Invitations, Announcements & Photo Cards

  • Where your pictures come to life
    in photo books, cards and gifts.
  • Premium cards and stationery
    for all life's occasions.
  • Wedding invitations and
    stationery for every step
    of the planning process.
  • Personalized greeting cards
    that really stand out.
  • Online photo and video equipment rental.
  • All your photos and videos organized in one place. Find, share, enjoy.

Custom Christmas Cards vs. Christmas Card Box Sets: Pros and Cons

Most of us grew up with the tradition of visiting the drug store or stationery store every winter to buy our Christmas cards and holiday cards in big box sets. We would go back and sign our names on each one along with a handwritten note before stuffing them into envelopes to be sent out. Now, cards can be created and personalized online, including a photo, and we think there are benefits to getting your Christmas cards either way.

The traditional box sets are nice for people who enjoy the experience of going out to the store and buying cards in person. You can look at different styles, pick them up and compare sizes. Shopping online may be a difficult experience for people who haven't done it before. How can you really know what you're getting if all you can see is just a picture on a screen? But you can rest assured that reputable online card stores go through a lot of effort to make sure that what you see on the screen is what your friends and family or business associates will actually get in the mail.

Once you buy the cards, there is a certain satisfaction associated with checking out at the register and bringing your cards home immediately. You can start writing them whenever you want. When you buy cards online, you will have to wait a few days to receive your cards depending on which shipping options you choose, but one of the great benefits of shopping online for cards is that they can be fully customizable. You can create an image, add a photo of you and your family and choose the exact words and font to be printed on the cards. This is something that simply can't be done with store-bought card box sets. These must be customized by hand with a pen or other craft materials.

If you still want to add a hand-written signature to your cards, personalized online Christmas cards can be sent to you to add handwritten notes before you mail them out. Alternatively, many online card providers can put cards in envelopes and mail them to recipients on your behalf. This is a level of added convenience that wasn't possible several years ago.

There are still many benefits to buying cards in large packs from the store down the road, but online cards have come a long way since they first became available. Now you can get designer cards, express shipping and as many choices and customization options as you can imagine. If you like creating cards by hand, blank Christmas cards from the store may be the way to go. But if you prefer to have design control over a professionally printed card, ordering from an online shop might be best for you this Christmas season.

Want to learn more about Christmas cards? Check out our other Christmas card articles in this series:

Christmas Card That Stand Out | Christmas Card Etiquette