64 holiday and Christmas card ideas for sending warm season’s greetings

The phrase “season’s greetings” in gold surrounded by branches on a red background.
Paperless Post BlogHolidays > 64 holiday and Christmas card ideas for sending warm season’s greetings

When it comes to connecting with friends and family over the holidays, sending holiday cards is the most special method. Whether they arrive in a mailbox or an inbox, holiday cards can spread warmth and good cheer, no matter how near or far your loved ones may be. From Christmas trees to Santa Claus to simple Christmas cards with a wreath, find holiday card ideas that are sure to make your season’s greetings mean the most.

What do you write inside a holiday card?

Wondering what to write in a holiday card? Consider the following ideas:

  • First, look for a card with a message that resonates with you, whether it’s geared specifically toward Christmas or the New Year, or is a more general message that works for the entire season. 
  • Happy Holidays,” “Very Best Wishes,” and “Season’s Greetings” put it simply and succinctly, but you can also look back with a “Year in Review” or incorporate a hopeful wish for the future, like “Peace on Earth.” 
  • From there, customize your card with details about your family’s experiences, accomplishments, goals, and photos. 
  • Looking for more inspiration? Head to our guide to holiday card messages.

Should you send printed or digital holiday cards?

If you have the time and the budget, consider printed holiday cards from our print partner at Paper Source to let everyone know you’re thinking about them. You could even have the kids help—as a bonus, they’ll get in some handwriting practice. 

Or consider digital Christmas card ideas to reach more people quickly and inexpensively—a great option if you’re short on time or if many of your friends and family relocated this year. There is no need to update your mailing list with digital cards and there are hundreds of designs to choose from to fit your message, and you can conveniently send them via email, text, or link.

Holiday photo card ideas

A card with small gold stars around a black and white photo of a couple; a green card says “oh what fun” in red and gold block letters beneath a photo of a family.
Twinkling Stars” and “Just For Fun” by Paperless Post.


Some of our favorite holiday cards offer space for snapshots that help illustrate your year. It is a great opportunity to show off those wedding photos or introduce a new bundle of joy—two-legged or four-legged. If you moved in the past 12 months, perhaps include a picture of your family on the front porch or cozied up in the living room. 

Here are some Christmas card photo ideas for the perfect holiday greetings:

1. “Happy Golden Days” by Cheree Berry Paper & Design for Paperless Post

Use this “Happy Golden DaysCard to highlight a candid moment from the year. Or plan an amateur shoot at home or at a park where you can capture some candids from day-to-day life. Take lots of options so you’ll have plenty to work with: Try different angles (up close, from above, and below) and both landscape and portrait orientations.

2. “Christmas Chronicle” by Paperless Post

Matching holiday PJs or ugly Christmas sweaters are an adorable approach to this Christmas Chronicle  multi-photo card—you can even involve the pup!

3. “Christmas Bulbs Photo” by Paperless Post

 Dip into your vacation picture archives and include that great family photo from the annual summer trip to the beach or lake on the “Christmas Bulbs Photo” Card. 

4. “Merry Memory” by Bernard Maisner for Paperless Post

Get outdoors and show off the seasons on the “Merry Memory” Card with a photo of that big flowering tree in your front yard from last spring, or one of the kids playing outside in the fall leaves or winter snow.

5. “Classic Cutouts” by Paperless Post

Keep it classic and focus on the best part of the card—your photograph—with the photo-centric “Classic Cutouts” Card and minimal wording. 

6. “White Stars” by Linda and Harriett for Paperless Post

Showcase your photo in a frame of snowflake-shaped stars in this “White Stars” Card. It pairs nicely with any seasonal clothing you’ve matched for your pictures, especially white snow gear or fluffy white sweaters.

Evergreen holiday card ideas

A card with a large branch of holly next to an envelope with a holly berry liner.
English Holly” by Paperless Post.


Highlight seasonal flora like pine trees, wreaths, and mistletoe with these simple Christmas card ideas draped in greenery.

