Here it is, two days after Thanksgiving, and I already have a handful of holiday cards sitting on my counter. It’s hard for me to contemplate how on-the-ball some people are (especially when I’m still wearing my post-Thanksgiving stretchy pants). If you’re like me, you’re only now just thinking about your holiday cards…mostly because you’ve started receiving them in the mail. Don’t stress! Here are some easy tips for putting together a great photo card and newsletter.

I personally love getting photo cards in the mail. They can be stressful to make, but sometimes it helps to approach it differently. Instead of finding a photo to fit a card template, try picking out your card first. HP’s Creative Studio has great free templates that you can design and print at home, and Snapfish has great cards you can have printed and sent to you. If you print at home, stock up on paper and ink. Right now there is free next-business-day shipping! I love free.

Once you’ve settled on a template, it’s time for photos. I know most people stress about what to wear, since we all want to look shiny and perfect. Dressing everyone in the same sweater is tempting, but unless your identical outfits are part of your theme, complimentary colors and textures are best. Some good color combos are:


There is a great color/texture combo graphic here. If you can’t decide on your colors, match them to your card template!

Keep your poses casual – the best pictures are the ones where everyone looks comfortable and happy. Go to a favorite family location, like the backyard or park or even on your couch. You want everyone to look like themselves. Keep it light and relaxed!




My favorite cards are the ones that include holiday newsletters. I don’t send out a newsletter since I update my blog every day, but I do include a link to my blog at the bottom of my cards to remind some relatives where they can read all about the Spohrs. If you’ve never written a newsletter, don’t get caught up in it – it’s easy to be overwhelmed by recapping an entire year. Focus on the highlights. Mention something important about each member of the family – the things that are easy to brag about! Keep the tone conversational and familiar. It’s a newsletter, not a thesis paper! And of course, don’t forget the photos – they will look best printed out on thick brochure paper. For more newsletter tips, including free templates, go here.

Next week, photo gift ideas!