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There’s something distinctly adult about a holiday card. Like a favorite cocktail, go-to recipe or signature scent, it conveys that you’re put-together enough to have considered these things—to have spent enough time at nice bars to know which cocktails are drinkable, to have cooked enough to master one semi-impressive recipe, to have worn enough perfume to know which fragrance fits you best. Finding (and sending) the best holiday cards gives a similar message: You had enough foresight to actually order, sign, address and send holiday cards to all of your loved ones—and in a generally timely fashion, at that.
The first step to getting your holiday card situation under control is, of course, to buy some holiday cards. You want to find something that fits your personality—and the level of festivity with which you intend to approach the season. Will your holiday be spent in some idyllic location? Snuggled up by the fire? Snapping pictures in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree?
Maybe you prefer your holiday season with a glass of wine—or maybe your days are spent looking forward to all the dynamic trends that await you in the year ahead. Your holiday card should reflect that, because of course, it should reflect you.
The classic holiday card formula involves a photo shoot, which naturally results in tons of kitschy-cute (and charmingly laid-out) cards your loved ones will keep on their refrigerators for years to come. This is a tried-and-true favorite among people who regularly send out holiday cards. But for those of us who are just trying to get a grip on the whole holiday card thing—those of us who are still impressed by how adult and put-together people who send holiday cards are—this method might be a little high-maintenance.
Instead, we’re opting for a more low-key approach: We’re stocking up on tons of chic, personality-filled holiday cards we can turn to year after year. By doing this work now, we’re ensuring that all we have to do next year is address and mail the damn things. Is this how adults do it? We’re not sure, but we know we’re fans of practicality—plus, the cards we’re eyeing are too cute to pass up.
Merry Elves Cards (Boxed Set of 8), $18 at Rifle Paper Co.
These adorable elves are making me want to live in a little holiday snow globe.
Happy Birthday Jesus Holiday Card, $5.95 at Paper Source
For all those fans of The Office, this one’s for you.
Christmas Cats with Antlers Greeting Card, $4.50 at Paper Source
Cat ladies (and lads) unite.
Mall Santa Christmas Card, $5.95 at Paper Source
Holiday Flamingo Cards (Boxed Set of 8), $18 at Rifle Paper Co.
Sending love from my beachside bungalow! XOXO.
Polar Plunge Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
Perfect for the vintage fashion fiend with a pension for adventure.
Snow Stream Holiday Card Set, $18.71 at Paper Source
An artsier take on the classic holiday card. (Honestly, you could probably print your most festive Instagrams out as Polaroid cards and address those!)
Yule Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
In addition to sending these dreamy cards out, we might adorn our walls with them.
Give Myself a Buzz Card, $4.95 at Paper Source
The ultimate holiday mood.
Lake Tahoe Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
Perfect for the high roller who spends the holiday in some idyllic location. (Or the not-so-high-roller who likes to pretend they do.)
Christmas Color Palette Holiday Card Set, $18.75 at Paper Source
Basically the holiday card equivalent of Pantone’s colors of the year.
Winter Wonderland Holiday Card Set, $11.21 at Paper Source
The best of the season, encapsulated in a single holiday card set.
Holstein Winter Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
OK, so I’m not sure what cows have to do with the holidays. But this card is so pretty I kind of don’t care.
Silent Night Submarine Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
For the person who wishes they could spend their holiday underwater.
The Sun and Mountains Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
Pretty, graphic and perfect for secular folks.
Vintage Christmas Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
So into the vintage vibes of these classic cards.
RBG Christmas Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
I mean—do I really need to justify it?
Mont-Tremblant Provincial Park Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
Another idyllic getaway for the most wanderlust-filled among us.
Cactus Christmas Cards, $4 at Etsy
Christmas cacti are totally on the menu.
Winter Mountain Weather Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
Artsy and idyllic—what more could you ask for?
Merry Everything Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
For the person who loves holiday spirit so much they wish they could keep it going all year long.
Radio City Music Hall Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
For the New Yorker. (Or the New Yorker at heart.)
Snowy Night Stationery Cards, $12.79 at Society6
Let it snow.
All Occasions Greeting Card Set, $12 at Bando
OK, this one’s a mixed bag—some holiday-appropriate (green one), some not so much. But you’ll be able to repurpose them time and time again—and that’s invaluable, right?
A version of this story was originally published in November 2017.
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