7. “Holly Branch” by Paperless Post

The deep colors of this “Holly Branch” Card and envelope liner do justice to the evergreens that winter is known for. The snow-white text cuts through the rich hues for a design that feels as crisp as the air outside.

8. “Juniper and Pine” by Paperless Post

Who says your card has to be red and green? Trade holly for a “Juniper and Pine” Card for a hint of blue Christmas. 

9. “Forsythia” by Paperless Post

Delicate forsythia branches adorn a vibrant background in this “Forsythia” Card that’s both modern and classic, and works perfectly for both business and personal use. Choose from 13 different colors—it’s a wonderful life, indeed.

10. “Holly on the Banister” by Paperless Post

A frame-worthy photo warrants a festively framed design. Available in rectangular and square shapes, you can adjust this
Holly on the Banister” Card based on your best shot. And it’s another one that’s great for business use—there’s even a place on the back to upload your logo.

Vintage holiday card ideas

A card says “happy holidays” surrounded by realistic holly leaves and berries on a red backdrop.
Branches de Houx” by John Derian for Paperless Post.


For a touch of the traditional holiday spirit, take a look at our vintage Christmas Card designs.’

11. “Reindeer Glades” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post

Wish loved ones a Feliz Navidad from the bottom of your heart with this cute, colorful “Reindeer Glades” card by Rifle Paper Co.

12. “Partridge Frame” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post

One look at this gorgeous “Partridge Frame” holiday invite, and “12 Days of Christmas” immediately comes to mind. If you enjoy getting songs stuck in peoples’ heads… here’s your chance!

13. “Bonhommes de Neige” by Nathalie Lété for Paperless Post

If you love the tale of Frosty the Snowman, embrace this snowy scene on the “Bonhommes de Neige” Card that looks straight out of a holiday card box of yore.

14. “Wreath Exchange” by Coral & Tusk for Paperless Post

Whoever said squirrels and foxes aren’t Christmas animals? ’Tis the season for giving in this adorable hand-embroidered scene on the “Wreath Exchange” Card.

Cityscape holiday card ideas

A card shows a wintery nighttime scene at a wooded park with a city skyline in the background.
Snowy Skyline” by Paperless Post.


You don’t have to live in a small town to enjoy the magic of the holidays. Bring in that big city thrill with our holiday cards that highlight skylines and a cosmopolitan way of life.

15. “Holiday in the City” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post

There’s nothing quite like Christmastime in the city, which is exactly what this delightful “Holiday in the City” Card design depicts. Brownstones bespeckled in string lights and a taxi transporting a tree set a magical scene.

16. “Skyline View” by Paperless Post

Show hometown pride by setting your family photo behind a sketched skyline. Choose from major cities, including San Francisco, Paris, London, Los Angeles, and more—all on this “Skyline View” Card.

17. “Holiday Skyline” by Paperless Post

Warm your recipients’ hearts with a pleasing monochrome city scene on this “Holiday Skyline” Card, where all of the windows are aglow.

Elegant holiday card ideas

A card with a partridge on a branch with berries; a forest green card with a wreath with lights on it.
Holiday Partridge” and “Let It Glow” by Paperless Post.


For an upscale, formal holiday card, peruse a collection of elegant Christmas Cards to find one that matches your style and taste.

18. “Felice” by Kelly Wearstler for Paperless Post

The metallic tree design on this “Felice” Card is sophisticated and festive. What could be a better combination—especially for your business holiday card?

19. “Gold Confetti” by Paperless Post

Add a little shine to your family portrait. This “Gold Confetti” Card was designed to look as if it’s been tossed with confetti for an extra festive feel.

20. “Wreath of Stars” by Paperless Post

Cards with wreaths are a popular choice for the holiday season, but they’re rarely made of stars. The square style on this “Wreath of Stars” Card is simple yet stellar.

21. “Starry Tree” by Paperless Post

The twinkling lights that make up this “Starry Tree” Card will conjure nostalgic memories. Plus, you can customize the message that will appear at the bottom of the one-sided card.

22. “Heart Be Light” by The Indigo Bunting for Paperless Post

The peaceful message on this “Heart Be Light” Card hits home with any recipient, no matter what holiday they celebrate. 

