Can you imagine what it must have been like to be offbeat and try to send holiday cards 15 years ago? I can picture the aisles of stationary stores, where a sad looking proto-hipster can’t find a box of holiday cards to fit his family. Hokey Christmas angel? Goofy reindeer poop humor? He picks up box after box of beautiful cards, but they just don’t feel right.
Thank you, internet, for solving this problem for us. Now you have fine-grain control over precisely how sappy or serious or nerded out or swear-filled your end-of-year cards are. These three services will get you started on making a card PERFECT for your household.
If you want flexibility
I am a big, big fan of MOO cards. They’re a UK company best known for their ubiquitous mini-cards loved by Etsy sellers, but they have nice printing on good paper and super simple site integration with other services: you can pull your photos off Flickr, SmugMug, or Picasa in a snap.
MOO also offers readymade packs, which are pretty — and handy, if you just can’t take a good picture of the fam for the life of you. Designing a pack of 25 cards will run you 33.99 + shipping on MOO. The big draw is that you can upload mutliple photos for each pack — I kind of like the idea that I could send my friends different photos I’ve taken of us during the year.
It’s also useful if you want to send something traditional to grams and something crazy to your BFF.
If you want something more easy & cheap
Vistaprint‘s been satisfying orders for years: they’ve got great printing, lots of stock and color choices, and quick turnaround. Wait, I’mma just let Ariel write this part, because she just got her Christmas cards there:
There’s a reason Vistaprint is such a longtime favorite for Offbeat Bride printing wedding invitations: Vistaprint is cheap, quick, and super easy. Is this going to be luxurious letter-pressed hand-crafted Etsy fare? No. This is going to be your photo and some text on a template — and you’re going to be able to afford it.
You may have to do a little sifting through their templates to find the modern/non-barf options, but they’re there. And did I mention they’re cheap? I’ve printed our Christmas cards and the insufferable Baby+Dog calendars we make for family members with Vistaprint for a couple years, and have always been a happy camper.
Vistaprint has some seriously affordable Christmas cards starting at $4 for a pack of 10. Not too shabby at all. Bonus: Free Shipping + 50% Off Holiday Cards and Calendars
If you want to include an end-of-year letter
Shutterfly is the bomb. They have tons of very cool designs and illustrations, many of which have several options for the back side: everything from a terse HAPPY CHRISTMAS LAY OFF ME to a lovingly-composed page of updates from you and yours.
Their prices run a bit higher than Vistaprint, but they also offer more service add-ons: like addressing and stamping your cards for you.
Even though our family doesn’t really celebrate anything in between Festivus and New Year’s, I have promised we’d get all traditional and send out a stack of cards this December. Now I just need to get half-decent photos of everyone in the house. The cat seems to be the only photogenic one.