family pup or cat. It can be tricky to coordinate your fur babies alongside your actual babies, so look for a photo card layout that gives you flexibility in creating a collage, or let your pet be the star of their very own card!
Use the Outtakes
Everyone gravitates toward the perfectly staged family photos – you know, the one where your smiles are perfect and everyone’s looking at the camera? But wrangling the kids can result in some hilarious candid moments that truly capture the love and joy in your household. Don’t be afraid to opt for one of those pictures instead – if your photographer was lucky enough to catch it!
Light Up Your Life
Christmas lights add an instant festive vibe to any setting – and they photograph beautifully too. Pick up an old school strand of lights and wrap around your family for a holiday-themed hug. You can finish things off with a card that echoes the Christmas light motif for one brilliant holiday greeting card.
Do a Throwback
Everything old is cool again. If you’ve got old baby photos of yourself in an elf costume, or mall photos from visiting Santa, include them alongside the latest and greatest photos of your life. Not only will it inspire a laugh, it will give people a chance to see how much your kids and you look alike at the same age. Choose a fun retro-inspired design to really up the kitsch factor.
Recreate Movie Magic
Holiday movies are a time-honored tradition, and every family has their favorites. You can recreate a favorite scene or simply dress everyone up like the film’s characters. A festive card design with speech bubbles even allows you to borrow the best quotes. From Christmas Vacation to Elf to Home Alone, you can even pick a different movie every year to make this a kooky holiday tradition. You can even tap into Game of Thrones or Frozen, for other wintery settings.
Coordinate Your Clothes
Yes, you can opt to dress everyone in coordinating holiday shades of red and green or navy and silver. But if you really want to take things to the next level, nab some tacky or funny holiday sweaters for the entire clan – they’re available at mall retailers and online. In fact, ugly Christmas sweaters have become so ubiquitous, there’s even fun card designs to back up your family’s questionable fashion sense.
Create a Winter Fantasy
The holidays are one of the most magical times of year – so why not play on it in your Christmas card? Choose a theme and dress the family up in fantastical costumes. You can even spring for costume makeup to transform your kids into winter princesses, Jack Frost, or whatever magical creations you envision. Pick an equally ethereal card design to set things off.
Share Your Year
The holiday newsletter is a standard – after all, for faraway friends and relatives, Christmas cards are one of the few excuses you have to send mail (and updates about your life). This year, let your card do the talking for you. Pick a design that gives you the chance to show off the 2016 highlights – if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a photo collage is pretty much an essay. Just, you know, way more fun.
Recreate Holiday Moments
Another take on the throwback idea? Dig out one of your early family photos and recreate it as best you can, with grown-up versions of what you wore way back when and similar expressions / poses. A photo card template with two frames is the best way to contrast then and now.
Express Your Creative Side
Have a budding artist in the family? There are plenty of ways to get their Picasso on this holiday season. Create a sidewalk chalk mural, go crazy with paintbrushes, or apply some magical face paint. A minimalist card design keeps the focus on your creative handiwork!
Take an Action Shot
If your family embraces winter weather, then be sure to snap plenty of photos throughout the year of them engaging in their favorite outdoor activities. It’s a less overtly Christmas card theme that still feels oh so festive. From snowball fights and sledding to ice skating and snowboarding, an outdoor action shot is a fun, fresh way to showcase your family. Opt for a snowflake-bedecked card to really capture that wintery feeling.
‘Hire’ Some Stand-Ins
Pick your kid’s favorite toy and let them stand in for you for the family photoshoot. Create custom Lego minifigures or dress up your Barbie dolls to recreate a household scene that doesn’t actually require the family to be in the same place at the same time. Your card design should be equally fun and festive!
Change Your Perspective
Capture holiday magic in a creative way by taking your photo as a reflection. One of the best bets is to grab an ornament and have someone snap it at an angle for you. Then just add it to a photo card style that has that same holiday décor look.
Hone In On The Cute Factor
Source: Oh, Joy!
When you feel a little camera shy, the best course of action is to put the kids front and center. Pick a cute holiday motif that highlights their adorableness – and allows you to stay just out of the action. A vertical Christmas card style will showcase your entire family in (almost all) their glory.
Skip Christmas Altogether
Want to send out a card that’s a little less seasonal? Skip ahead to New Year’s! Bust out the balloons, confetti and formal wear and show off your family’s party animal side. A New Year’s card can still feel just as joyfully festive with the right design.