23. “Clover and Over” by kate spade new york for Paperless Post

Gilded clovers are an unexpected but lovely touch this time of year. Add them to your holiday message with this “Clover and Over” Card where you can change the image, text, backdrop, and more.

24. “Stellar Greeting” by Kelly Wearstler for Paperless Post

Just try to resist the urge to sing Sam the Snowman’s “Silver and Gold” when you see this stylish “Stellar Greeting” holiday card.

Beach holiday card ideas

A red card with a snow globe featuring Santa in tropical garb on a beach.
Wish You Were Here” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post.


Surf’s up for Santa when you send out beach Christmas Cards to your friends and family. They’re the perfect match for a Photo Gallery Block filled with the family pictures you took at the beach this summer. 

25.“Wish You Were Here” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post

Combine a wintery snow globe with a tropical setting in this fun “Wish You Were Here” Christmas card. Available in classic red and green—or red and pink, blue, or white—this light-hearted design is sure to put a smile on your loved ones’ faces.

26. “White Sand Christmas” by Paperless Post

Christmas isn’t cold everywhere around the world! Take a trip down under with the “White Sand Christmas” holiday card featuring an adorable koala on an Australian beach.

27. “On Holiday” by Cheree Berry Paper & Design for Paperless Post

Trade snow-capped mountains for a Christmas tree beach umbrella with the “On Holiday” Card that offers warm wishes.

Animal and wildlife holiday card ideas

A card with a polar bear hugging a smaller bear; a navy blue card with a folkloric blue and gold deer with ornaments on the antlers.
Bear Hug” and “Folk Reindeer” by Paperless Post.


Take a walk on the wild side this holiday season with our collection of animal and wildlife Christmas cards, including some of our favorite designs below.

28. “Cozy Critters” by Paperless Post

If there’s a better way to wish someone a cozy Christmas than with raccoons, hedgehogs, and birds on the “Cozy Critters” Card, we haven’t found it yet.

29. “Squirrel Power” by Meri Meri for Paperless Post

Think outside the box with the die-cut “Squirrel Power” card that doesn’t follow the usual rules. You might just rethink the role squirrels play in your annual holiday celebration (i.e. they deserve much higher billing). 

30. “Reindeer Topper” by Paperless Post

Cozily clad in a scarf, a reindeer puts the finishing touch on a snow-covered Tannenbaum in this one-sided, whimsically illustrated “Reindeer Topper” Christmas card.

31. “Northern Holiday Helpers” by Paperless Post

Get some last-minute help trimming the tree with a “Northern Holiday Helpers” Card featuring a helpful moose, bear, fox, and goose.

32. “O Tannenbear” by Paperless Post

On the front of this adorable “O Tannenbear” holiday card, cold-weather creatures put a spin on the traditional trimming of the tree. The reverse side provides a perfect place for a personalized holiday card message.

33. “Tall Trimmer” by Felix Doolittle for Paperless Post

Let your imagination run wild this Christmas on the “Tall Trimmer” Card,  where a thoughtful giraffe trims the tree. It’s a cheerful illustration fit for party animals.

Snowy Christmas card ideas

A card shows two tree trunks at night with snow falling.
On a Snowy Evening” by Paperless Post.


Let it snow with these frosty Christmas card ideas, featuring every snow scene imaginable, from snowflakes to snowball fights.

34. “Silhouette Snowflakes” by Linda and Harriet for Paperless Post

No matter the image you choose, this “Silhouette Snowflakes” design will immediately add a festive feel to anyone’s inbox.

35. “Snow Pine Valley” by Paperless Post

Gold foil takes the shape of trees and a log cabin before a snowy landscape on this pretty wintery “Snow Pine Valley” holiday card. Add a special treat, and float a custom message to friends and family in the center.

36. “Holidays on Ice” by Cheree Berry for Paperless Post

What at first seems like a simple scene soon jumps off the page as you get to know each character on the ice in this “Holidays on Ice” Card. Footprints in the snow spell out a merry message on the envelope liner as a clever touch.

