10 Creative Ideas to Help Your Christmas Cards Stand Out

Marianne Stenger
4th November 2019

The tradition of sending Christmas greeting cards dates back to 1843 in Victorian England, when the first Christmas card was mass produced by a busy socialite named Henry Cole. These days, despite huge advances in technology, the practice of sending physical Christmas cards to friends and family by post is one that has held strong.

Creating your own personalised Christmas cards can be a fun tradition to adopt as a family, and it doesn’t have to be complicated either. If you plan to design and print your own Christmas cards with Bob Books this year, here are a few creative ideas to help them stand out.

1. Add some colour to make it pop

One way to make your Christmas cards stand out is to find a way to incorporate a bright colour that makes the photo pop, especially if the background you’re working with is quite grey and wintery. This can be achieved by looking for a vibrant background such as a coloured wall, clear blue sky, or lush evergreen tree, or even adding in a bright red scarf or jacket.

2. Take a minimalistic approach

Sometimes simple is best when it comes to Christmas photo cards. For example, you could opt to create a black and white family photo and use a white border to keep it elegant and simple. Alternatively, you could shoot your own minimalistic Christmas photo of something seasonal like a wreath, evergreen tree, or a pile of Christmas cookies. Make sure to leave plenty of white space to keep the photo looking clean and help your main subject stand out.

3. Invite your furry friend into the photo

If you’re taking photos specifically for your Christmas cards, why not bring your furry friend along for the photo shoot? Cats and dogs may not be very good holding a pose, but they will certainly make your photo shoot a lot livelier and help you capture genuine smiles and emotions rather than stiff poses.

4. Take a family selfie

Who says your Christmas card photos need to be taken by a professional? Most smartphones these days take high quality photos that will look beautiful when printed on a photo card. If there are more than a couple of family members to include on your Christmas card, you can use a selfie stick to fit everyone into the photo. You can also think outside the box and find some fun locations for your Christmas card selfie, whether it’s in the car or a nearby forest. 

5. Make it humorous

Adding a humorous element to your Christmas card is one of the best ways to help it stand out. Of course, humour can be very subjective, but there’s a good chance that your close friends and family share, or at least understand, your particular sense of humour. So consider adding something funny to your photo cards, whether it’s a Christmas-themed pun or an inside joke that makes you chuckle.

6. Use a landscape photo

A simple wintery landscape featuring snow-capped trees or a frozen lake can make a wonderfully classic Christmas card image. So if you prefer traditional Christmas cards and landscape photography is more up your street than portrait photography, you can also consider using one of your favourite landscape or cityscape images for your Christmas card.

8. Personalise your text

Every Christmas card is bound to have the usual “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” message, so another way to help yours stand out is to look for a way to personalise the text you include. For example, you can add a more personal message, choose a funky font, or include a favourite quote or poem.

9. Capture some action

Action shots can make a wonderful change from the posed photographs that you often see on Christmas cards, so think of a way to photograph your family members as they engage in a fun holiday activity. For example, you get the kids together to bake Christmas cookies and then capture the fun and mess that comes with family baking. If you’re lucky enough to get a snow day, you can photograph a snowball fight, but even without snow, you can usually find other wintery activities to photograph, such as ice skating or even forest walks.

10. Get creative with props

Since most Christmas card photo shoots happen before the festive season actually begins, it can be difficult to give your photos that seasonal feel. But adding simple props can turn an otherwise ordinary photo into something that’s obviously Christmas-themed. Props could include anything from a string of twinkling Christmas lights to fluffy hats and scarves, Christmas jumpers or onesies, a cosy blanket, or even a mug of hot coffee.

Want to shoot your own Christmas card photos? Check out these tips and ideas for a homemade family photo shoot. Or if you’re ready to start the design process, visit our photo card page and select your preferred size, paper type, and quantity.