Family holiday cards

Do you guys send out holiday cards? We never have, but I’ve always wanted to send a family photo card with a heartfelt note to friends. This year, I realized that photo cards are actually less expensive than buying boxed cards at the grocery store, so the decision was made! Now we just need to choose one. I’ve narrowed it down to four favorites…
1.Joy Accordion card. Bonus: You get to include 8 photos.
2. Greetings card, classic and beautiful.
3. Colorblock card feels cute and festive.
4. Happy New Year card looks old-fashioned and nostalgic.

Are you going to send holiday cards this year? Which would you choose? I think I’m leaning toward the top two.

Bonus: Pinhole Press, my friends’ company and one of my beloved sponsors, is offering 10% off everything in their shop until December 31st. Just enter the code CUPOFJO. xoxo

(Top photo via New York Times)

  1. i love your blog !
    and the card are very lovely.
    personally i decided for this year to only send E-cards to avoid the usual Christmas stress.
    Luckily I found a nice website where you can simply upload your pics or reuse the ones from your instagram. from there you can send them out to your beloved ones:

    it is fun and very easy !

  2. As 1300 numbers are important for communication purposes, post cards and greeting cards are also important in expressing our thoughts.

  3. Mostly every year i send a greeting cards to my nearly touch relatives and friends by buying from the store. i also felt this year to send photo cards to them. On this upcoming Christmas i will use my Christmas holiday party invitations cards collection for sending to my special one by adding their photo.

  4. Yeah we already send many cards,my wife and i spend some time making original ones for our families.

  5. we are sending cards for the first time this year. we chose pinhole press’ JOY card. thanks for the reference!

  6. Those are cute. I have been thinking of sending cards, but did not know where to find some. Now I have some ideas. :)

  7. I adore the 2nd one (with the child in the beanie). Clean design and looks a little crafty! I think we will be sending out cards this year for sure. I love the idea of a brief letter too – sometimes it’s the best way for relatives and friends to get an update on your life.

    Kristina Gulino
    Something 2 Write About

  8. Don’t know if you’ve decided already but I sent our accordion thank you cards for my wedding and everybody LOVED them! I hear they got passed around to people we didn’t even know…so I guess that’s what I’d vote for! I actually buy blank cards and do my own drawing that I then paste onto the front, those get a good response, too…maybe something to try when Toby is a little older!

  9. Calliope says...

    Hey, Joanna – I see a couple of comments that ask the same as mine was going to – which is whether this is a sponsored post? I love these cards! Thanks!

  10. We send family photo cards every year since my first child was born. This year I thought about not continuing with that tradition. Then I realized that it is a great way to capture a family photo every year. Especially since the last few pictures that I have tried to take of my kids, someone is always looking away or putting something in their mouth. It’s nice to have someone else take our family photo.

  11. wow..This is a great design. i am very impressed with Christmas cards i want parches Xmas card and Say Merry Christmas with with friends and family. i think this is responsible price. Thanks

  12. I adore Holiday cards and plan on sending them out next year. Those are all great cards to pick from – you can’t make a wrong choice!

  13. go for #1!

  14. I like the accordion card. We send out cards with a funny photo of our dog, Otto, doing various Christmas-y things every year. Except last year we were too busy and skipped– I didn’t think anyone would notice, but everyone was asking why they didn’t get an Otto card!

  15. Crystal T. says...

    I’ve been trying to make a book using pinhole, but every time I log in, it is missing several of the images I added to the pages. It’s taking me forever to finish. Wish their website was less buggy. My dad just turned 70 and I really want him to finish this for him.

  16. I rather like the idea of every year sending the same card with the vintage and the photo….love.
    I love no. 2-

  17. Greetings. I love these pinhole press cards.

    Just so you know I tried using the “cupofjo” discount code when I checked out with a custom calendar and it didn’t work.

    So I emailed the customer service address and they replied saying that the code is actually “cupajo” with an “a” and not “of.”

    Just wanted to clear that up for anyone who may try using it.
    I plugged in the correction and it worked.

    Thanks for the discount code.

  18. I love the first one! We are sending cards this year because last Christmas was our first married, but the hubs was in Afghanistan :( Plenty of reasons to celebrate this year!

  19. I love receiving holiday cards! When I was younger, I would tape my family’s cards that they had received into the shape of a Christmas Tree on our door (I know, so creative). Now that I’m on my own, I debate whether a Christmas Card would be overkill for friends. Should it just be sent to family? Should it include animals if we have no children? I also thought of doing something funny, but couldn’t think of any fabulously ironic Christmas ideas. Thoughts or suggestions?