37. “Étang Gelé” by Nathalie Lété for Paperless Post

This painterly snowy scene on the Étang Gelé Card will transport your recipients to the beautiful worlds within their favorite childhood snowglobes.

38. “Snowball Team” by Felix Doolittle for Paperless Post

Recruit the mischievous crew on the “Snowball Team” Card to wish your loved ones season’s greetings—and remind them to watch their backs as soon as the first snow falls!

39. “Snow Critters” by Hello!Lucky for Paperless Post

A playful take on the popular “Ugly Sweater Party,” this “Snow Critters” invitation stars furry friends who know how to have fun—making it a great choice for wintertime entertaining.

Colorful holiday card ideas

A green card reads “MERRY AND BRIGHT” in pink and white retro block letters; a card says “JOY & PEACE” in pink and red block letters.
Bright Holiday” and “Greatest Gift” by Paperless Post.


Fill your loved ones’ mailboxes and inboxes with a holiday rainbow in a variety of colorful holiday cards.

40. “Feliz” by kate spade new york for Paperless Post

Happy, happy, happy! That’s how we’d describe—and translate—the multilingual message on this “Feliz” Card.

41. “Merry and Bright” by Mr. Boddington Studio for Paperless Post

Deck your loved one‘s inbox with a “Merry and Bright” note bordered by miniature ornaments.

42. “Glow Strings Attached” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post

Christmas lights spell out a special message atop this jovial “Glow Strings Attached” Christmas card. Arrange a few favorite family photos to your liking and customize with well wishes.

43. “Tartan” by Oscar de la Renta for Paperless Post

Whether you are a proud Scot or simply appreciate a good plaid, this “Tartan” Card and envelope feel warm and festive. Try a black-and-white photograph that contrasts nicely with the colored pattern.

44. “Merry and Bright Pink” by Paperless Post

Send a little warmth—in more ways than one—with this tropical “Merry and Bright Pink” twist on the holiday card where flamingos and palm trees replace partridges and evergreens.

Watercolor Christmas card ideas

A card shows a winter scene with people ice skating in front of colorful houses.
Village Skating” by Red Cap Cards for Paperless Post.


Looking for that DIY Christmas card look, but lacking the time for an actual DIY? Capture the made-it-myself spirit with our watercolor Christmas cards, and then actually make them your own with customizable stickers, Blocks, colors, stamps, and backdrops.

45. “Wrapped Wreath” by Happy Menocal for Paperless Post

Pretty greens, blues, and pinks blend in this “Wrapped Wreath” watercolor holiday card, complete with flowing script in the middle. (Add a photo in this photo card version!)

46. “Holly Berries” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post

For a Card that looks paintbrush-touched, send the “Holly Berries” card with gold script over a pink background with festive holly berries in the corners.

47. “English Robin” by Paperless Post

Send a sweet song this holiday season with a painted “English Robin” on a wintery branch.

48. “With Bells On” by Mr. Boddington’s Studio for Paperless Post

Is there anything more DIY than homemade ornaments on the tree? This “With Bells On” Card features four bells with varying patterns, ready to ring from their place on a pine bough.

Modern holiday card ideas

A card with a black and white family photo flanked by abstract gold lines; a card has repeating triangles in shades of green and gold forming a pattern.
Channels” by Kelly Wearstler for Paperless Post; “On Repeat” by Paperless Post.


Skip the old-fashioned holiday look and make a modern impression this season. From minimal wording and imagery to bold colors and patterns, these holiday cards are straight out of the 21st century.

49. “Placard” by Paperless Post

This “Placard” in your choice of gold, rose gold, or silver layers over a portrait. We love the minimalism of this greeting card, which contains one favorite photo and space for a few words.

50. “Holiday Ascender” by Paperless Post

Contemporary lettering underlines a straightforward sentiment in the “Holiday Ascender” Card. Plenty of white space allows your picture to pop, too.

51. “On Repeat” by Paperless Post

Modern geometry shapes allude to a Christmas tree in this playful “On Repeat” design.

52. “Mr. Rudolph” by Paperless Post

Kids and kids-at-heart will get a kick out of this cute “Mr. Rudolph” craft paper card. Rudolph’s nose even sparkles—no glitter or glue required.

