101 Creative Christmas Card Ideas

 I know, I know… it’s still September.  BUT did you know that September 16th marks 100 Days until Christmas?!

 It’s true! The holiday season will be here before you know it and, if you’re anything like me, then you’ll want to plan ahead!  Lots of families are scheduling their fall family pictures right now,which makes it the PERFECT time to get ahead of the game.  While you’re already getting the family together and paying a photographer- go ahead and snap a great photo that you can use for your holiday cards.  Hey- why not?  It’s one thing you can cross off of your list before the holiday stress and madness sets in.  

Chances are you haven’t even thought about what you want to do for your Christmas cards yet.   It IS only September, after all.  But you’re in luck!  We’ve got your back.  Just for you, we’ve put together the ULTIMATE Christmas Card round-up with…

101 Family Christmas Card Ideas

Get ready for inspiration-overload.  We’ve seriously found something for everyone!  Just wait until you see all of the unique, funny, clever, romantic, creative, and just down-right-CUTE Christmas cards that we’ve found!  

Christmas Card Ideas

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{Pssst… even if you’re not quite ready to take your holiday photos yet- make sure you pin this baby right now for future reference.  Trust me, you’ll be so glad you did when you see all the Christmas cuteness and photography goodness!}

To make browsing a little easier, we’ve divided them into categories including…

  • 40 Creative Christmas Card Photo Captions
  • 22 Unique Christmas Card Photo Ideas
  • 24 Fun Christmas Card Photo Props
  • 15 Free Christmas Card Templates

 Yep, we’ve thought of everything!
{Plus for fast a fast and easy option, use Shutterfly! They always have good deals, currently, they have a 40% off discount if you click here.} 

Ready to get started?!  First up…

40 Creative Christmas Card Photo Captions

{Clever wording and caption ideas for your holiday photo cards}

Creative Christmas Cards

Silent Night

1. Silent Night- A string of Christmas lights around the kids and some tape makes for one “silent night.” Sources: {A} Harvard Homemaker

2. Merry Kissmas- Pull out the mistletoe and pucker up to wish friends and family a Merry Kiss-mas! Sources: {A} Brenda McBride {B} A Bryan Photo {C} Aly Martin Photography

Candy Cane Kisses

3. Christmas Wishes & Candy Cane Kisses-  Form a simple heart using candy canes! Sources: {A} Kim J Martin Photography {B} Jen Hebert Photography {C} Oldani Photography {D} Kim Miller

4. Mistle Toes- Wish your family and friends a happy holiday season, right down to their “mistle toes.” Sources: {A} Hulahoop Photography

5. Dear Santa, We Can Explain…-  Feeling a little naughty?  Create your own family police lineup. Sources: {A} Oh My Gluestick

It's a Wonderful Life

6. It’s a Wonderful Life-  Recreate the cover of the classic Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, OR just use the phrase to caption a favorite family photo. Sources: {A} Susan Chambers Designs

7. North Pole or Bust-  Vintage suitcases like these and signs make a darling travel-themed photo op. Sources: {A} Jesse Rinka {B} Red Willow Photo

Warm Wishes

8. Warm Holiday Wishes-  Take your family holiday photo at the beach and share the warmth! Sources: {A} Amy Gray Photography {B} Drew B Photography {C} Kaitlin Noel Photography {D} Amy Gray Photography

9.  Dashing through the Snow- Snap a picture of the family running or sledding through the snow and caption it with this popular Christmas lyric.  We love these old-fashioned types – they always show up great in photos! Sources: {A} Rebekah Westover Photography {B} Rebekah Westover Photography {C} Stock Photo

Let it Snow

10.  Let it Snow- A sheet of snow on the ground provides the perfect bright white background to make your holiday pictures pop. Sources: {A} Carrie Small Photography {B} Rebekah Westover Photography {C} Hello Fashion Blog {D} Mandy Ringe Photography

11.  JOY to the World-  Use letters as photo props to spread some joy to the world.  Or let the kids have fun spelling it out with their bodies.  You can grab some lower case letters here and upper ones hereSources: {A} Jamilia Jean Photography {B} Your Homebased Mom {C} Aly Martin Photography {D} Aly Martin Photography

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

12. Sleep in Heavenly Peace- Grab a shot of the family in their holiday pajamas or the kids sleeping underneath the lights of the Christmas tree.  Sources: {A} Kate Pease Photography

13. O Christmas Tree- Take a shot of the kids standing in front of the lit-up Christmas tree.  Sources: {A} Melissa Devoe Photography {B} Simple As That {C} Simple As That {D} Sweet Pickle Pictures

14. Baby, it’s Cold Outside-  If you get lots of cold, winter weather where you live, take a photo all bundled and cuddled. We love this perfect plaid blanket.  Sources: {A} Rebekah Westover Photography {B} Sweet Pickle Pictures {C} Rebekah Westover Photography