  20. Thank you, Sylvie, I could not have articulated my feelings better than you have. For the record, I love Cup of Jo, the original content is fun and well edited. Obviously this blog takes a lot of work and I’m glad it can be profitable through sponsors, allowing the writer to have a job she loves and spend time with her child.

    My question isn’t trying to insinuate anything negative about this blog, I really am just curious about posts related to sponsors and how that works if they’re technically not sponsored posts. Also, I am not a mother, just a reader :)

  21. I tried the code and it doesnt work!

  22. Sylvie says...

    Elizabeth Buckler – thanks for asking for clarification. I have no problem with blogs that have sponsored posts, advertisements, etc. That is the writer’s prerogative, and well within her/his rights.

    The corollary to this writers’ right to have ads in her/his publication is that the readership has a right to know which content is an advertisement and which is not (you’ll notice in magazines where the ad content has a layout that could be perceived to be editorial content, those pages are marked – albeit inconspicuously – “Advertisement”). These rules apply to a diverse range of publications, and I understand that they do to blogs as well.

    Neither has Jo done ANYTHING wrong in having ads up, nor have any readers done anything wrong in enquiring as to what’s an ad and what isn’t. Personally, I have no issue with this blog’s inclusion of ads and ad content – but asking whether something is a sponsored post or other form of paid advertisement is simply a matter of any consumer’s right. Lastly, I am not a mother.

  23. We’ve used Shutterfly in the past, usually of a picture with just the kids. I’m really digging the accordion style, though. Maybe it will force me to actually include a picture of myself this time…

  24. It’s true, we should send these more. I love receiving them, so why not spread the love?!
    They’re all gorgeous – I love #s 1&3.

  25. I LOVE getting cards in the mail, but I must say, my least favorite are the photo cards. I never know what do do with them after the holidays, I feel bad throwing them away (even though I do). I like a good ol’ fashion card best, especially when they are creative and pretty, they look so much better on my mantle.

  26. We send photo cards…but these last couple of years I started sending out New Years cards instead of Christmas cards. I recap the families biggest moments. Plus I like it when I get New Years cards from others. My mailbox gets lonley after all the Christmas cards and packages.

  27. These are fantastic! My family has done a Christmas card every year since I was born. It’s such a gift to be able to look back at all the years — even through the awkward phases and questionable fashion choices : )

  28. i LOVE sending Christmas cards so much! we spend about $220 on it each year, which is quite a bit, but that’s how much i love it. i think has the best cards! i think you would really like the storyboard or yearline ones.

  29. I think you should get 1 or 3. I love them.

    I live in the UK now and over here the thing is to do charity cards. For each box of cards the charity gets a profit. It’s a great idea actually and there’s a huge selection of cute cards.

  30. I love the idea and the designs you picked but if I had to choose one…I would choose the first one because it gives that cozy felling that holidays give anyway and it does send the message “JOY” perfectly, but that’ just me! If that’s too much and you want to go all the way about it maybe the option of the card #1 could be for family (if there’s a way to print a few) and other more simple – like #2 or #3 – for friends if you don’t wanna feel like it’s too much…

  31. In France we are not used to send holliday cards except in the buisness area in wich it’s usual to send a new year card or mail to “keep in touch”.
    I think it’s a geat tradition to send holliday cards to friends and family. I reaaly like number 3 of your selection.

  32. These family cards are too nice. Great Job !!!

  33. ajazminisaflower says...

    i like number 2 but that’s just me :)

  34. Also, as I’m going through others’ comments I just can’t understand why people are so hung up on sponsorships. Just because a blog has advertisements does not mean every opinion you have is a paid one. These are all people that are posting their blog urls in hopes of gaining such popularity as yours too.

    I enjoy this blog and am so glad for you that it is so successful, enough so that you can stay home and raise your son and have more time to post for us. When one of the main focuses of this blog is motherhood you would think that fellow mothers could be more understanding.

  35. number 1 is easily my favorite – i like the message of joy better than a ‘happy holidays or happy new year’ …and you get to include 8 pictures…and thats the best part of the card!

  36. I vote for #1!

  37. Those are all beautiful choices! Definitely hard to choose a favorite.

    My dear friend has her own business called Junkyard Cards where she custom designs cards for any occasion for you. The prices are really great and you get awesome service. Not to mention you are supporting a hardworking, single mom! We used her for our baby announcements and were so pleased.

  38. My hubby and I are art directors so we use halloween and christmas as an excuse to be creative. Before my son, we used the dogs ;) one hearse dressed them as scrooge and tiny Tim. No joke. Dead ringers, ha.