53. “Ho Ho Ho Santa Belt” by kate spade new york for Paperless Post

Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays! Santa’s suit becomes an instantly recognizable modern classic in this “Ho Ho Ho Santa Belt” Card.

Religious Christmas card ideas

Spread the spirit of Christmas this year with a set of tastefully designed religious Christmas cards.

54. “Felt Noel” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post

Remember the reason for the season with this sweet, soft “Felt Noel” design depicting the scene of the very first Christmas.

55. “Joyful World” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post

Encourage unity, joy, and peace this holiday season with the “Joyful World” Card. This dimensional design from Rifle Paper Co. is an artful way to do just that.

56. “Nativity” by Paperless Post

Commemorate a sacred religious moment—the holy nativity—with a nighttime “Nativity” card that looks like you painted it yourself.

Pet Christmas card ideas

A pink card with dogs as Christmas carolers reads “Happy Howl-idays;” a blue card with a photo of a dog in a Christmas tree ornament surrounded by branches, tennis balls, and a dog bone.
Canine Carol” by Paperless Post; “Dog Bulb” by Cheree Berry Paper & Design for Paperless Post.


Dogs and cats make everyone smile! Bring your bestest boy or goodest girl into your holiday greetings with this selection of pet Christmas cards

57. “Kitty Carols” by Red Cap Cards for Paperless Post

Calling all cat ladies and gentlemen! What could be cuter than kittens singing carols (and stepping on a piano) in this “Kitty Carols” Card?

58. “Pet Love” by Paperless Post

Send a simple tribute to your pet with this lovely “Pet Love” Card, where a festive wreath in muted colors surrounds a small animal footprint.

59. “Canine Carol” by Paperless Post

Wish loved ones “Happy Howl-idays” with this sweet “Canine Carol” Card featuring dogs singing their favorite carols.

60. “Bright Cats” by Hello!Lucky for Paperless Post

Celebrate a “meowy and bright” holiday with this “Bright Cats” Card where cats play with ornaments and Christmas lights—just like in real life.

Printable holiday card ideas

A stack of holiday cards with a black and white photo of a family surrounded by holly sprigs, next to several red envelopes.
Yule Blooms” by Paperless Post.


Looking for paper Cards your loved ones can put on their mantel or fridge? Find our stylish collection of classic holiday photo cards available in print exclusively at Paper Source.

61. “Fa Lalala La” by Paperless Post

The two-sided “Fa Lalala La” Card is a cheeky nod to “Deck the Halls,”, available in shimmering gold or cheery red. It also offers three spaces for black-and-white photos and a customizable message on the backside.

62. “Scalloped Border Photo Card” by kate spade new york for Paperless Post

The name of this holiday photo card says it all: A scalloped border surrounds the photo of your choice in your choice of colors. We love that it’s evergreen enough to stay up all year long.

63. “Gold Heart Holiday Photo” by The Indigo Bunting for Paperless Post 

This “Gold Heart Holiday Photo” Card’s modern grid style is a familiar format for the Instagram crowd. Curate a collection of your eight best shots, which will hug a heart-shaped message.

64. “Holiday Potpourri” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post

Oh, by gosh by golly, it’s time for mistletoe and holly—so why not layer those very seasonal symbols over your favorite family photo? This printable “Holiday Potpourri” card is particularly jolly.

Spread holiday cheer with Paperless Post

If you’re brimming with ideas for your next Christmas card, you’re not alone. Each year, our designers craft a brand-new holiday collection with your needs in mind. Plus, we have thousands of designs from world-renowned designers and illustrators such as Oscar de la Renta and Rifle Paper Co. Or DIY it a bit—upload your own design, customize it, and then send it out with help from Paperless Post. No matter your seasonal greeting style, you’ll find the perfect Christmas card in our collection.

Is it your first time sending Christmas cards? Read our tips on Christmas card etiquette to make sure you stay on the nice list.


Browse Holiday Cards

Hero image: “Mistletoe Signet” by Paperless Post.