Kids in Cards, and other things we learned from America’s Holiday Cards.

There are many things that contribute to a meaningful holiday card: a heartfelt message, a great picture, a beautiful design. But there is one surefire ingredient that brings a smile to every recipient’s lips: a child.

Kids, the secret ingredient in holiday cards!

Children have been a big part of holiday cards from the beginning. And we mean the beginning. And who doesn’t love a small child?

But children aren’t just cute, they send a message.

By including the kids in their holiday cards, parents show their friends and loved ones just how their family is doing; Emily is now taller than Mom, Tiara never takes off those boots, and somehow Andre broke his arm.

With the prevalence of kids in holiday cards in mind, we here at Minted decided to dig into our millions of holiday cards to see if we could discover any interesting child-related holiday card facts. Here’s what we found.

Color Field by alethea and ruth, Festive Watercolor Stripes by four wet feet studio

Children appear in 76% of all holiday cards.

That’s over 1.5 million holiday greetings from babies, teenagers, step kids, toddlers, newborns, adolescents, tweens, and twenty-somethings. This should make us all feel pretty good about the future!

Family Affair.

What about big families? Here’s a visualization that shows % of cards with three or more kids appearing by state. Leading the way is Utah, with a full 49% of holiday cards including three or more kids.

This makes total sense, as Utah also leads all the states with the most large families.

Free Range Holiday Kids.

Have you ever wondered why some holiday cards have entire families, and others only feature the children? We did.

While many people are shy about their looks, most are never shy about their kids. You need only to peek at the typical Facebook or Instagram feed to recognize that many people post pictures ONLY of their children. So it really is no surprise that they do the same in their holiday cards.

But when we looked at the which states had the most children-only images, we were surprised.

Children-only holiday cards are MUCH more popular on the East coast. 57% of cards from Connecticut were children only! 56% of cards from Manhattan! Just look at the map! There have always been generalizations about the differences between East and West, but this trend is baffling. Are parents in the East camera-shy? Busier? Are parents out West less self-conscious? More demonstrative of affection? Please send us your theories.

Here’s a look at the top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of children-only holiday cards:

Percentage of Minted Holiday Cards featuring only Children in Top Metropolitan Areas

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make a Funny Kid Holiday Card

Children are great. They’re cute, fun, and in some cases, loving. They will teach you compassion and patience. But one of the best things about having children is that you can put them in your holiday card instead of yourself.

Whether serious or funny, kids add a certain quality to a holiday card that can’t be found in adults. Whether you are saying “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Holidays”, or just “Hello from the Johnsons”, kids can turn an average holiday card into solid gold.

What kind of a message do you want to send?

The first thing you will need to decide is the tone of your holiday message. If you are going for a sincere message, simply pose your children in the same way that you would pose a spouse. Do your best to have them to appear calm and interested. Eliminate all smartphones.

If you choose a more humorous path, throw all pre-conceptions out the window. This can be a very satisfying experience for all of you.

Yes, including your children in a funny holiday card is one of the true joys of the holiday season. And the fun can start early. But here are some important things to remember:

Wrecking the Halls by kelly nasuta, Extra Cheer This Year by lea delaveris

Children are not props.

As much fun as it is to think about the crazy things you can do with your child in your holiday card, it is important to make a distinction between little Danny and your latest batch of gingerbread cookies.

Unlike your husband, your children are thinking and feeling human beings. You should never use them to get a cheap laugh. Imagine how you would feel if someone sent a picture of you on the toilet to all your relatives. Even if you are wearing a Santa hat. Always empathize!

5 Things to Remember When Making a Funny Card


Make your card stand out.

Try to do something unusual. If your child dresses as an elf or wears antlers 365 days of the year, people will not find this funny in your holiday card.


Beware of sticky situations.

Carefully consider your use of duct tape. Does it feel authentic to the situation or to your child’s character? If it comes off as a cheap gag, or hurts, it might be worth reconsidering.


Lights have a dark side.

Christmas lights can be hilarious, but also extremely dangerous. Start the next trend.


Pictures don’t lie.

The funniest ideas always come from a real family truth. Does your family love to play video games? Are they obsessed with a certain movie franchise? Do they like to hunt? Is “someone” in the family learning to play the drums? Take these truths, combine them with a holiday motif, and take the picture!


Safety is our #5 concern.

Remember: always use common sense. Don’t do anything dangerous. And never reference current events.

Someday, they will get their revenge.

Holiday cards, unlike other “fun” photos taken over the rest of the year, last a long time. And you certainly don’t send those other photos to every one of your relatives and friends. Your 6-month-old may not complain about being dressed up like a goth vampire snowman today, but imagine how she will feel when her fiancé discovers this picture in 26 years.

Remember that you may be in charge now, but someday eventually the snowshoe will be on the other foot. Let’s just say that someday you may not want to appear as “grandma reindeer” pulling the family minivan.

Check out our favorite funny kids holiday cards.

Sometimes, your kids will have the best idea for your Holiday card. Do not argue!

This is the only problem with wearing a trumpet hat.

Proof that Santa, like the rest of us, is only human.

TSA agent: “What are these?” You: “Wigs.”

Adorbs! Good thing you asked the hardware store lady if twinkle lights get hot.

3 great holiday card designs that combine kids with adults.

Get inspiration with these three great holiday card designs that have multiple pictures, perfect for combining a kid’s photo with parents, a humorous shot with a serious one, or a “before” with an “after”. What idea will you have?