As the evenings turn darker and the cold wind bites at your nose, nature is hinting that Christmas is on its way (in case you couldn’t tell from the advent calendars and festive snacks that have taken over the shops for months).
That means it’s about time to send Christmas cards round to everyone you know, love, or whoever sent you one last year so now you’re obligated to return the favour.
Should you want to stand out from the barrage of similarly themed Christmas cards this year, there are many services that allow you to quickly and easy personalise your own, often with images or bespoke messages. We’ve gathered together some of our favourite sites, so you can send a card that will make your friends laugh and bring a bit of Christmas cheer into their lives this year.
If you’ve never thought about making your own cards, and worry that it might be too complicated, make sure to read our guide to making personalised Christmas cards online as it takes you step-by-step through the simple process. If you prefer to save some trees and make an online version instead, then consider something a little more ambitious with a personalised Christmas video instead.
Dominic Preston / Foundry
Perhaps the best-known personalised card company is Moonpig. It’s not uncommon to see adverts for the company on TV, extolling various services that not only include Christmas cards but also birthdays, anniversaries, baby arrivals, new jobs, retirement, plus a range of other festivities such as Halloween, Diwali, Eid, Chinese New Year, and plenty more.
You can also order personalised mugs, aprons, alcohol, and t-shirts, as well as general gifts that include card-based games, gadgets, flowers, or even experience days.
There are a variety of templates available for the Christmas cards, ranging from large single photos to multiple smaller ones that are great to show the whole family. A standard card (132mm x 185mm) costs $4.49/£3.79 each, while larger ones (205mm x 290mm) will set you back $5.99/£5.99, or you can buy multiple cards at once for some pretty substantial discounts.
You might recognise Vistaprint more for its specialism in printing business cards over the years, but the company offers a huge amount of options for those who want to personalise cards, cloths, bags, labels, stickers, calendars, pens and just about anything you can put a logo or some text on.
Its Christmas card selection is no slouch, with plenty of designs and style to choose from. You can have single photo layouts, multiple, or a standard image with bespoke text. That’s not all though, Vistaprint allows you to control all manner of elements in the design. Be it paper-type, square or rounded edges, background colours, foil embossed text, and whether to use recycled materials.
If you want to go to town with your card, then this is probably for you. Prices vary depending on the choices you make, but for a standard on-picture layout you should expect to pay less than $1/£1 per card.
Another company with plenty of choice is Optimalprint. Like Vistaprint it has a wide range of designs that can be honed to your particular tastes, but the simpler interface makes it less intimidating to those who don’t want to get bogged down in detail.
Each design comes in variety of sizes and formats, all of which can be edited to include your own photos or messages. The average price is around the $3.59/£2.25 mark (including envelope and VAT) with extra for postage.
Again, you’ll find plenty of novelty gifts that can also be personalised, including mugs, calendars, and posters, all of which can be purchased with a good degree of confidence (if you’re worried because you haven’t heard of Optimalprint) due to the 9.5 out of 10 average rating the service has received from nearly 45,000 reviewers on Trustpilot.
Another stalwart in the personalised card arena is Funky Pigeon, at least in the UK. This too has a range of options when it comes to creating your own cards, including using templates into which you can add your own images and tweak the text to make it unique.
There are different themed designs – couples, mums, dads, godparents, grandparents, pets, teachers and more – plus several that are editable so you can say whatever you like. If you don’t want to add a picture, there are plenty which just allow you to enter specific names instead.
Cards come in four sizes and prices: Small (A6) £1.99, Standard (A5) £3.79, Large (A4) £5.99, and Giant (A3) £8.99.
Postage prices vary depending on the card size, but if you need the card in the hands of the recipient by 9am the next day you can pay extra for special delivery.
It’s worth noting that Funky Pigeon also offers an impressive range of themed gifts too, with personalised baubles for the tree, mugs for the mulled wine, and our favourite being the Christmas snow globes that have a picture of your choosing inside.
Visit Funky Pigeon
Charity Christmas Cards
As Christmas is traditionally the season of giving, it’s only right that we should include companies that donate part of the cost of cards to charity, all while still allowing you to personalise the design. In the UK the best bet is the simply named Charity Christmas Cards, while the best US option is Cards for Causes.
Either choose from a range of classic festive cards that depict people carrying trees home to their winter cabin, candles burning on a mantle, nativity scenes, snowmen, Robin Redbreasts, plus a number of religious or winter-themed offerings. These can then have your own message printed inside, along with the details of the charity being supported.
If you want to add your own photo to a card then that service is available too, but the templates are pretty basic and there’s not much in the way of choice.
Charity supporting sites are a little different to some of the others on this list, as it’s assumed that you’ll be buying cards in bulk rather than just one or two. As such it can seem expensive upfront, but if you send lots of cards or just want stock for a few years then it can be worth the investment.
Typical prices are around $100/£100 for 50 personalised cards, of which a varying amount will be donated per card (the amount is stipulated in the description on the site). You can also choose which charity will receive the donation.
Visit Charity Christmas Cards or Cards for Causes