Every holiday season, families everywhere are bombarded with boundless holiday cards from friends, family, even their dentist. But how do we get that holiday card magic to pop, while still on a budget and with the least amount of stress (if that is even possible)? Yes, we all enjoy the professional photos taken by magazine quality photographers set in fields of magic, but let’s be honest – that just isn’t realistic for most of us. If this struggle has ever crossed your mind, you have luckily stumbled across this magazine just in time! Below are some easy and cost-effective hacks to help you create fantastic images for your holiday cards this year. Once you have the image (or images) you want, just pop them into an online template and hit order – it’s as simple as that!
Crash a Christmas tree farm
Before you set off to grab your Christmas tree this year, pick out some nice coordinated outfits (for this type of photo, flannels, boots and scarves work best) and take advantage of the amazing background created by lines and lines of fir trees. If you don’t feel comfortable asking a stranger or employee to take your photo, bring along a friend or selfie stick. A great option as well is to double up on photos by picking out trees with friends and taking turns taking each other’s family photos.
Take advantage of a mini-session
Social media is absolutely saturated around the holidays with photographers offering sales on their services with “mini sessions.” These sessions are generally 15-20 minutes long (which if you have small children is an absolute blessing – nothing is worse than having to try to make a 2 year old smile for an hour of photo taking), and are at a significantly discounted price from a standard photo session. As these normally supply between 5-15 edited images, you can pick and choose what you decide to throw on your holiday card.
Silly dollar store props
If your family structure is of the not-serious kind, it would be off-brand to send out stuffy holiday cards where all the kids are wearing sweater vests and everybody feels uncomfortable. Your holiday card should represent the fabric of your family, so if you spend your time together laughing and making silly jokes then capitalize on that for your photo! The Dollar Tree is absolutely packed with ridiculously fun and festive props – throw these on with holiday colors and just take a photo in front of a cool background! There are plenty of cool backdrops around the Triad, or you could sit down in front of a big bush in your backyard like the photo shown here.
Reuse old holiday cards
This requires a little bit of planning, but you can reuse generic cards that have been sent to you in previous years. Glue a piece of themed (or not – entirely up to you) scrapbook paper over the message from the original sender and then add your own message. If you want to include a photo you can slip it in and then send it off! This hack will save money (especially if you happen to have an unseemly amount of scrapbook paper lying around like many people do), and will reduce your carbon footprint in the process.
Collage photos from your year
There is no absolute rule stating that you have to have a themed photo to use in your holiday cards. Scroll through your Instagram feed and pick some of the highlights from your year and throw them into a collage online and use these. Not only will this save you time and frustration, it will show your friends and family what you have actually been up to during the year.