I have a confession to make: I used to hate holiday cards. No, I didn’t hate getting them, real mail is always fun, but I hated sending them AND, I hated making them.

I struggled to come up with designs I liked, I struggled to get photos of my husband and I that I wanted to send out. I used to just pick a vacation photo and send it out. And, really, it just seemed empty. Then, I did something different.

I started showing our personality. The first year this just meant a silly photo of my husband and I, the next year, it meant including all our pets. This was a bit of a challenge since we had 2 cats and a dog at the time. However, people loved them, and I loved them too. That’s what inspired this post today.

Yes, I want to share new photo holiday card designs with you but really, I want you to choose what you love. Here’s three easy steps you’ll need to do it. Before we get to that, if you’re not into the photo card, consider sending cards without a photo. They can be fun and cute too.

photo holiday card you'll love

How To Choose the Perfect Photo Holiday Card

1. Ask Yourself Why You’re Sending It

This first step is a big one and it will affect the rest of the steps below. Are you sending it to touch base with old friends? Or maybe just to send a little cheer? How do you want people to react when they see it? Warm fuzzies? Laughter? Maybe you’re sending it as a way to keep track of how your kiddos grow up. All of these are valid reasons, but knowing why you’re sending them will make the process a lot more fun. It will take the stress out of it if you simply remember it’s to make people smile, or to connect, or to remember. You get the idea.


2. Show Your Personality

Now that you know why you’re sending them, the next step is to really let your family’s personality show. I promise, in 10, 20, 30 years, you will love the photos that show your kids as they are just as much if not more than the formal portraits. Yes, the ones where they’re all looking at the camera are important too, but don’t stress. Include pets, play games, bring props to that photo session. Have a good time and show your family’s personality. Our photo holiday card we sent last year was not technically perfect. The lighting wasn’t the best, it’s not my favorite location, but I loved it, and still do.

holiday photo with pets
In 2019 we wrangled the pets for a fun holiday card that I still love, and the fur babies do not.

3. Choose a Style Based on YOU

Finally, now the you know why you’re sending them and you have the perfect photo that shows your family’s beautiful personality, it’s time to pick a design. Choose a style you love. It’s perfectly acceptable to simply pick what you love, not what’s trendy. Unless, of course, trendy is what you’re into. As far as my designs go, I tend to stick with four basic ones: rustic, chalkboard, flannel/buffalo check/checkerboard, and classic.

What Goes with Farmhouse?

Rustic also falls under the category of “farmhouse” or anything with those adorable truck graphics I keep seeing everywhere. They go perfect with the rustic background.

Keep the Spirit

If the meaning of Christmas is important to you, then there’s nothing wrong with a religious holiday card. Keep it simple, yet share a message that means something to you.

Trendy but Classy

Next up, I keep seeing flannel everywhere this season and it’s a perfect background for those photo cards. The great thing about flannel, buffalo check, or checker background is it’s trendy but it’s also classic. It might go in and out of style, but it will always be lovely.

Something that Never Goes Out of Style

Finally, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it classic for your photos. These designs showcase your photos in all their glory and are completely timeless.


If You’re Concerned about Waste, Email it!

This last tip is for all my environmental friends out there. Want to send out a card but don’t want to use the paper? Send it digitally! Yup, there’s nothing wrong with that.


Looking to Deck the Halls?

Hopefully this helps you choose a card you’ll not only love, but have a little fun sending. Do you send holiday cards? What’s your favorite kind to send? Photos or no photos?

Finally, if you’re also looking to deck the halls, then be sure to download this week’s freebie. Once you sign up, you’ll also be sent a password to the Journey Junkies page. It’s chock full of free printable downloads.

How to Love Your Photo Holiday Card You Choose

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