The holiday season is a wonderful time to connect with friends and family. One great way to spread holiday cheer is by sending out Christmas photo cards. Christmas photo cards allow you to share a heartwarming holiday photo and thoughtful message with loved ones.
Why Send Christmas Photo Cards?
Here are some of the key reasons to send Christmas photo cards this holiday season:
- It’s a special way to connect – A personalized photo card helps you feel more connected with recipients during the holidays.
- It’s meaningful – Photo cards feel more heartfelt and meaningful than generic holiday cards from the store.
- It’s fun – Taking a festive family photo and picking out cards is a holiday tradition many families cherish.
- It’s nostalgic – Looking back on holiday photos is something recipients will treasure for years to come.
- It spreads cheer – A sweet photo and warm holiday wishes is sure to make someone smile.
In our increasingly digital world, sending physical photo cards demonstrates you value your relationships enough to mail something thoughtful. The recipient will likely proudly display your card and appreciate the gesture.
Choosing Photos for Holiday Cards
The photo you choose will set the tone for your whole holiday card. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect Christmas card photo:
- Take candid photos – Avoid overly posed photos. Capture natural smiles and joyful moments instead.
- Include family and pets – Recipients will love seeing your whole family, including any pets.
- Dress festively – Have everyone wear red, green, or other holiday colors to get in the spirit.
- Feature holiday decor – Take photos in front of your Christmas tree, fireplace mantel, or other decor.
- Be creative – Capture holiday activities like baking cookies, sledding, or visiting Santa.
Once you’ve snapped some great photos, select the best one based on image quality, composition, and how well it captures the holiday spirit. Proper lighting is also key to prevent dark or grainy looking images.
Choosing the Right App
There are many great apps and programs to help you design your own custom Christmas photo cards. The best one for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Here is an overview of some top options:
|PicMonkey||Intuitive design interface, many templates, advanced editing tools|
|Canva||Free basic version, huge template library, easy to learn|
|Shutterfly||Direct printing/mailing, rewards program, family sharing options|
|Photoshop Express||Creative tools from Adobe, collages, backgrounds and textures|
|CardMaker||Templates for various card types, scrapbook design functionality|
|Printique||Modern designs, premium cardstock, mail merge address printing|
PicMonkey is a highly versatile graphics and photo editing program with extensive design capabilities ideal for holiday cards. It offers beautiful templates, fonts, graphics, and editing tools to customize your photo card.
Key features include:
- Intuitive design interface that’s easy to navigate
- Hundreds of stylish templates and themes for holidays, weddings, birthdays, and more
- Advanced editing tools like touch up, effects, overlays, and background eraser
- Various fonts, color palettes, and graphics to embellish your design
- Collage maker to combine multiple photos
- Photo editing features like cropping, resizing, brightness, and contrast
- Can share designs directly to social media
- Both free and paid subscriptions available
PicMonkey makes it simple to quickly customize holiday photo cards. It strikes a nice balance between being user-friendly yet offering advanced creative options.
Canva is an extremely popular, user-friendly graphic design platform. The free basic version makes it easy for anyone to design beautiful, customized photo cards for the holidays.
Key Canva features include:
- Enormous library of templates and stock images to use
- Intuitive drag and drop interface
- Resize and filter tools for images
- Photo editor to adjust lighting, rotation, and more
- Hundreds of fonts, illustrations, and graphics
- Design elements for various card orientations and folds
- Easily add text boxes and customize color schemes
- Share and print designs
Canva’s simplicity makes it ideal for beginners who want to quickly customize holiday photo cards without learning complex design software. The number of templates and creative assets available streamline the process.
Shutterfly is one of the most popular online photo printing services. They offer a seamless solution for designing, printing, and even mailing your holiday photo cards all in one place.
Notable features of Shutterfly include:
- Hundreds of festive holiday card designs and coordinated envelopes
- Add your own photos and customize the card text
- Address collection and mail merging capabilities
- Mail cards directly to recipients
- Offers premium cardstock and foil stamping upgrades
- Frequent sales and promotions
- Reward program earns you free products
- Family sharing options
- Free unlimited cloud storage for photos
For maximum convenience, Shutterfly is the way to go. You can handle everything from designing to mailing in one easy process. The quality and variety of holiday cards is excellent.
Photoshop Express offers advanced editing tools from Adobe along with fun options like collages, backgrounds, borders, and textures perfect for making exceptional holiday photo cards.
Great features of Photoshop Express include:
- Powerful and precise editing tools
- Hundreds of filters, effects, and adjustments
- Easy to use collage maker with various layouts
- Fun options like patterns, shapes, frames, and backgrounds
- Text customization options
- Resize, crop, rotate, straighten photos
- Touch up blemishes and retouch faces
- Free basic version or paid subscription plans
For photo card designers who want more robust editing capabilities, Photoshop Express is a top choice. The advanced features can take your Christmas cards to the next level.
CardMaker is a program designed specifically for making greeting cards, holiday cards, and invitations. It offers great scrapbooking design functionality along with templates for various card types and occasions.
CardMaker provides users with:
- Hundreds of card templates for holidays, birthdays, weddings, and more
- Coordinating envelope templates
- Intuitive drag and drop design interface
- Scrapbooking design tools like embellishments, frames, and stickers
- Photo editing tools
- Color and font customization
- Backgrounds, borders, and textures
- Card layouts for various folds like accordion, z-fold, etc
- Ability to print cards at home or order printed cards
From festive Christmas cards to more formal holiday photo cards, CardMaker empowers users to easily design exactly the card they want.
Printique offers stylish printed cards on premium paper types with a variety of finishing options. They make it easy to customize both the cards and matching envelopes.
Noteworthy features include:
- Contemporary and elegant card designs
- Heavy, soft-to-touch cardstock
- Custom envelopes in coordinating colors
- Mail merge address printing
- Add photos and personalize card text
- Foil stamping and raised ink options
- Address collection for mailing
- Volume discounts
For stylish, unique cards printed on high-quality stock with special finishes, Printique is a top contender. Their modern designs help your holiday cards stand out.
Creating Your Photo Cards
Once you’ve selected the best photo and determined the app or program you’ll use, it’s time to design! Here are some tips for creating picture-perfect holiday photo cards:
- Choose a high-quality template or design a custom background
- Incorporate festive graphics like holly, snowflakes, or Christmas trees
- Select two coordinating colors for a cohesive style
- Use embellishments like ribbons, borders, or stickers judiciously
- Pick a holiday font that is easy to read but still jolly
- Add a warm holiday greeting or friendly message
- Include your family’s names or other text
- Use filters to make the photo complement the design
- Check carefully for any errors before printing
By personalizing each element of your photo card, you can produce professional-looking holiday cards you’ll be so proud to send.
Ordering and Sending Out Cards
Once your cards are designed, it’s time to order printed copies to mail out. Here are a few final tips:
- Order early to ensure they arrive before December 25th
- Select your quantities based on your mailing list
- Choose cardstock thickness and quality
- Consider mailing directly through the print provider for convenience
- Add festive touches like metallic envelopes
- Hand sign each card before stuffing envelopes
- Use address labels or proper handwriting for addressing
- Include a friendly holiday newsletter if desired
- Buy stamps and get your envelopes in the mail!
With a thoughtful photo card and warm holiday message, you’re sure to make someone’s season bright this year.
Sending holiday photo cards is a meaningful tradition that never goes out of style. Apps like PicMonkey, Canva, Shutterfly, Photoshop Express, CardMaker, and Printique make designing your own photo cards easy and fun. With a personalized holiday greeting and your smiling faces, you’re sure to spread joy to everyone on your list this Christmas season.