There’s no better way to prepare for the holiday season than picking out your Christmas card. Christmas cards may be the only piece of physical mail your friends and family receive from you all year. For that reason, you’ll want your card to be impactful, beautiful, and memorable. Minted’s exclusive Christmas cards are designed by a global community of independent artists, guaranteeing that your Christmas card will be stylish and unique. Continue reading to learn more about the history of Christmas cards, when to send Christmas cards, and how to create your perfect card.
Christmas Card History, How Did it Begin?
The tradition of sending Christmas cards reaches back to the early nineteenth century. In 1843, an upper-class man from the United Kingdom called Sir Henry Cole began receiving holiday letters from all of his friends. This was typical at the time – people hand-wrote personalized letters to each of their loved ones during the holiday season. Overwhelmed by the pressure to respond to each person, Cole wanted to create just one card that he could send to everybody. From there, he commissioned his friend John Callcott Horsley to design what would become the first Christmas card. The card consisted of an image that could be lithographically printed over and over again. Then, all Cole had to do was write each person’s name on the card and sign it. About 1000 copies of Horsley’s Christmas card were also purchased by others. This is how the Christmas card tradition was born. As printing methods and postal services improved over time, the tradition of sending Christmas cards became more widely spread. However, people didn’t start using photos for Christmas cards until fairly recently. Photos used to be very expensive and were rarely taken. Now that photos are easily available, many people opt to include a picture in their Christmas or holiday card.
Christmas Card Timeline
Now that you have the perfect design, paper and printing, how do you decide on what to write on the inside of your cards? Here are some very merry Christmas greeting ideas to get you started:
When to start designing: You may want to take lots of time to design your perfect Christmas card. You can use that time to get input from other family members or experiment with many designs. Typically, we recommend designing your card about a week before you order them. This will hopefully alleviate some time pressure and give you the chance to get your card just right. Check out our Christmas Countdown Checklist to learn more about preparing for the holiday season.
Collecting Addresses: Check to see if your address list is complete and up to date also at least a week before you order your cards. If you need help gathering addresses, you can take advantage of Minted’s Address Collection service. Collecting your addresses will be easier than ever with this three-step process. First, go to Minted’s address assistant. Then, enter your contacts’ email addresses. When they respond, their info will be automatically updated into your Minted address book, and you’re finished!
When to order: Although Christmas may seem far away, it’s never too early to get ahead of the game – the earlier you order, the better. We recommend ordering your Christmas cards in the first couple weeks of November. If those weeks pass, at least try to place your order before Thanksgiving. This holiday season will be particularly condensed since Thanksgiving is much later than usual on November 28, 2019. Because of this, it’s especially important to order before Thanksgiving time this year to eliminate your pre-Christmas stress.
When to send: Now that you’ve received your beautiful Christmas cards, send them out 2-3 weeks before Christmas. If you have friends or family that live abroad, cards will take longer to mail. To make sure they come before Christmas, send international cards immediately after your cards arrive. When you’re finished sending your cards, sit back and wait to receive holiday cards from your loved ones!
Creating Your Perfect Card
With seemingly limitless customizable options, your Christmas cards are sure to be unique and flawless. Here are all of the ways you can create perfect personalized Christmas cards.
Photo vs. no photo: Present day, many people use Christmas cards with photos of their family or children. Photo Christmas cards are a great way to show everyone you know how much your children have matured. Don’t forget that photo Christmas cards can also be used to spotlight your loving pet! If you pick out the perfect photo but can’t decide which design it’ll look best on, use Minted’s Text Us Your Photo service for help. Simply send in your photo, and after answering a couple of questions a Minted stylist will choose and reply with five designs that best fit your photo and your taste. Another option is to use our Use My Photo feature. All you have to do it upload one or more photos. Then the webpage will reload with previews of all the Christmas card designs using your picture. This is a savvy way of quickly visualizing customized designs and seeing what you like best.
Style: We offer nine distinctive Christmas card styles to choose from so that you can find your perfect card, no matter what your aesthetic is. Here is a list of all of the styles you can choose from:
Simple & Minimalist: These perfectly minimalist Christmas cards can highlight a single family photo or convey holiday spirit just through spaces of holiday colors. If you tend to go over the top, choosing a Simple & Minimalist card will help you stick to a refined look.
Modern & Edgy: Great for young couples or new families, Modern & Edgy Christmas cards maintain a chic look while incorporating more artistic elements than Simple & Minimalist cards. Set your Christmas card apart with one of these sublime designs.
Classic & Elegant: Formal and distinguished, these cards look like quintessential classy Christmas cards. Your Classic & Elegant personalized Christmas cards will wow your friends and family with their spare and sophisticated style.
Vintage: Bring back your favorite vintage look with one of our Vintage Christmas cards. These cards are decorated with luxurious lettering and whimsical borders.
Bold & Typographical: If you’re looking to emphasize a particular word like “Merry” or “Joy,” go with one of our Bold & Typographical Christmas cards. These designs aesthetically combine large lettering over your favorite photo or photos.
Botanical: Mistle Toes, wreaths, and holly – add a festive flare to your Christmas card with beautiful depictions of these holiday botanicals.
Funny: Great for families with newborn babies or young children, Funny Christmas cards offer everything from playful lettering to mixed holiday colors.
Bohemian: From starry borders to watercolor frames, Bohemian Christmas cards are a great option if you’re looking for a unique and non-traditional look.
Painterly: With their raw artistic touch, Painterly Christmas cards are the perfect combination of artwork, text, and pictures.
