10 Unique Holiday Card Ideas and Trends

10 UNIQUE HOLIDAY CARD IDEAS AND TRENDS

The holidays are upon us and it is time to start thinking through Christmas card ideas for your family or business. Minted is known for our unique and trendsetting designs, which originate from our community of over 10,000 independent artists from across the globe. We currently accept artist submissions from 100 countries and growing! One of the first places you can start your holiday card planning is right here on Minted with our 2019 trend list. See which of the below design trends speak to you. We have also prepared some tricks to take good holiday photos, ideas on what to say in your card, and even some ideas on what to do with your old cards.

MINTED’S TOP 2019 DESIGN TRENDS FOR CHRISTMAS CARDS

1. SINCERELY YOURS

Give your holiday card a personal touch with your family name or greeting styled in a handwritten font. Adjust the font size, styling, and color of your name to match your family’s personality. You can also adjust where your name is positioned on the card with our simple and easy-to-use design tools. Add custom gold-foil text to the front of your card to make your family name shine.

Snapshots holiday card

Snapshots by That Girl Press

2. COLORFUL HOLIDAY

Go beyond the classic red and green (or save it for the envelope!) - a multi-color palette gives your card a modern feel. Colorful designs feature holiday words with each letter or each word displayed in a different vibrant color. Minted even provides numerous color themes for each design. Recommended color themes feature combinations that have been artistically paired for the best aesthetic look. Sample themes include berry, persimmon, and evergreen.

holiday card

Pile Up by Cheer Up Press

3. ALL SPRUCED UP

Take inspiration from a forest wonderland for a fresh holiday card look. Carry the theme over into other aspects of the overall holiday card presentation. Minted’s free recipient addressing tool can recommend matching styles for your envelope addressing. You can also attach a custom holiday stamp to your envelope that follows the same theme.

Evergreen Variety holiday card

Evergreen Variety by Alethea and Ruth

4. MEMORY LANE

Highlight folk-inspired illustrations from the happy golden days of yore. Frame your favorite photo of the year (you know the one) in a winter motif illustrated border.

Cozy winter holiday card

Cozy winter by Morgan Ramberg

5. SEASON TO SPARKLE

Let gold stars dance across your card! Delicate details and design elements dusted in glittery gold foil will make your holiday greeting look like it shipped straight from the North Pole.

holiday card

Stardust Christmas by Kristel Torralba

6. MAXIMALIST

While minimalist and simple designs have a chic appeal of their own, why not take advantage of the creative designs submitted by our community of independent artists? Choose a decadent design to surround your holiday photo and make your Christmas card look like it was previously adorning the walls of an art gallery.

dreamy palette holiday card

dreamy palette by Phrosne Ras

7. DRAMATIC FOIL

Be loud this year! Creative uses of foil press printing can be a bold way to quite literally get your Christmas card to shine brighter than the rest on the mantel. Big gold foil on dramatic dark backgrounds can really create a lasting impression. We encourage you to filter through the different color pairing themes, as they can really transform a design’s overall tone. For example, gold foil on black has a much different impact than the same design with ice-blue foil on a navy background.

Dramatic Joy holiday card

Dramatic Joy by Hooray Creative

8. RED FOIL

Feature one of the two traditional colors of Christmas in a delightfully eye-catching way. New for 2019, Minted now has an assortment of card designs that feature holiday red foil. Just look for the red “real foil, see it shine” callout on select Christmas card offerings. Pair the red foil with a red background to give your Christmas card a unique, velvety look.

Monochrome holiday card

Monochrome by AK Graphics

9. FILIGREE ORNAMENTATION TYPOGRAPHY

Let your greeting do the talking. Explore the beautiful ways our network of independent artists create holiday words using fine-tuned artistic techniques. Just like a seasoned jeweler can cut and shape a diamond to shine its brightest, see how words like “Joy”, “Peace” and “Merry” seem to jump off the card as a result of intricate detailing added to each letter.

Ornate Peace holiday card

Ornate Peace by Paper Dahlia

10. PLAYFUL GREETINGS

Have fun with your Christmas correspondence! Is there a family picture that was taken earlier in the year that causes you to smile every time you see it? Show it off in a playful manner with a funny Christmas card. The juxtaposition of a funny picture and clever words can really have a memorable effect.

Nailed It holiday card

Nailed It by Jackie Crawford

We hope these top 10 trends help start you down a path toward finalizing a holiday card theme this year. If you are still in the brainstorming phase, we encourage you to try Minted’s “Find it Fast” tool. Simply upload a holiday photo you love and then see all of our designs instantly updated to feature your exact photo. How cool is that? You will save a ton of time by browsing through a large assortment of looks to find the best choice.

Or, try Minted’s Text Us Your Photo service for free styling from one of our design experts. Simply text your favorite photo to 22737, and we’ll text you back 5 holiday card designs, selected especially for and styled with your photo.

OTHER UNIQUE IDEAS FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS CARD

Now that you have a better understanding of some of the leading Christmas card ideas this winter, you still need to figure out what kind of picture you will use (or if you will use one at all). We have put together a great list of unique family photo ideas you may want to reference. Also, if you’re confused about what to wear, we have some creative Christmas outfit tips! Here is a quick snapshot of photo ideas you may want to think about.

Photo Location: There are many things to consider when planning the location of your photoshoot. Is there a specific spot you would like to highlight? See some ideas below.

