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The best places to buy Christmas and holiday cards online

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The best holiday cards overall

The best holiday cards overall
Why you'll love it: Simply to Impress has card options galore with high-quality printing on sturdy paper for a decent price.

The first thing I love about Simply to Impress is the variety of categories in the holiday section. Right away, you choose to focus your search according to the spirit of what you’re looking for.

You can select sub-headings like “photo” or “non-photo cards,” “religious Christmas cards,” “Hanukkah cards,” “baby’s first Christmas, and, my personal favorite, “from the pet.” It’s also one of the few mainstream stationery companies that has a Kwanza card section.

You can also narrow down options easily by checking boxes like how many (if any) photos you’d like to display on your cards, what color cardstock you’d like to use, and even what fancy shape or extra detailing you would like.

Personally, I’m addicted to shiny things, and love all the metallic foil detailing options for a pop of something special in your cards. These extra details will add to the final cost somewhat, but overall, Simply to Impress keeps prices reasonable, especially for the quality of the cards. It’s definitely not the cheapest option on this list, but the bang-for-buck ratio is high.

Testers for Top Ten Reviews agree with me that Simply to Impress scores high, saying the print and paper quality is a “cut above the rest.” Wirecutter is also on board with our pick, saying Simply to Impress is a great choice for those who want to send “high-quality photo greeting cards with a minimum of fuss.”

So, whether you want to do a traditional thing, or spice up your yearly mailing with more modern flair, it’s easy to customize your cards on the Simply to Impress website.

Pros: Highly customizable designs with high-quality materials

Cons: Extra details can push cost up quickly

Buy holiday and Christmas cards on Simply to Impress for $1 and up
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The best full-service holiday cards

The best full-service holiday cards
Why you'll love it: Minted takes care of every part of the card creation and delivery process.

Minted offers highly customizable cards with plenty of photo and non-photo options. I’ve ordered personalized stationery and art gifts from Minted several times, and have been very satisfied. It’s not the absolute best photo printing in the business, but all the images are clear, paper options are high-quality, and the designs are lovely.

I also particularly like how Minted sources its designs from a wide-ranging team of artists, and sometimes highlights their bios alongside their card designs. This way, you can support a unique artist’s work while still getting all the benefits of ordering from an easy online company.

Minted also offers a few full-service benefits you can’t get everywhere else. If you’re like most people, you’re strapped for time and don’t have a lot of extra room in your brain to handle the fiddly tasks in life, like say, licking 50 envelopes and hand-addressing each one, in addition to adding a personal message.

Minted handles this quandary by providing optional envelope addressing and return-addressing in an attractive, script-like font. All you have to do is upload your address book. You can even order customized postage for your full-service cards. Want a stamp of your cute little kid in elf ears? Done. Or maybe a traditional Christmas tree or snowy scene? No problem.

Minted is one of the only sites on our list that offers real three-dimensional letterpress printing. It sends the prices way up, but this traditionally lux mode of printing might be worth it if you’re obsessed with the finer things in life.

This year, Minted also has creative holiday card shapes, from postcard to folded, to cards that can actually be turned into lovely little ornaments for the recipients’ tree, complete with hanging ribbon. These fanciful options don’t come cheap, so they might not be in everyone’s budget, but they’re optional.

Minted even has a fully customized option now, for an extra cost. I used Minted for my wedding stationery, and personally thought they did a great job.

Pros: Highly customizable with bespoke designs and full-service addressing

Cons: Pricier than some other options

Buy holiday and Christmas cards from Minted
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The best budget holiday cards

The best budget holiday cards
Why you'll love it: Amazon Prints offers plenty of Christmas and holiday cards for people on a budget.

Years ago, you might not have thought of a giant retailer like Amazon as a great place to get something as personal and intimate as a set of holiday cards. Nowadays, however, Amazon has a share in pretty much every market, including that of lower-cost custom cards.