Theme: Sometimes, planning your Christmas card is easier if you choose a theme and customize around it. Check out these six theme ideas for inspiration:
Year-in-Review:Year-in-Review Christmas cards typically either one of two things: a lot of text or a lot of pictures. Whichever kind you choose, these cards are perfect for providing your loved ones of a visual or verbal summary of your year.
Pet:Couldn’t get everyone together for a family photo? Pet Christmas cards feel just as personal as photo Christmas cards, but take away any worries about how you look. Consider dressing up your pet in a scarf, Santa hat, or reindeer antlers for the picture!
Joy:Foreground your happiness and merriment with one of our Joy-themed Christmas cards. Play around with bold words such as “joyful” or “noel” on your Christmas card.
Peace:After a busy year, you’re probably looking forward to relaxing with your loved ones during the holiday season. Express this tone with a tranquil, cold-colored and Peace-themed Christmas card.
Location-inspired:Whether you’re looking to show off a photo from a family vacation or you want a graphic of your hometown, a Location-inspired Christmas card will suit your needs.
Cheers: Celebrate this Christmas season by saying, “Cheers!” to anyone who opens your Christmas card.
Format/Size: Although choosing a format seems simpler than choosing a style or theme, different formats can significantly change the way a Christmas card is perceived. Minted offers six different formats including postcard, petite, classic, folded, ornament, and booklette. Classic and folded formats pair well with Classic & Elegant or Simply & Minimalist styles to create customary-looking Christmas cards. Join a Botanical styled design with the ornament format so your friends and family can hang your card on their Christmas trees. Mix and match styles and formats until you find your favorite combination. Experiment with different sizes to see what you like best. Our smallest size is shaped like an ornament and can be hung on a Christmas tree while our largest size can be placed on someone’s mantle.
Printing Type: To make your personalized Christmas card stand out among the crowd, give thought to using a foil-pressed, letterpress, or vellum overlay card. Letterpress cards exude authenticity, as you can feel and see the impressions from the historic Heidelberg printing press. Foil-pressed cards flawlessly mimic the glimmer of the sun hitting the snow or the sparkle of Christmas tree ornaments. Lastly, vellum overlays add a layer of mystery, depth, and dimension to your Christmas card that can’t be matched.
Occasion: If you’ve had any of these milestones recently, you may want to consider an Occasion Christmas card over a regular one.
Newlyweds: If you’ve been recently married or had a small wedding ceremony, use a Newlywed Christmas Card to simultaneously spread holiday joy and announce your marriage!
Birth Announcements: If you had a new baby close to the holiday season, hold off on ordering birth announcements and Christmas cards. Combine them into a single Birth Announcement Christmas card.
Moving Announcement: Did you recently move? Use a moving announcement Christmas card to inform your loved ones about your move while also giving them your new home address.
Trends: Choose a card from one of these five trends that are going to be fashionable this holiday season.
Sincerely Yours: Pick a card design with a handwriting-like font to give your card the feeling of an intimate and personal touch.
Colorful Holiday: Who says Christmas colors have to be just red and green? Experiment with different color palettes for a tasteful and differentiated Christmas card.
Founder’s Picks: See which designs our founder and CEO has called attention to this holiday season.
Memory Lane: Feel a little bit of nostalgia with these old-fashioned and folk-inspired Christmas card designs.
Season to Sparkle: Choose a Christmas card design covered with stars and celestial patterns for a touch of whimsical flare.
Kind of paper: Minted offers six luxe kinds of paper for you to choose from. Smooth signature, signature, and recycled paper are the most classic options. Go with pearlescent paper to add some shine and illuminate the elegance of your Christmas cards. For something a bit more substantial, select Minted’s DoubleThick or TripleThick™ paper for a tactile and cottony feel.
At Minted, we are dedicated to ensuring that each customer finds a card that fits their restrictions and needs. Because of this, our large selection of styles, themes, formats, and other customizable elements have different price ranges. You can have elegance and perfection without sacrificing affordability.
Even More Customization
After you’ve finished personalizing your perfect Christmas card, you still have more customizable options. All of our personalized Christmas cards have customizable backers. You’ll never have to feel limited again by a card that has no room to write on the front.
Minted also offers free recipient addressing for anyone who wants it. That means envelopes will be custom printed for you with the addresses of all of your loved ones. No more spending time on hand-writing addresses – when your Christmas cards arrive in the mail, just stuff and send them.
Lastly, don’t forget to get some luxurious accessories to elevate your Christmas cards even further. Browse through ribbon, wax seals, SkinnyWrap address labels, custom holiday postal stamps, and envelope liners to find the accessories that will best suit your Christmas card.
What to Write in Your Card
Think you’ve picked the perfect card, but don’t know what to write in it? There’s a huge range of what can be written in a Christmas card. On one hand, this means you can never go wrong – on the other hand, it can be a bit overwhelming. The two most popular options for writing inside a Christmas card include a short greeting or an annual letter. An annual letter is wordy and it takes time. If you prefer to use your words, this is a great way to catch all of your loved ones up on your past year. Greetings are short and sweet in a cheery tone. Here are some Christmas card greeting ideas for your inspiration:
Make a top 10 list of moments, things or events that your family is grateful for from the past year.
Use interior photos to illustrate some of your favorite moments and add captions to call out details.
Do a year in review. Share family highlights in a fun newsletter-style update.
Use rhyming to create a poem or capitalize each new line to spell out a festive word as an acrostic.
Create a photo collage to showcase more snapshots of your family, and don’t forget the pets.
Summarize each of your children’s stories for the year. Name some of their biggest milestones and accomplishments.
Make family Christmas cards. Help or let your kids write in their greetings, latest and most favorite things, reminiscences with the recipients and wishes. Bonus points for cute doodles!
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