7 Unique Holiday Card Ideas When You Don’t Have a Professional Photo

We blinked and October was over. Now we’re halfway through November — how does this always happen? The holidays will be here before we know it, which means it’s time to start thinking about holiday cards.

If you’re looking for unique holiday card ideas, I’ve got you covered.

A pile of Christmas cards.

First of all, when is the best time to send holiday cards? Personally, I think early December is the ideal time to mail holiday cards so that they can be displayed and enjoyed all month long. However, we’re all busy moms here, so there’s nothing wrong with mailing them right before (or after, LOL) the holidays.

1.  Custom Family Portrait Holiday Cards

I absolutely love these! There are plenty of options on the Internet for custom family portraits on sites like Etsy, but there are also local moms who can create these cards for you.

Check out these custom family portraits by my friend Kat! Note: Prices on custom family portraits can vary. It is important to order these sooner rather than later to ensure the artist has time to design and deliver your portrait in time.

An illustrated Christmas card.

2.  Including a Letter/Year in Review with Holiday Cards

Growing up, my mom used to always write a letter explaining what we had been up to within the past year. I think this is such a great idea, especially when you have family that you don’t see often.

I have also seen photo cards with a brief year-in-review section that applies the same concept.

3.  Handmade Holiday Cards

If you’re feeling creative this year, you can make your own holiday cards. This is also a great way to get the kids involved. It can also be a less expensive (although time-consuming) option.

Supplies for making a Christmas card.

4.  Using Outtake Photos for Holiday Cards

When we have family photos made, my favorites are always the silly outtakes because they show the reality of who we are. I love the idea of putting outtakes like this on a holiday card rather than the picture-perfect posed photos. They are sure to bring a smile to everyone who receives them.

5. Multi-Purpose Holiday Announcement Card

If your family has an announcement to make, such as a pregnancy, birth, or new home, using Christmas cards is a great way to share the big news.

I love this idea because what’s better than checking two things off of your to-do list at once?

>> RELATED READ :: 5 Ways to Repurpose Christmas Cards <<

A couple kisses and holds a sonogram.

6.  Last-Minute Photo Holiday Card

Let’s be real, we’re busy moms. Oftentimes, I forget all about holiday cards until a week before Christmas. If this happens, don’t worry — you can always just print off a recent picture of your family, write a quick note on the back, and stick it in the mail.

It’s also common to send New Year cards. So if you miss the boat for getting cards in the mailbox for Christmas, extend your personal deadline!

7. Social Media Holiday Card

Last, if you forget to send a holiday card altogether, don’t worry — it’s 2022 and a social media “holiday card” will certainly suffice. Your loved ones will be happy to feel the holiday love no matter how they receive your holiday card.

I love sending and receiving holiday cards. They are such a great way to showcase your unique family and send love and holiday wishes. I hope this list gives you a few ideas for unique cards this holiday season.

Jennifer Copeland
Jennifer is a native Texan and has called Collin County home for the past seven years. She is a proud wife and mom to Lilah (2018) and Luca (2020). They live in northeast McKinney and love the small town vibe while still being within 10 miles of Target and Trader Joe’s. She graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s in dental hygiene. When she’s not brightening smiles, she enjoys exercising, writing, a good cup of coffee, and her guilty pleasure — jamming 2000s pop punk. On the weekends, you can catch her and her family spending as much time as possible outdoors. She has a passion for helping and relating to other moms through humor and loves to share her favorite local adventure spots.