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1. Married + Bright Holiday Card
I love holiday cards. I love making them and sending them out to people that I care about all over the world. I love getting them and filling our mantel with love (and updated pictures) from all our favorite people. In fact, it’s such a prized part of the holidays for me that the year I gave birth (right after Thanksgiving), I had our holiday card envelopes pre-addressed, and our “before” picture taken, and our “after” scheduled. I didn’t know what it was going to be like to have a newborn, but I was determined that we weren’t going to miss getting our annual family holiday card because of it. And we didn’t. Our baby’s first Minted holiday card arrived less than a month after he was born.
I grew up in a family that didn’t do holiday cards (and when you don’t do holiday cards, you don’t get very many holiday cards). But I love snail mail, so in my early and broke twenties, I started buying cheap cards at drug stores, and hand writing letters on each one and mailing them out. When David and I moved in together, I upgraded to cards bought from gift shops. But the year we got married, I was super excited to upgrade to something more… official seeming. Plus, I wanted to use our wedding photos. So, six years ago, our official family photo holiday cards were born. And—possibly since we’re an interfaith family where most holiday traditions are tricky—ever since then I’ve gone whole hog on our holiday cards. Because you know what’s not even in the slightest bit controversial? New Years photo cards.
When I started sending out family photo cards with just the two of us, I got some super sweet, super unexpected notes on Facebook. More than a few people told us that they didn’t really know you could do family photo cards like that without kids. (What? It had never occurred to me that I couldn’t!) And they loved them. Our photos ranged from occasional professional photos to selfies on trips, but none of them were ironic or self-deprecating. They were just us, being a family. I’m so glad we didn’t wait to have kids to start sending out photo cards (though the aforementioned before and after holiday card with a pregnant lady and two week old prompted more tears than the previous cards). All of our cards are lined up on my office bulletin board, as a quiet yearly documentation of our marriage. My dream is that one day there will be twenty, or thirty, or more photo cards lined up in a row.
Through the years I’ve tried a few different card services, but after experimenting, I settled on Minted as my far and away favorite. Minted simply has the best designs (by independent designers, who get paid each time you pick their work), and the biggest variety of them. They have cards that work with iPhone selfies and Instagrams (you don’t have to get a holiday mini-session to rock the photo card). And of course they have ones that work with stunning pro-photos. This has given me a lot to work with as our family (and our photos) have changed over the years.
But what I love best about Minted is all the extras. (Did I mention I go whole hog on holiday cards?) Last year I tried their brand new real foil cards… and… I might never be able to go back. (And now they have ROSE gold foil? I’m slayed dead.) I’m also pretty addicted to the layouts I can create inside: the year line (a line of photos and events from throughout the year), or just a second photo to go with our mini-family letter. And they just added an even nicer paper option to their already super nice paper options, so there goes my holiday budget… And that’s not even mentioning the ultimate holiday card hack: a few years ago I uploaded our whole address spreadsheet, and now every year I just make a few updates, and the envelopes arrive… pre-addressed. I KNOW. I just sign them, shove the cards in envelopes, and stamp them. Our (super cute) holiday cards are always out in time to make it on our friends’ mantles before Christmas.
Because I love this tradition so much, this year we’re rounding up our favorite Minted cards for you. Newlyweds: finally! A chance to show off your wedding pictures on paper! Everyone else: round up your Instagrams, iPhone selfies, or family photo sessions, and get card making. (I’m hoping this post means I get a few more cards on my mantle this year from friends I love. And I hope your friends get a few extra cards to.)
Here is to the best of the holidays: all love, no stress.
A note! Over the years I’ve learned that unless the text is foil pressed, or script, or illustrated, it can almost always be changed when I’m personalizing the card. Usually I can change the text, but also the font size and the scale. As someone who doesn’t send out Christmas Cards… and is a writer… this is super helpful. When I’m picking cards, I’m usually picking based on layouts. The text will change to be my own.
To help fill more mantles, Minted is offering all APWers 15% off their holiday card orders for the next week! Use the code APWHOLIDAYCARDS14 at checkout to redeem!*
2. Biscotti Holiday Photo Card
3. Winter Brush Foil-Pressed Holiday Card
4. Complete Tree Holiday Photo Card
5. Brightest Year Holiday Photo Card
6. Bright Future Holiday Photo Card
7. Date Stamp Photo Holiday Card
8. Classic Merry Foil-Pressed Holiday Card
9. Confetti Joy Holiday Photo Card
10. Brilliant Holiday Photo Card
11. Joy Joy Joy Holiday Photo Card
12. Hand Painted Branches Foil-Pressed Holiday Card
13. Laughing All The Way Holiday Photo Card
14. Our Favorite Moments Holiday Photo Card
15. Calligraphic Flourish Holiday Photo Card
BONUS: By special commenter request, for the single ladies
16. Single and Ready to Jingle Holiday Photo Card
This post was sponsored by Minted. Thanks Minted for helping make the APW mission possible! Don’t forget, APWers get 15% off all holiday cards with Minted this season. Use the code APWHOLIDAYCARDS14 at checkout to redeem!*
*Offer ends 11/14/2014