Nestled all snug in their beds

15. Nestled All Snug in Their Beds-  Snap a picture of the kiddos tucked into bed and make use of the popular Christmas rhyme. Don’t forget the cute Santa hatsSources: {A} Kristen Duke Photography {B} Hulahoop Photography {C} ShaiLynn Photography

16.  And to all a Goodnight- Here’s a clever idea- wait until the kids are fast asleep to take your holiday photo.  You don’t even have to worry about them cooperating by looking and smiling at the camera! Sources: {A} Stock Photo

17. Laughing all the Way-  This is the perfect phrase to caption any picture you might have of the family laughing together.  Don’t you love that darling Santa suit? You can grab a toddler Santa suit here and a cute little elf suit here! Sources: {A} House on a Hill

Sending Holiday Hugs

18.  Sending Holiday Hugs-  This is the perfect caption for any picture you might have of the kids or family sharing a hug.  No Christmas props required! Sources: {A} Peanut Blossom {B} Rebekah Westover Photography {C} House on a Hill

19. Merry & Bright-  Strings of Christmas lights are the perfect photo prop to wish your loved ones a very merry and bright holiday season.  We LOVE these vintage style ones – they would look great in photos! Sources: {A} Haley Sheffield {B} Southern Charm Portraits {C} Ampersand Studios {D} Melissa McCrotty

Oh What Fun

 20.  Be Jolly, By Golly!- Here’s a versatile wording idea for any fun and happy holiday photo you might have. Sources: {A} Hello Fashion Blog {B} Ashley Mickelson Photography {C} Drew B Photography

21.  Not a Creature Was Stirring… Yeah Right!-  You don’t have to worry about the kids sitting still for this one- a candid shot works great! Sources: {A} Ashley Mickelson Photography {B} Hulahoop Photography

22.  Oh, What Fun!-  If you’re looking to use a more playful or silly photo- grab some fake snow if you don’t have the real thing and this is the caption for you. Sources: {A} Wildflowers Photography {B} Rebekah Westover Photography {C} Renee Hindman

Happy Howlidays

23. Happy Howlidays-  And, of course, we couldn’t leave out the dog lovers!  Here’s the perfect caption to include man’s best friend. Don’t forget the reindeer antlersSources: {A} ShaiLynn Photography {B} Rebekah Westover Photography {C} Stock Photo

24. Meow-y Christmas- A fun idea if you’re looking to involve the family cat in this year’s Christmas card. PS – how fun are these cat Santa hatsSources: {A} Stock Photo

25. Jingle Bell Rock-  Pull out the sunglasses and guitars and rock around the Christmas tree! Sources: {A} Alamond Photography

Naughty is the New Nice

26.  Naughty is the new Nice- Let the kids get some of the “naughty” out of their system in a fun and silly photo shoot. Sources: {A} Bee Curious

27. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus-  Dress dad up as Santa to create this cute and clever photo op. Need a Santa Suit? Find one hereSources: {A} Christina Etters Photography

28.  We’ll be Home for Christmas- Some more fun travel-themed photo shoot ideas.  I love the idea of using a subway or train station as a photo shoot location. Again…cute cute suitcasesSources: {A} Jesse Rinka

Married Little Christmas

29. All I Want for Christmas Is You- Don’t you just love these mugs? We found some similar here. Sources: {A} Melissa McCrotty

30. Married & Bright-  The perfect idea for newlyweds celebrating their first Christmas together! Sources: {A} Rachel Nicole Arts {B} Q Avenue Photo {C} Emmaline Bride

31. Married Little Christmas-  Another fun idea for newlyweds to use pictures from their winter wedding. Sources: {A} Bridal Guide

Special Delivery

32. Unto Us a Child is Born- This Christmas card idea also doubles as a precious newborn announcement. Sources: {A} Southern Charm Portraits {B} Freckle Portraits

33. Special Delivery from the North Pole- Use a cute mailbox, package, basket, or even Santa’s sack as a photo prop to announce your special Christmas delivery.  Sources: {A} Jennifer Wilcox Photography {B} Ashley Mickelson Photography

34. Let Us Adore Him-  If you’ve just welcomed a new little one, take a picture of the family “adoring” him. Sources: {A} Jean Smith Photography

Best Gift Ever

35. Merry Christmas from our Santa Baby-  Because nothing is cuter than a little baby in a Santa hat!  Sources: {A} Southern Charm Portraits {B} Southern Charm Portraits {C} Summer Michelle Photography

36. Best Gift EVER!-  Wrap up your little one with a bow and let your family know you must have been VERY good this year.  Sources: {A} Hulahoop Photography

Believe

37. Don’t get too Wrapped Up in the Holidays-  Cover the kiddos with wrapping paper or stick the baby in a cute gift box.  Sources: {A} Melissa McCrotty

38. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree-   This just seems like the most classic Christmas morning photograph. Sources: {A} Chubby Cheek Photography

39.  Believe- This banner is adorable! Sources: {A} Aly Martin Photography

40. All is Calm-ish-  Here’s an idea if you like to keep things real.  Because let’s be honest, it’s rarely “calm” around Christmas. {P.S. LOVE the pj’s!}   Sources: {A} Hulahoop Photography

