Does the idea of sending out a million holiday cards by mail cause you extra stress so you simply don’t do it? For others, skipping sending actual cards is a way of going green because paper is litter and destroys trees. People who grew up with email instead of snail mail have another excuse: they don’t have anybody’s addresses. With the rise of e-cards and other creative alternatives to your standard holiday card, saying happy holidays has never been easier and perhaps as creative. But if the actual card gesture is the least of your troubles and figuring it out who to send it to is, here’s some practical advice.
Time Magazine’s Brad Tuttle suggests taking Dr. Stephen Cottrell, a bishop in the Church of England and the author of Do Nothing: Christmas Is Coming’s words of wisdom to heart. Cottrell recommends that you send cards out only to people you love. “Yes, love. Not like,” says Tuttle. “Not that you sorta know and feel obligated to send a card to, and what the heck. If you have to take a moment to think if a person belongs on your “love” list, then you have your answer: No card for you.” Now that we’ve simplified your list, here are 10 out of the box ideas for holiday card alternatives for you to send out this year.
1. Seed Paper Cards
You can literally plant the seeds of joy in people’s hearts this holiday season with holiday cards that are made of seeds. At Bloomin.com, artisans add flower, herb, and vegetable seeds when they make their paper so that once planted and cared for, that card will grow into a garden!
2. Customized Video Greetings
Get hi tech this holiday season and send them a video. It’s not only paperless and Earth-friendly it’s also budget friendly. Send a 30-second video for free or use sites like Animoto.com to record a personalized video holiday greeting.
3. Paperless Posts
E-cards aren’t exactly aesthetically satisfying but they are practical. So why not send an electronic greeting that comes closer to the beauty of a physical card? Check out the options at Paperless Post, where tree-free possibilities are easier on the eyes.
4. Virtual Postcards
Why not create a holiday post card from your own photo gallery this year? An app called Postagram.com enables you to send postcards from photos on your iPhone or Android. If a virtual card is not enough, Postagram will also print physical postcards and send them to specified addresses.
5. Art Prints
Treat those special people in your life to a card and arty gift in one. At sites like Etsy.com, holiday artwork created by an artisan is printed on white matte paper and packaged in an acid-free plastic sleeve and mailed in a 100% recycled rigid mailer.
6. Audio Postcard
If you can sing or have one of those sexy radio voices, this option is about as simple as it gets and is absolutely free. At sites like nFinityinc.com you can upload a picture, upload an mp3, enter email addresses, add a message, and you’ve got yourself an audio holiday card.
This holiday season in lieu of spending money on traditional cards or making your nuts over Christmas card ideas, make a donation to your favorite charities like the Red Cross to help those in need this holiday season.
8. Photo Collage Greeting
If you just love photos, narrate your own holiday tale by sending a photo collage via social media or via email at Photocollage.com.
Using a Facebook app, like the one from 123 Greetings, to send a holiday e-card will save the trouble of writing out cards or typing in e-mail addresses, as this app lets you check off who, among your Facebook friends, will receive your card.
10. Skip It All Together
Thanks to social media we are all pretty connected all year round. All the time logged into our computers has also taken us away from our nearest and dearest. This season, in lieu of sending cards, why not try to connect in person with those dear to you?