Amazon prints has cards from a handful of companies available, including Aperion, Kramer Drive, A Fresh Bunch, Tumbalina, and Vanilla Print. Starting at about seventy-five cents per photo card without any extras, you can choose from dozens of template designs.

Amazon does have a smaller selection of designs, shape, and paper type than most of the other top picks. But if your holiday card goals are fairly simple and straight-forward, there’s no need to pay more for something special, when the quality of the prints is perfectly good and goes for a great price.

Other reviewers of Amazon Prints have given the company a rather low score for customer service. It can be hard to get personal attention from a big corporation. You also have to understand that the general quality of the prints and paper is also lower than some of the nicer, more specialized stationery providers. But if these details are less important to you than just making sure your friends receive a copy of your silly family portrait in the mail this winter, then the low cost might make Amazon Prints worth your while.

Pros: A very affordable option, and you can pay through your Amazon account

Cons: Less selection, customization, and print quality than other options

Buy holiday cards on Amazon Prints for 75 cents per card and up

The best unique holiday cards

The best unique holiday cards
Why you'll love it: With Etsy, your friends and family can receive a unique piece of art from you in the mail.

You likely already know about Etsy, the popular online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods. But if you haven’t taken a look at some of the personalized stationary offerings lately, I really hope you do before you make your final choice about holiday cards.

Tons of amazing artists and craftspeople offer custom holiday card packages, including everything from an illustrated family portrait to letterpress cards showing your cat on Santa Claus’s body.

Yes, you can order personalized photo card packages that will be similar in style and quality to some of the other major retailers on this list, but I think the real strength of Etsy is that you can basically hire your own personal artist to create something special for your family that is likely to become a treasured memento for your family, and a conversation piece with your friends, instead of more paper for the recycling pile after the holidays are over.

One of the drawbacks of using Etsy is that the cost to have your own art created and printed in small batches is often more expensive than the template cards from other stores, but you’re directly supporting an artist when you order from Etsy.

Also, the quality between craftspeople and their individual Etsy shops definitely varies, meaning you should shop around and read reviews by other customers before making your choice.

But to get you started, we recommend these awesome Etsy shops that offer custom card packages: Wanderer Illustration where packages start at $25, Love Becca Designs, where packages start at just under $25, and the gorgeous custom letterpress art cards from Midoreo, where you can get 50 cards for about $220.

Pros: Unlimited creative possibility meets lovely keepsake art

Cons: You may need to pay a higher cost, and give your artist plenty of time to make your order

Buy Christmas and holiday cards on Etsy
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The best photo-quality holiday cards

The best photo-quality holiday cards
Why you'll love it: Artifact Uprising makes gorgeous custom cards that have high-quality photos printed on them.

Artifact Uprising, a specialized online photo and stationery service, has recently made a name for itself as an especially high-quality maker of photography books and prints. A quick Google search will yield a long list of professional photographers and bloggers giving positive reviews of Artifact Uprising’s photo books, and commending the company's clear-as-a-bell photo printing.

Photographer Peter Davison commented that he was “quite impressed” with AU's printing, for instance. As a review of the service in Women’s Health notes, Artifact Uprising is known for using especially good building blocks for its products, including “recycled papers and reclaimed materials.”

Artifact Uprising’s 2018 holiday card selection includes more than “100 designs and five foil colors,” including some hand-lettered options, all printed on 100% recycled paper. Cards come in sets of 10 with envelopes included.

You can add return address and/or recipient address printing for a fee to make things easier on your writing hand this year. And I love that AU also makes personalized envelope seal stickers for that extra touch. All the extras do add to the cost, however, so these cards are on the high end of our best-of list.

With Artifact Uprising, you’re also supporting a women-owned family company — this top holiday card pick was founded by two photographer sisters. And while you’re there, AU's store sells lovely personalized photo gifts to help you shorten your shopping list.

Pros: Excellent printing and uniquely fine designs

Cons: On the more expensive side

Buy Christmas and holiday cards on Artifact Uprising for $1.25 per card