Holiday Card Checklist, Tips and Ideas


Today we’re sharing a Holiday Card Checklist containing great tips and ideas to make it easier for you to send holiday cards to friends and family at Christmas time.

With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about holiday cards. Can you believe it? Do you still send Christmas cards to family and friends or have you given up that tradition? I will confess, I absolutely love and embrace the idea of exchanging holiday cards in the mail. I probably send well over 150 each year to loved ones around the world. With a quantity that high, I start planning early and look for ways to keep things as easy as possible.

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Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by Minted and also contains affiliate links for holiday cards we think you’ll like. This means if you make a purchase from one of these links, we’ll make a small commission at no additional cost to you so we can keep the great ideas for the home coming your way. All opinions expressed are our own, derived from our personal experience.

One of my favorite things about Christmas each year is sending and receiving holiday cards. Some years I’ve designed my own. Other years I’ve used one of the expertly designed cards I’ve found through card printing services, like Minted. With hundreds of design options, it’s easy to come up with something that’s fun, unique and festive to send to our loved ones.

Sending high quality holiday cards can be quick, easy and affordable. This year, I thought it would be helpful to share a checklist of the steps I use for sending holiday cards to make it easier for you to take part in this annual tradition. I also included useful tips, tricks and holiday card ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Holiday Cards from Minted - Holiday Card Checklist, Tips and Ideas on

Holiday Card Checklist, Tips and Ideas

1. Start early. 

Don’t wait until the middle of December to finally get around to ordering and mailing your Christmas cards. You can get them ready now in early November when you have extra time so when December rolls around all you have to do is drop them in the mail. Holiday card retailers like Minted often run special deals with extra perks early in the season that you’ll want to take advantage of. If you moved this year, you’ll especially want to get a jumpstart by sending your holiday cards as moving announcements so you can update everyone with your new address.

home for the holidays holiday photo cards on - Holiday Card Checklist and Tips on

2. Update your address list. 

Go through your address book and select your recipients for your family’s holiday card. Send a quick e-mail to anyone who may have moved in the last year to get their current address. If you include individual names of everyone in the household, be sure to update your address book to reflect any new additions from weddings and births that took place this year. If you’ve also had exciting changes in your life you can send wedding announcement holiday cards or birth announcement holiday cards to share your good news too.

 classic holiday post holiday birth announcements - - Holiday Card Checklist and Tips on

3. Transfer your address list into a .csv file. 

I know handwritten probably looks better, but when you’re sending more than 150 cards like I do, you definitely want to use Minted recipient addressing service that’s FREE for a limited time. You can easily label your envelopes without having to write them all by hand. You can enter your addresses through Minted’s Address Assistant when you order your cards.

When you’re done updating the address book template, save your file in one of the following formats: .xls, .xlsx or csv. (NOTE: Don’t delete the optional columns or otherwise alter the structure of the template or it will not upload correctly to Minted.)

4. Choose your holiday card style. 

Next decide whether you’re going to send a holiday card with or without photos on it. This is entirely a personal preference. Minted is a design marketplace of independent artists from around the globe with hundreds and hundreds of beautiful Christmas card options that don’t require a photo at all, like this adorable penguin holiday card I’ve got my eye on:

cozy penguin holiday cards - - Holiday Card Checklist and Tips on

I’m a huge fan of holiday photo cards though so that’s what I choose to send every year. This penguin card I’m considering actually has the option of including a few photos on the backside. At my house, I love to hang the Christmas cards we receive on the front of our kitchen cabinets though so I tend to send cards that also show photos on the front. I especially love the newsletter holiday cards that share a family’s highlights from the year.

5. Select and edit your photos.

If you’re not sending a photo card, you can skip this step. Go through the digital photos you’ve taken from the past year and find a few favorites of your family. You could also schedule a mini-photo session with a local photographer or have a friend take an updated photo for your card.

Determine which photos you want to use and how many. Make sure you choose photos that are large, bright and clear. You want the family photos to be the showcase of your card so it’s important to choose the photos before you pick the actual card. (Though if you’re like me and always pick way too many photos to use on your card, Minted has some super cool holiday booklette cards you might like!)

merry swashes holiday booklette cards from - Holiday Card Checklist and Tips on

6. Pick a holiday card.

Now comes the fun part! With Minted there are literally thousands of choices and combinations you could put together to customize and make your cards unique to your family. You could even make yours into a holiday ornament. Wouldn’t Grandma love to get one like that in the mail?

classic happiest holiday ornament cards - Holiday Card Checklist and Tips on

Minted is known for its high-quality paper and printing. Their Signature paper is thick and luxurious with a creamy cotton texture, and has been optimized for photo printing. You can also choose 100% recycled paper, Pearlescent paper which adds a subtle shimmer, DoubleThick paper or even TripleThick paper. Minted also offers 9 unique die-cut shapes. A variety of backer options allow you to add additional photos, text, and customization options to your holiday card.

Unique Shaped Holiday Cards on - Holiday Card Checklist and Tips on

Thankfully, Minted has fabulous filters to let you whittle down your design choices quickly. You can filter by the number of photos, whether you want the card to be landscape, portrait or square, color, price and so much more until you find the perfect card for your family. As part of the process, you can actually upload your photos with their “Find It Fast” feature before you choose the design so you can see how your family looks on many of the cards as you shop.

Filters options to shop for holiday cards on - Holiday Card Checklist and Tips on

Want to know what’s trendy for this holiday season? The independent artists at Minted say hand-drawn patterns, dark grey with metallic, geometric, and bold color palettes are what’s on-trend for this season. Among this year’s top trends are real foil-pressed holiday cards in gold, silver and rose gold, available exclusively at Minted; also new are photo letterpress holiday cards featuring the luxurious look and feel of letterpress paired with unique inks and neon colors.

Rose Gold Foil Pressed Holiday Cards at - Holiday Card Checklist on

7. Order your cards. 

With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can place your holiday card order. Make sure you look for a coupon or promo code for Minted to get one of their great discounts. While it’s always a good idea to review your card for typos and issues before you place the order, Minted actually sends one free personalized digital proof of your card within one business day of your order so you can double check.

8. Mail your cards.

If you used Minted’s free recipient addressing service, this is the easy time-saving part. Once the cards come in the mail, you just have to stuff, stamp and send. This year, all of Minted’s holiday cards are available with matching envelope designs to make your holiday card beautiful from the inside out.

The Minted Envelope - - Holiday Card Checklist on

What are your plans to send Christmas cards this year? Do you have any additional tips and ideas you’d add to this checklist? Please comment below and share. We love hearing about other family’s Christmas traditions and getting new ideas.

While you’re here, be sure to check out these other Christmas ideas

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  1. Great tips! You have so many fun pictures and ideas here that I’m getting excited to turn on the creativity. I think Christmas card sending is one of my favorite holiday traditions. 🙂

  2. I’ve never used Minted before. Shutterfly has always been my photo service. But those cards you highlighted are so beautiful I just may have to check Minted out. And I love the idea of an ornament card. Thanks for the links.

    1. Heaven, you should definitely check them out. My cards just arrived from Minted today and I love how high quality they feel. There’s even a note personally signed by the person who packed the box! What I really love though is that all of my envelopes are already addressed for me. SCORE!

  3. You’ve reminded me that I need to get started on my holiday cards ASAP! Thanks so much for sharing your tips at Share The Wealth Sunday!

    1. Lisa, you still have plenty of time. Of course, it’s a lot less stressful the sooner you get them ordered. Mine just arrived from Minted today so now I can get them stuffed and stamped at my leisure so they’re all ready to go in the mail come December.

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