In Lieu of Christmas Cards…

Everybody loves getting Christmas cards in the mail this time of year.  I love proudly displaying the faces of our friends and family in our home.  But what do you do with all the Christmas Cards you receive each year after Christmas is over?  I’m sure some people have creative ways of preserving them (making a flip-book, putting them in a scrapbook, etc.), but the majority of us probably just throw them in the trash.

Instead of spending $50-$100 sending out Christmas cards this year, we used (which is free) to add text to one of our favorite family photos and then posted it on Facebook.  The majority of the people we would send a Christmas card to are on Facebook anyway.

If you choose to do this, consider giving the money you would have used for your Christmas cards to a worthy cause like your local food bank, the Salvation Army, or Nhowe Mission (a ministry near and dear to my heart).

For the 3 people we know who aren’t on Facebook (my grandparents, for example), we’ll upload that same picture and have it printed for less than $0.15 each (plus the cost of stamps).

Just a small way that we can simplify Christmas and give to those in need…

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Filed Under: Service Projects


  1. Shannon says

    We usually do a 4 by 6 picture collage from Wal-Mart or Walgreens. It’s super cheap and you can also write a message on the photo as well. We can usually get ours for 7 cents a piece. Then instead of putting them in envelopes, we send the picture as a postcard. We usually send about 80 picture postcards out. So the cost of the pics and postcard stamps comes out to just about $28. :)

  2. Kayla says

    Cards are one thing we make room for in our budget. I just love sending them out and getting them. Facebook is just not the same.: -)

  3. Kristina says

    Actually, we used our christmas cards this year to give back. We bought our cards from the M. D. Anderson website and the proceeds were a donation towards cancer research.

  4. Audrey says

    I would be concerned that a photo on regular photo paper would be destroyed, or close to it, by the time it arrived. I’ve never received one so I don’t know. I have received some photo postcards on heavy card stock (printed professionally) and thought it was a nice alternative and cheaper to mail. I think the mail carriers must curse the photo paper ones. ;)

  5. says

    I prefer to send out cards. I know its a lot of money, but most of the time, I get them free for doing a blogging promotion. This year I got 50 free cards from Tiny Prints and I didn’t even have to pay to ship them. I am not going to send out 50 cards, but its nice I have the option. I don’t like the whole posting a christmas card on facebook. It’s like telling everyone on facebook about a birth or a death instead of actually calling them. And if you don’t want a picture that everyone on facebook has seen, then take one and don’t upload it to facebook! Novel idea ;)

    Not all my friends and family are on facebook either and sending out cards is a tradition for me. It puts me in the holiday mood and I feel like I’m sending family members and friends I haven’t seen that often a gift. We always do family photos as our card so that everyone can see how the kids have grown. The picture cards I get in the mail from those that choose to send them remain on my refrigerator all year long. You can’t do that with facebook. You see the picture in the feed and then the next day its gone unless you actually take the time to click on that person’s photo.

  6. Abra says

    I prefer receiving the printed card. I feel it is becoming a lost art. Most of the friends they come from are the friends who truly keep in touch and keep up with our lives, as opposed to being only an acquaintance on Facebook. We keep the cards at our kitchen table and take turns praying for our friends, family & missionaries throughout the year. You can still find ways to cut costs on cards, just as many people have already suggested in the comments above. Some friends of ours decided to send cards every other year. I think that is a good idea.

  7. says

    When my oldest child was born 15 years ago, I began to write an annual Christmas letter to include with our Christmas card with anecdotes about our year, etc. A few years ago, I decided to only do a virtual card. I had so many people approach me about not receiving my card yet and express their sadness when they were told that the email they received was all I was sending this year that I was guilted into doing it after all and haven’t tried to get out of it since. Although there are some years that it’s more like a New Year’s Letter instead of a Christmas one ;)

  8. Wendy says

    I am okay with the idea…but sad not to receive cards from family and friends. I planned early…got all my picture cards for free from various online sites and only had to pay for stamps…not a bad deal. Staples even had a deal for 100 free postcards which are even cheaper to mail. I like to keep the Christmas card tradition going.

  9. Linda says

    I like to send & receive Christmas cards-especially the photo ones! In order to save money last year I printed a photo collage online from Walmart (with pictures of the kids throughout the year.) They came to 9 cents each, bough envelopes from Staples & mailed those out as my Christmas cards. I was able to write Merry Christmas from (our names & the kids ages & year.)

  10. says

    I LOVE IT! Since my husband is a minister of music at our church of 500+ members you hate to leave someone out. In addition, we have previously served at a church of over 2,000 members. So you can imagine the cost can easily add up. I figured this year that I would just send cards to previous pastors we have worked under and close friends. The remainder I will definitely think about the Picnik idea. Thanks for the honesty of your post!

  11. leigh says

    I wouldn’t feel left out this way….if the family on FB wants a copy they can order on line. Something I have been noticing though is with all the family photo cards it leaves out “Christ” in the Christmas Greeting.

  12. Jo Prince says

    I guess I am just old-fashioned. We take a family picture at Thanksgiving and enclose it with a brief letter in a nice Christmas card. It is costly, but we have so many friends who we only correspond with at Christmas. I enjoy doing the cards and also receiving cards from our special friends. Bill posted a copy of our picture on fb as well. So I guess we have about covered all bases. Merry Christmas everyone.

  13. Sabrina says

    Although I feel it’s a good thought, especially if that’s what works for your family, it’s not something I personally like. It’s too impersonal in an age where computers are become our social interactions. I love going to the mailbox and seeing who has made an effort to think of my family. I love hanging the pictures of families or children that come in those envelopes. I then scrapbook my photo-cards, or cards that have personal notes in them, each year. I must have 7 years of them scrapbooked. I can go back and look at families as they grow, and put little stories around their cards if I want. I do agree where a someone would otherwise send an impersonal wal-mart bought card signed “Love Kath”….that’s almost (emphasis on almost) as impersonal as posting a “card” on FB.

  14. Adrienne says

    It’s just not the same. I love the cards with photos that I can put on the mantle or refrigerator. I also love the personal notes that not everyone would get. I don’t want to have to go to the office, turn on the computer and scroll to temporarily see my family and friends, and their generic messages. There are very inexpensive cards and photo specials, and postage is only 44 cents. You could also buy cards from various charitable organizations. You would save much more by not buying so many gifts that most will either return or store in a closet.

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