15 Holiday Card Ideas to Brighten The Season

Creating and sending your holiday cards allows you to share a bit of your happiness with family and friends. To make the process even easier this year during your busy holiday season, we’ve compiled these creative holiday card ideas to offer you inspiration. No matter your family size or personal style, you’ll find holiday photos and card ideas that will spark your creative (and holiday) spirit.

Once you have a vision for your cards, head on over to design your own with our extensive holiday card collection.

1. Capture the Family in Action

family with holiday lights on card

Step aside from a traditional family portrait for your holiday photos. Make your own Christmas cards by choosing an activity, like sledding or hanging lights, to capture your family in action. The natural smiles and joy will say it all.

2. Family Traditions

Family on holiday card

Capture a family tradition with your holiday photos this year. Whether it’s wrapping gifts, singing carols, posing in a Christmas photo booth frame, or sipping hot cocoa, give everyone a peek into the special fun and love you share.

3. Grab Your Skis

Ski trip holiday card

If you love the great outdoors, even when it’s cold, this idea may be the one you’ve been looking for. On your next ski or snowboard adventure, bring your camera along. Capture the action for plenty of options for your holiday cards. Then, personalize a card with your adventurous photo while holiday shopping with Shutterfly.

4. Snow Flurry

Snowy day Christmas card

Add a little extra life to your holiday cards this year. Head outside, even if it’s snowing, and let your playful side shine. Pair your cheerful photos with a card that expresses your jolly sentiment.

5. Announce Your New Home

family playing in front of home

If you’ve moved this year, the holidays are an ideal time to share the exciting news. Have a family photo taken outside of your new abode, and be sure to include your updated address. While you’re at it, make your home feel a little extra special with a Christmas gift for your new home.

6. Pop in a Travel Photo

family photo idea at beach

Did you take a special trip this year? Whether it was a local vacation or something far away, choose your favorite photo to pop into this year’s holiday card or New Year’s card.

7. Put a Smile on Their Face

mom and baby outdoors

If you want your holiday photos to be filled with joy, create a scene that’s lighthearted and relaxed, especially if you have children. The more at ease you are while taking photos, the more natural, beautiful and happy they will look.

8. Play in the Leaves

kids playing in the leaves

Snap your holiday photos early this year by doing them in the fall. Throw a fun photoshoot by having your kids jump in the leaves. Complement the photo with a card design that draws in some of the leaves’ colors. You can even pair your photo with a religious holiday card this season to switch it up.

9. Happy and Bright

kids playing outside with parents

Choose a bright and festive holiday card, like this one for New Year’s, and pair it with a lighthearted, upbeat photo. The best way to get your children to relax? Make jokes and be playful, rather than having them pose for the camera.

10. Newlywed Greeting

just married holiday card

Share your newlywed love this holiday season! The best part? You don’t even have to take photos. Choose one of your wedding day favorites and pop it into a customized newlywed Christmas card. You can also consider using Christmas engagement photos if you haven’t tied the knot just yet.

11. Classic Card

family of four holiday card

Select a card design that has a layout for multiple family photos. Incorporate different scenes and moments with your family to show your full spirit this holiday season.

12. Get Silly

dad playing with sons

Let loose with your holiday photos this year. Don’t be afraid to get silly and show your true personalities. The best part of all? It will brighten everyone’s day to receive such a personal and creative card. And don’t forget to check out our other happy holiday cards and matching holiday postage stamps!

13. Meowy Christmas!

pet holiday card

Bring a furry Christmas friend to mailboxes everywhere with pet Christmas card ideas. Take a photo of your cat or dog against a festive background, such as lights, holly or garland. It will make the purr-fect holiday greeting.

14. Include Generations

multigeneration holiday card

Extend the circle wider this holiday season. Include parents, grandparents and other important people in your holiday cards. You’ll have special family photos for years to come, not to mention touching a whole lot of lives in the process.

15. Get Cozy

holiday card with cozy socks

Snuggle up this holiday season with a creative photo idea like warming your feet by the fire. Wear festive socks as you and your family enjoy the easiest family photoshoot ever.

How to Display Holiday Cards

Show off your holiday cards and wow your guests with these festive, easy-to-make DIY card displays.

Ribbon Display

holiday cards hanging on ribbon

For this craft, all you’ll need is a wide holiday ribbon, a stapler, and holiday cards. Start by stapling your holiday cards (on the inside, so the staple doesn’t show through) to the ribbon. You can hang the ribbon horizontally or vertically, so staple the cards according to the orientation you prefer. Once the ribbons are ready, hang them vertically down a door or horizontally on your mantle.

Clothespin Display

hanging holiday cards on beads and clothespin

Show off your holiday cards using a just beaded string and clothespins. Hang strands festive beads and use clothespins to attach your holiday cards.

Wreath Display

holiday cards hanging on wreath

Get your home in the holiday spirit with hanging wreath. Use clothespins to hang your loved ones’ holiday cards on a wreath to make this cheerful DIY arrangement.

Holiday Card Message Ideas

Person writing card by Christmas tree.

Take the time to craft your holiday card message carefully for your loved ones. If you’re looking for holiday writing inspiration, we’ve collected a list of holiday card greetings, messages, and wishes:

  • Wishing you a Happy Holiday and a joyful New Year.
  • The gift of love, the gift of peace, the gift of happiness… May these be yours this Holiday Season.
  • May your home be filled with all the joys of the season.
  • Whatever is beautiful, whatever is meaningful, whatever brings you happiness. May it be yours this holiday season and throughout the coming year.
  • I’m so grateful to have you in my life. Happy holidays and enjoy the New Year!
  • May this holiday season be full of surprises and cheers, simply because you deserve the best.
  • Have a warm and cozy holiday.
  • Wishing you a season filled with warm moments and cherished memories.
  • May the new year bring new hopes and joys. Have a wonderful New Year and happy holidays.
  • Best wishes for Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year.

Personalize Your Holiday Cards

an array of personalized holiday cards

Make your holiday card stand out among the rest with a little customization. With Shutterfly, personalizing cards is simple.

  1. Pick a photo. Upload a festive photo that showcases your family’s personality to make your card instantly recognizable.
  2. Choose a card design. Browse through Shutterfly’s selection of holiday cards and choose one that fits your style perfectly.
  3. Customize your card. Choose your favorite trim options, card size, card paper, add-ons, and colors.
  4. Add the finishing touches. Add a personalized message and your family’s name.
  5. Review your card. Catch any spelling mistakes or errors before sending your card.

Resources Related to Holiday Card Ideas

With your holiday cards almost decided, you’re one step closer to relaxing this holiday season. Make your cards even more special by choosing to use photo holiday cards with premium designs. Check one more thing off your to-do list by selecting personalized gifts for your family and friends, or by crafting the perfect elegant Christmas party invitations!