  39. Just looking at holiday cards makes me excited for the holidays! # 2 is my favorite :)

    Also, how are these posts different from sponsored posts (not that there is anything wrong with those)? I know the conversation came up on the spex club post as well, I think many readers (at least me!) are curious.

  40. Anonymous says...

    I like the colorblock and accordion!

  41. I am really into sending and getting Christmas cards!!! It is probably my favorite time of the year to see what everyone special in my life is up too. Growing up in my household we always sent out photo cards. In return our closest friends (and family) would do the same. I’m always excited to find out the whats been going in everyones lives.

  42. I love the accordion card! My cousin’s family always sends family holiday cards, and I love them! I’m a single gal, so I can’t send photo cards without feeling totally ego-driven. But when I have a family, I totally want to send them!

  43. Margaret says...

    I love sending (and receiving!) holiday cards! Some years I seem to have better success than others in actually getting them sent out BEFORE the holiday though! I so, so wish I could send out these Pinhole Press cards – they are adorable, but with no kids and not even any pets, I think I need to go with just plain cards, since sending people a photo of just me seems a bit odd!

  44. I do my own holiday cards every year–they are epic works of photoshop collage because as a graphic designer by day it often got stifling and my creativity needed a place to let itself go. I am now doing holiday cards for others and I love it! I wish I could show them to you!

    This is the image we used though:

  45. I vote for #2 or #4. Personally, I think it’s a bit much to send 8 photos… I roll my eyes (inwardly) when I open photo essays-as-holiday cards. Come on people, edit!

  46. Cute! I like the accordian or color block one the best. :) I bought some cards when Borders was going out of business so I’ll probably send some this year. I don’t usually though.

  47. kaela d. says...

    top 2!

  48. Sara says...

    I like the top two best too. The accordion might get kind of pricey when mailing them out, though… that’ll take a lot of stamps!

  49. Sylvie says...

    Is this something different from a “sponsored post?” If so, what’s the difference? Just would like to know as a reader and as a consumer.

    Cute cards, esp. the final one!

  50. I love the colorblock cards. Definitely need to decide what to do this year!

    Jamie Herzlinger

  51. Anonymous says...

    the little girl on the greetings card looks like mini-santana from glee!

    haha, totally unrelated but it’s an uncanny resemblance.

  52. we always send a photo card and have been keeping them for the past couple years, and will continue to do so for many many years to come! I’m going to keep them in a small album so 20 years from now we can look at it as a record of how we’ve changed each year :)

  53. I really like the second one it allows for a small personal message but also allows for one family photo! My parents receive a lot of Christmas cards and one like the second one are the most fun to display for holiday company!

    xo, Erin

  54. I love holiday cards and design one for my company to send out each year. I’ve used for the past couple of years and love their stuff! I’m going to wait until I’m married to send out photo cards of my own, but I love getting them.

    This is one of my favorites

  55. I would love receiving options 3 or 4. I get loads of holiday cards and I like to display them all and not just hide them away. So, I’d like something with color on the front that covers a small surface (it will occupy its own spot in the living room during the holidays) and actually look like a card and not more like a photo!

    (yeah! the holidays are coming!)

  56. These cards all look so professional, I just love the designs! Thank you for sharing these, I’ll definitely have to checkout the site a bit more on my own :) xx.

  57. Mr. Sandwich and I have done photo cards since we got married. Our goal is to have the photo be from some new adventure we had that year.

    A tip: Don’t just pick a photo of your kids. Your friends want to see you, too!

  58. Joanna:

    Do you know what the envelopes with a print look like? Is there a blank box for text on the darker ones, or is it best to just add a label?

    Thanks! These are adorable!

  59. Yes, photo cards are fun and a nice way to say Happy Holiday’s! I like #1! Plus they don’t take much work.

  60. WHEN will pinhole press ship to Australia?! Waaaaaa :'(

  61. C says...

    I really like getting photo cards and notes from people, but my only advice is to include the whole family. Some people just send photos of their kids. I want to see everyone! Sometimes I get photos of kids I dont even know!

  62. Tara says...

    And just in addition to my comment above, we used the accordian style for my mom’s 70th birthday party invitation and everyone loved seeing all the different periods and eras in her life chronicled on a card so it is a good option even for other events.

  63. I like #2 – with that gorgeous photo of the 3 of you. But they’re all such good options! Thanks for the inspiration, and the kick in the pants – I always wait too long!

  64. Tara says...

    I would say go with option #1. My sister has been doing a similar style card for about eight years now and it has been so wonderful to be able to watch her kids grow up. I have kept them all and every year I take them out to see how her family has grown from one little boy to four boisterous little guys and gals. Honestly, it is the only card I receive that I hold onto from year to year.