  • Indoor: If indoors, arrange the family along a staircase, sit comfortably on the living room couch, gather around the fireplace, or stage a dinner setting at the dinner table. Keep in mind that lighting is very important.
  • Outdoor: If thinking about an outdoor shoot, some popular recommendations include your front porch, favorite family park, or a popular landmark that others will recognize as associated with the area you live (think Golden Gate Bridge or Seattle Space Needle). Weather and natural lighting with outdoor shoots can sometimes be tricky. Professional photographers will always recommend planning shoots around the “golden hour”, which is when the sun is low on the horizon at sunrise and sunset.

Posed vs Unposed: The pose is such an important aspect of your holiday photo to consider. Do you want a more professional look that is organized or would you rather capture your family in a casual and organic interaction? Sometimes an action shot of your children playing or jumping can be the perfect look to capture your family spirit.

Photo Angle: Consider experimenting with various photo angles and distances for a different style. A shot taken from floor-level has a very different look compared to an image taken at eye level. You may even choose to take an image from an elevated position looking down on the family. Lastly, test a close-up shot and compare it to a wide shot that shows the surroundings. A close-up shot is a great idea if you have a newborn you are featuring on your holiday card. Be sure to check out our additional tips for taking pictures of newborns.

Clothing Choice: With ugly Christmas sweaters, cute matching family pajamas, and your children’s favorite ballerina tutu or sports jersey, it can be tough to agree on a family look for your holiday card. A few quick concepts are listed below. For even more ideas, be sure to read through our list of 11 Christmas outfit tips.

oh so merry in line holiday card

oh so merry in line by Qing Ji

  • Dress the family in matching shades of a single color palette.
  • Opt for a classic black and white clothing look.
  • Leverage a holiday prop such as a Santa hat, scarf, or Christmas stockings.
  • Highlight a family vacation where you may have a photo of the family in wetsuits, thick snow jackets, or some sort of cultural attire like kimonos.

Include the Pet: Don’t forget Fido! We have assembled a great list of tips for including your pets in holiday cards. We cover topics such as how to keep your dog’s attention for the photo, how to keep them comfortable during the photo shoot, and even fun poses to consider. And of course, if you have a cute doggie outfit, you don’t want to forget that either! Be sure to check out our collection of pet holiday cards.

paw-la-la holiday cards

paw-la-la by Jair

WHAT TO SAY IN YOUR CHRISTMAS CARD

Once you have your holiday card designed, you will still want to compose a warm personalized greeting. If you are having a severe spell of writer's block, we have compiled a list of what to say in your holiday card to get your creative juices going. Some quick ideas include:

  • Something classic like “Season’s Greetings” or “Merry Christmas.”
  • Something funny like “Tis the season for leftovers and stretchy pants.”
  • Something religious like a favorite Bible passage or spiritual quote.
  • Reference a quote or holiday song lyric like, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
  • Something simple and modern like, “Peace. Love. Joy.”
  • Or you could choose to recap some of the family highlights of the year.
Festive Joy holiday card

Festive Joy by Erica Krystek

TIPS FOR TAKING GREAT CHRISTMAS PICTURES

Sometimes it can be difficult rounding up the whole family, creating a dress code, and selecting a setting for the holiday photo shoot. It would be a shame to get everything arranged and then end up with low-quality or poorly designed shots. We have some quick tips to help you get the most out of your Christmas photoshoot

  • Don’t be afraid to take plenty of photos. Take 10 or 15 pictures in each pose or arrangement. When you are back home, you can review all the images on a big screen and find the best picture of the bunch.
  • Take both landscape and portrait-oriented photos. You never know what image might end up being a winner. Plus, some of our Christmas card designs you may fall in love with lend themselves to a specific photo orientation. Why not have a variety of photos to choose from?
  • Whether taking pictures indoors or outdoors, take a few minutes to scan the background for any unpleasant or distracting objects that may show up in your image. For example, clear clutter that may be sitting on a coffee table in the background of your living room shot, or avoid including the garbage can in the shot if you are taking a picture at the local park playground.
  • Pay close attention to shadows that may be rendered in your picture. You don’t want one family member to be partially in the shade, while everyone else is well-lit. Also, a shadow from the photographer or another object could accidentally appear in the final family image, which can be distracting to look at.
  • If shooting outdoors, pay attention to the weather. It would be a shame to have a great family photo where everyone is dressed perfectly, has a beautiful smile, yet there are dark grey clouds in the background or rain puddles on the ground.
  • Tell your photographer, even if it is a friend or family member, to secretly take some pictures when your family is positioning themselves or between poses. Sometimes impromptu images can have a genuine final look that is very hard to stage.

WHAT TO DO WITH OLD CARDS

Rounding up our all-inclusive list of themes, tips, and ideas for Christmas cards, we wanted to include some ideas on what to do with all the old holiday cards you may have piled up.

  • Make a holiday card wreath: Customize your own holiday wreath by adorning it with retired holiday cards. Or, start from scratch and purchase a circular wire frame and adhere your cards around the frame to form a colorful paper wreath.
  • String your cards on a display line: Rather than placing cards on the holiday mantle, suspend them from a decorative wire or string across the corner of a room. Use small clothespins or clamps to attach the cards to the string.
  • Repurpose them: If you feel like your DIY skills are strong, there are quite a few creative ways you can recycle or repurpose your holiday cards. Cut cards into decorative gifting tags and include them on wrapped presents. You could also turn cards into bookmarks and make stocking stuffers out of them. Another option is to cut, arrange, and paste them into unique Christmas tree ornaments.
  • Save them: Do you have a little extra room in your Christmas decorations box? Punch a hole through the top left corner of each of the cards you received this year and clamp a silver ring through them all. Now you will have a simple flipbook of holiday cards you can gaze through during following Christmas festivities.