Creative Christmas Card Ideas
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
One thing my family is known for, year after year, is really great Christmas cards. I put a lot of effort into them and am always on the lookout for new ideas. I have them complete before Thanksgiving (because who needs more to do during the holiday season?) NOT ME. I have full transparency between my personal and business life because I am a realtor in Portland, Oregon so I use our cards every year not just for family and friends but for all my clients too who have inevitably become friends. (If you know someone looking for a realtor in Oregon City or West Linn, send them my way!)
TIMING: October is your month - Aim to have photos complete by the end of October so even if you had them professionally shot, (we do this some years) the photographer has time for editing and getting them back to you and then you can choose the design without being rushed. I often use one of the card websites that allow you to upload a spreadsheet of all your mailing addresses so I am not writing out 175 envelopes --> OMG, no. It takes time to delete anyone who may have passed away, separate couples who may have gotten a divorce and update people who may have bought a new home. This takes time. Texts, phone calls and emails... so allow a couple of days AT LEAST to update your list (but seriously, once it's done you can do this every year and it's FABULOUS!) I recommend aiming for photos in October because you can get great deals on Black Friday on custom card printing. As I said, the photos, production, card design, and address list update all take time so if you plan on this during October, you can still make your Black Friday order goal even with Thanksgiving in the mix!
HOW TO START: I always start by sketching out the concept so I can either communicate to our photographer, what we are looking for OR, I can shoot the images myself in the right format ...for example, the Griswold theme card below was one vertical image + two square images in order to fit on the front of one card. Here is another example of a concept I had, each photo with a different plaid hat and scarf...
PERSONALITY: What kind of a family do you have? If yours is light hearted and full of fun, with patient kiddos, you can totally get away with shots that require some manipulation like this one we did this year of my 7 year old son.
We have done creative cards for both Valentines Day and Christmas since he was born so he knows "this is what we do" and is very patient with the photography part, keeping the end goal in mind..."our family always has cards that make people smile." If you start them young, they will know how to act during photo sessions. If your family is less silly, you might just be aiming for a card that is unique. Here a few ideas, from funny to classic that we have done over the years...
We had a lot of fun creating this North Pole Flight Crew concept below... here are the outside and inside of it.
This one was more classic...we had a photographer do a photo shoot on a tree farm which I also used to make a canvas from that we bring out only at Christmas time.
With the same images, we were able to make some decorations to bring out each year like this pillow for our living room...
This year (below) we hired a photographer to follow us while we got ice cream from Salt & Straw.
I've always been a fan of black and white images, so I documented our summer vacation at our cabin in the San Juan Islands as the theme for this card below.
I hired a wonderfully talented artist to draw a piece of art incorporating the digital images I took for our card in 2016...below.
Looking for more ideas? I will update this as the years go on, so keep checking back! Meanwhile if you want some Valentine Card ideas, I have another post for those here in my blog. There's more creativity where this comes from... I also have a podcast called "Home Space and Reason" about home aesthetics, automation, organization and functionality. It's weekly goodness about giving the spaces within your home some thought, questioning if things are working for you and designing space for spontaneous moments to happen. I am a Realtor and a Home Functionality Coach helping you to create a home that thrives.
Thanks for stopping by!
Realtor & Home Coach
Kristina at Space and Reason .com
Kristina Browning is a licensed realtor in the state of Oregon with 503 Properties.