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What are the Different types of Christmas Cards?

Christmas cards often include a New Year greeting.
Many stores sell Christmas cards at discounted prices in the days following Christmas.
Christmas cards are designed in many different themes and styles.
A gift card can be inserted into a Christmas card as a holiday bonus.
Digital Christmas cards offer a unique take on the traditional paper card.
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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2014
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The tradition of sending out Christmas Cards has been around for many years, and countless people send them out each year. They've come a long way over the years, and there are many designs available, from handmade cards to electronic cards sent via email. Handmade holiday cards are original designs often made from handmade papers, and they can be ordered blank or preprinted. Other custom Christmas cards can also be printed to the sender's specifications, from the message inside to the addresses on the envelopes.

Another popular option is the photo card. This style may include a photo of a single person, a family portrait, or any other image the sender wishes to incorporate. Photo cards can be purchased in standard greeting card styles, which open from side to side or bottom to top, or they can be made into postcards. Many people include a "Christmas letter" in photo greeting cards, to catch people up on the past year.

Postcards are a great alternative to standard styles of Christmas cards. They can be sent without inspection, unlike closed envelopes, and the postage is also less costly. People can order postcards or purchase printer-ready cardstock to create their own with a home computer. As mentioned, photo cards can also be in a postcard format.

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Another affordable option is choosing boxed sets of cards that contain envelopes. While sets do come in different price ranges and some include high-end designs, inexpensive cards can also be purchased in nearly any retail store or ordered online. For those who are able to plan ahead and wish to stock up early, most stationery stores sell beautiful holiday cards at a deep discount on the days following Christmas.

Christmas cards are designed in many different themes and styles, from the very elegant to the whimsical. Specialty cards with dazzling images and tissue paper inserts tend to cost a bit more than the average card, but they can be quite stunning. On the other hand, there are fun pop-up designs, cards that play music when opened, and even electronic cards.

There are even holiday cards that have distinct purposes, such those with special sections or slots designed to hold cash, gift certificates, or gift cards. Other styles commemorate gifts to charity made in the recipient’s name. With all these different options, most people have no problem finding the perfect cards to wish their family and friends a happy holiday season.

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Discuss this Article

fify
Post 10

I love charity Christmas cards. I think it's one of the most unique and meaningful ways to wish someone a Merry Christmas.

My friend gave me one last year that was handmade by orphans. I cannot describe to you what I felt when I saw it. It wasn't the most beautiful Christmas card I had seen but just the fact that orphans made it was amazing. And the money she paid for the card went as a donation to them.

SteamLouis
Post 9

@catapult-- We send Christmas cards with family pictures but only to people we know really well. So someone who doesn't know all our family members won't usually get a photo. They will get a regular card.

I always keep the pictures that come with Christmas cards. We actually have an album at home especially for that. It's a really great way to collect photos of loved ones. I have some cousins that live really far away and if it wasn't for the Christmas card, we wouldn't have many family pictures of them.

bluedolphin
Post 8

I'm not sure if this is ideal or not, but I like sending e-cards for Christmas. I personally really like e-cards because they're interactive, colorful and the card speaks or plays music. Compared to an e-card, a regular, paper Christmas card seems boring. I can also add a personal message to e-cards so it's not lacking in any way.

To deliver it to friends and family, all I have to do is include the person's email address whom I want it sent to and it gets delivered to their email address.

Oh, and did I mention that these are free Christmas cards? There are some paid e-cards but many are free.

SarahSon
Post 7

@andee-- If I kept all of the Christmas photo cards I received through the years, it would fill a big shoebox, and what would I ever do with them? I keep the photos for at least a year, but not usually longer than that unless they are immediate family.

I think that there will be fewer people who send Christmas cards through the mail in the coming years. With the popularity of social media and e-cards, I see this as the way to go.

andee
Post 6

Every year I tell myself that I am not going to send out any Christmas cards. Then I start feeling guilty when I start receiving them in the mail, and send them anyway.

I like to receive cards that have a family photo. Some people will use a photo card as the actual Christmas card. While it is nice to receive a picture Christmas card, how long do you keep the photo?

If you receive a new family photo every year in your Christmas card, do you keep all of them or only the most current one?

honeybees
Post 5

I still get quite a few Christmas greeting cards every year, and get a wide range of them. Some crafty people take the time to make and stamp all of their Christmas cards.

I realize how much time and effort they put into this and always appreciate it. Some people will use decorated holiday stationary in place of an actual card.

These usually contain an update of family news and information. Since there are some people on my Christmas card list who I only have contact with during this time of year, it is always nice to have a holiday greeting where I can catch up on what their family is doing.

Mykol
Post 4

@Denha-- I feel the same way when it comes to receiving a Christmas card with no personal message. Some cards I receive even have their name stamped on the card, so there isn't even a personal signature.

I know it is supposed to be the thought that counts, but this just doesn't seem very personal. How long does it take to write one quick sentence on a card?

watson42
Post 3

@Denha, I like Christmas cards which include a poem or a Biblical verse- those can be meaningful. In terms of general holiday wishes, though, I agree with you; many of the ones printed on cards are uninteresting and generic.

Denha
Post 2

@Catapult, I agree. Many families'Christmas cards tend to seem the same, and while I understand why, it makes me less eager to join in and send my own cards, out of fear they'll get lost in the shuffle. Another thing that stands out to me, however, is when people send cards that have no standardized message. Even if all a person has time to write is "Merry Christmas" on the inside, it means so much more in someone's handwriting than as the greeting card company's blurb. It feels like they really sent out personalized Christmas cards, even without doing much at all.

Catapult
Post 1

Many of the photo Christmas cards I have received over the years look exactly the same- children, with or without the family dog, in cute sweaters around a tree or other symbol of the holiday season. While that's fine, it's usually hard to tell who is who if you don't know the family well, and none of them stand out. I recommend that anyone thinking about photo cards considers a different sort of photo- it doesn't have to be Christmas-related. Something from a family trip, for example, or another big event that happened over the year, would feel both more personal and more interesting.

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