Getting carded: The holiday card post

Confession: I love holiday cards. Truly, madly deeply adore the whole shebang. I love creating them, writing them, love finding them in the mailbox, reading them and, yes, love being entertained by them at times when they get out of hand in the braggery or too-much-information department. I know some people are a bit ambivalent about holiday cards (too much hassle, too expensive, social media alternatives) but I am not one of them. I am firmly in the pro-card column.

The ideal holiday card for me is a little funny, a little original, something that captures the family's spirit and gives a little news. Pictures, please, preferably of the whole family, not just your kids. It doesn't have to pricey or fancy, though. 

Our cards have run the gamut.  Some years we just managed to take a photobooth shot and stick it to some paper, too late even to find any red or green paper to use:

 Christmas 2007

Christmas 2007

 

Other years we used the cheesy roller coaster photo from our vacation. It still makes me laugh. It was a completely unstaged keeper: 

 Christmas 2004

Christmas 2004

 

But sometimes, when I have time to let my mind run wild, I like coming up with something a bit different, like this library book slip format we tucked into a photo card:

 Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010

I've been moseying around the internet looking for some card inspiration lately.  We haven't had professional photos taken this year so I know we'll be going with a more home grown approach so I've been collecting good ideas. Here are some trends and ideas I've collected that I thought you might like, too: 

I love the originality of this stacked box idea. They did their individual and some group shots each taken in one box and then used photo editing to make the 4x4 cube. Of course, this could also be the way to do that Brady Bunch card of your dreams:

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I also love a photo with personality. This book shot is great: 

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Someday we're going to do an outdoor window shot. I mean, I might have to locate a a french provincial mansion owner who won't mind an impromptu photo shoot but it's Going To Happen. 

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I really like the infographic design trend. Such a perfect way to get a lot of information on one card. (Judging from how many versions of this you can find on Pinterest, lots of other people like it, too!)

 by Amanda Jane Jones

by Amanda Jane Jones

I can see many fun ways to incorporate this idea of using thought bubbles as backgrounds for a photo on a card: 

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Here's a twist on the photo card. What about a photo envelope?

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If you use Instagram (or just have a representative shot from every month) I really like this simple layout. Sorry; the link was broken but it looks like photo/idea credit goes to Little Deer:

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Looking for more inspiration? I love this article from an old issue of Smithsonian magazine, exhibiting artists' Christmas cards over the years. Lots of great ideas and creativity there. 

And what to do with all those cards after the holidays? What about this idea: take a phone photo of your friends' cards and make it their contact photo on your phone.

. . . 

Okay, now. You get the idea.
How 'bout you? What's your card philosophy?
Your favorite card you've sent or received?