  65. Getting holiday mail everyday is my favorite part of the season so I love to send little parcels out in place of cards.

    I go all crazy for my holiday ‘cards’ – I send out tiny little gifts instead. Each year something different – tea towels, chap stick, bookplates, etc.

    Can’t wait to see what you decide.

  66. I love 1, 2 and 4. If I had to choose one though, I would choose #1. It’s so original, and being able to include 8 photos, you definitely get your moneys worth. I would have a hard time choosing just 1 photo, so choosing 8 is a great option.

  67. I’m big on holiday cards. I make my own and send between 50 and 100 every year. My apartment usually looks like Santa’s workshop starting mid-November when there’s glitter on EVERYTHING, but I love the tradition. There’s something about finding a card tucked inside my mailbox that puts the biggest smile on my face – so I like to think that I’m sending smiles to others… :)

  68. I reaally like the colour blocking one!

  69. It might be cheating, but I usually design something simple in Photoshop and turn it into a 4×6″ image that I get 50 or so “free” prints (you have to pay shipping) from Snapfish or similar. That way it’s much cheaper and I can add my own creativity to the card.

  70. I love sending cards to family and friends. Aww…The second one is my favourite. It’s simply beautiful. Have a great day, Joanna. Kisses

  71. it is my favorite tradition! love nestling down with some hot cocoa to stuff ours (and see all the wonderful places those cards will go to greet loved ones!) and then seeing loved one’s cards pour in the mailbox — i cover our fridge in them and it just makes me smile seeing our friends/family at all sorts of magical points in their lives! send them!! :)

  72. i vote for the accordion. folks love to see lots of photos of wee ones. and yes, i usually do, and i’ll be sending xmas cards this year. i love designing them myself. we’re expecting in april, so i’m thinking of staging a pic: my husband and my feet in xmas slippers/socks and an empty pair of xmas baby booties – all lined up in a row. hope it turns out!

  73. I love holiday cards!!

  74. the accordion one!! you can do it chronologically of toby through the year!

  75. I love getting photo cards from friends and family. It’s fun to see how much kids have grown and what people have been up to all year. We send them out each year as well. You chose some really cute cards. Personally, I like numbers one and three.

  76. All pretty, but I’d be difficult and enquire if I could get the ‘joy’ design without the accordian treatment as I prefer the way simple cards sit. What a nice dilemma to have, though.

  77. agreed! the accordion one is fantastic–clever!

  78. * when

  79. i vote #4! i like that it looks like your grandparents could have sent it wen they were young.

  80. molliee, i think that would be adorable!! or even just the cute dog! :)

  81. haha, you’re right, maybe 8 photos is a bit much for anyone other than grandparents :)

  82. so cute! Is it weird to do one with your bf and dog? haha


  83. I like the last one. I hate the idea of imposing all these pictures of myself and my family on other ppl. It’s fine if it’s your mom or siblings, but other than that? Ppl only care up to a certain pt.

  84. Oh I like these! My favorties are the last two. Maybe I’ll finally start to send some out!

  85. We always send holiday cards, but I make it a point to buy handmade cards from a coworker. She does AMAZING work and her cards are really affordable. I just placed my order for monogrammed Christmas cards for this year, I’m so excited!! :-)

  86. So cute, thanks for the tip! Those are Katy Did’s babies, aren’t they. Is she the owner of Pinhole Press? I miss her blog.

  87. Anonymous says...

    I think everyone LOVES receiving holiday cards with adorable family pics. A lot of people display the cards they receive as part of their home’s holiday decor..I do at least. I love your option #2. Option #1 seems a bit too indulgent what with 8 photos.

  88. we’ve done photo cards for the past 5 years, since my oldest daughter was a baby. i take pride in sending out an awesome picture and card every year (i’m a photographer ;) ) i love, love pinhole’s simple graphic designs.

  89. You said you narrowed it down to 6 but I only see 4. What are your other two contenders? I would send the second one. It’s simple and classic. Beautiful.

  90. Not sure if we will be sending out cards this year. It depends on whether I can con my husband into having his photo taken one more year… an extremely painful thing for him. HA… I also like the top two you selected because of their simplicity.

  91. these are adorable! My new roommate and I have decided to go sweater hunting in vintage and thrift stores, then buy some for our cats and send out a picture of the two of us with them for the holidays. I think the top would be fun and have the other 7 pictures be the outtakes! lol

  92. My family used to send cards every yea. My mom even wrote a letter about what each us was up to. We found a stack of those letters a few years ago. it was fun to go back through and read them from year to year! :)

  93. Those are all so cute! I’m not sending cards, at least I don’t think.