There’s something wonderful about creating personalized holiday cards to give to those you love.
For the past 10 years, I’ve been creating holiday cards for friends and family. It started with all four of us when I was married. My son got older and didn’t want to be on the card (now that he is 25, he doesn’t mind being on it now, and I am including him on this year’s card), so I started to make them with my daughter’s photo. Over the years, people have told me that they look forward to getting my holiday cards, and have charted my daughter’s growth and evolution from a five year-old Chicklet to a fifteen year-old Chick. For me, it is something that I think out and come up with several months in advance, and I always like to surprise people with our personalized holiday goodness every year.
When making my holiday cards, I usually use card templates and themes from Minted, Shutterfly, Pear Tree Greetings, Cafe Press, or Zazzle. Whatever holiday card option I choose, I always make sure to search the web for deals and discounts. I also allow two weeks for printing and delivery time—the best time to order your cards is between now and December 10th, but you may find amazing deals the closer it gets to Christmas.
Now that I consider myself a holiday card creator extraordinaire, I want to share with you Five Ways to Create Memorable Personalized Holiday Cards. Doing so takes a little work and time, but can give a gift of lasting memories.
Here’s my list:
Style a photo
For our holiday cards every year, I style a photo shoot purposefully for the occasion. I usually shoot the photo in September, using an outdoor scene for the backdrop. I carefully select holiday colors and tones that will look well against most holiday card designs on Minted, Shutterfly, or Pear Tree Greetings.
Make sure to shoot pictures that are horizontal and vertical so that you can have the best of both worlds when selecting templates. Try to avoid Portrait mode unless you have exceptionally good lighting, because it can appear blurrier than normal when printed on a holiday card.
For the littles, use props to make it extra cute. For older kids, make sure to showcase their personality.
If styling a shoot isn’t your cup of tea, you can select a candid shot that you may already have on your camera phone or DSLR or point and shoot. The beauty of holiday cards is that they are supposed to showcase you and your family in a way that is authentic and real, so candid photos usually work well for this.
Did you go on a family vacation this year? You can use a photo from that trip. The possibilities are endless and the result will be positively cute.
When shooting outdoors, keep the temperature in mind. As I shared earlier, I usually take photos for our holiday cards in September before it gets too cold. My daughter is usually dressed in winter gear to give it a Christmas-y feel. If you are planning a stylized shoot, make sure to check the weather and try to get as much natural light as you can to make the photo card pop.
Select a theme
You can also create a personalized holiday card moment by selecting your theme from the holiday card design of your choice, then shooting the photo to go with it. There are hundreds of thousands of themes and templates to choose from, so you can really put your best foot forward by making your picture fit the card design.
Think plaid—if using a plaid design, you can dress your subjects in plaid to go with it. Or if a rose gold, muted tone is the theme of the card design, you can select a photo look and backdrop to go along with it.
Score a deal
Before creating your personalized holiday card, make sure to browse the internet for the best deals. Minted has been my number one go-to for the last few years and they always have deals aplenty around this time of year. Research first, and make sure that you save on your cards.
Also, signing up for their newsletter is a good way to get a discount—they’ll send you a code, usually for 10% to 25% off, which can really come in handy. Black Friday sales are also a good time to score some major saving as well.
I cannot wait to begin designing our holiday card for this year—it’s going to be a special one, since both of my kiddos will be on it together–something that hasn’t happened in years!
Here’s to your personalized holiday cards being a special treat for your friends and family. I hope my tips come in handy!