 22 Unique Christmas Card Photo Ideas

{Clever and creative ideas to make your holiday card stand out}

Unique Christmas Card Photo Ideas

Ornament Reflection

1. Ornament Reflection-  Capture your family’s reflection in a Christmas ornament!  {Then use Photoshop to remove the camera from the reflection.} Sources: {A} The Whimsy Willow

2. Christmas Chalk Art-  Get creative and make your own Christmas-y photo backdrop on your driveway with chalk! Sources: {A} Michelle McClendon

3. Snow Angels- Snap a picture of your little angels having fun in the snow. Don’t have snow where you live? No problem! Sources: {A} Deanna Loren Photography

Christmas Wish Lists

4. Christmas Wish Lists- Use a cute chalkboard or editing program to display each child’s Christmas wish list. Sources: {A} Positively Splendid {B} Positively Splendid

5. Christmas Photo Booth- Grab some fun printable props and snap some pics in your own Christmas photo booth.  Sources: {A} Sometimes Creative {B} Sometimes Creative {C} Sometimes Creative

6. Looking Through a Winter Window- Capture a picture of the kids or family looking through a snowy winter window.  Need some fake frost? Grab some here. Sources: {A} Stock Photo

Winter Picnic

7. Winter Picnic- Pack a winter quilt and some hot cocoa for a cozy family winter picnic. Sources: {A} Chubby Cheek Photography {B} Caressa Rogers {C} Chubby Cheek Photography

8. Blowing Snow-  We love this idea of blowing snow like confetti! Sources: {A} Lindsay Nickel {B} Melissa McCrotty {C} Kaptured by Karli {D} Haley Sheffield

9. Throwing Snowballs-  Take a shot of the kiddos throwing a snowball towards the camera.  Or glue white pom poms to the front of the card to make 3D snowballs, like the first example below. Sources: {A} Lana Sky {B} Drew B Photography

10. Storytime- Grab your favorite Christmas story for a casual sit down. Sources: {A} Ashley Mickelson Photography

Christmas Tree

11. Picking the Christmas Tree- Turn the tradition of picking out the perfect Christmas tree into a fun family photo op. Sources: {A} Chelsea Lee Photography {B} A Simple Photograph {C} Freckle Portraits

12. Decorating the Tree- Ask your photographer to capture some shots of the family decorating the tree together.  Sources: {A} Chubby Cheek Photography {B} Renee Hindman {C} Kristen Duke Photography {D} Brownie Photography {E} Caressa Rogers

Christmas Tree Farm

13. Christmas Tree Farm- Head out to the farm for some fun pictures. This makes for the perfect background. Sources: {A} Stevenson Photo {B} Sara Garcia {C} Sara Garcia

14. Baking Christmas Cookies- Throw on some Santa or chefs hats and bake up some Christmas goodies. Sources: {A} Freckle Photography {B} Stock Photo

Christmas Song Signs

15.  Christmas Song Signs- Here’s a clever idea, use individual word signs to spell out a favorite Christmas song!  Sources: {A} House on a Hill

16. Christmas Story- Dress up as the characters from the classic Christmas movie, “A Christmas Story.” Get your pink bunny pajamas, leg lamp, and Red Ryder BB gun! Sources: {A} Bobbi Photo {B} Candid Moment Studios

17. Merry Grinch-mas-  Get into the holiday spirit with some crazy Who-ville hair and Grinch-inspired costumes.  PS – these eyebrows! Ha! Sources: {A} Ben Elsass {B} Lauren Athalia {C} Laughing Latte

Baby Frosty

18. Baby Frosty- Grab a black top hat, red scarf, and other snowman accessories to dress up the baby as Frosty. Here’s a little girl snowman outfit that is seriously cute! Sources: {A} Summer Michelle Photography 

19.  Christmas Pregnancy Announcement- Six fun ideas for announcing your pregnancy in your Christmas card.  Sources: {A} Diva Lauren {B} Jason Allen  

20.  Kids At Play–  Find some fun props and stage the kids at play. Sources: {A} Sarah Anne Photography  

Family on Christmas

21. Fun and Casual- No matter what the scene, make sure to grab some more candid photos. Sources: {A} Rebekah Westover Photography {B} Hulahoop Photography {C} Caressa Rogers

22. Family on Christmas Morning- Wouldn’t it be nice to have a beautiful picture of the whole family cuddled up in your pajamas on Christmas morning? Sources: {A} Wildflowers Photos

24 Fun Christmas Card Photo Props

{Creative, winter photography props to make your family Christmas picture more festive}

Exciting Christmas Card

Christmas Wreath

1. Christmas Wreath- Use a Christmas wreath to frame your faces.  Or step inside the wreath for fun and silly pictures. Sources: {A} Mandy Ringe Photography {B} Vanessa Kuehne {C} Rebekah Westover Photography {D} Vanessa Kuehne

2. Matching Pajamas- Snap a quick picture of your family in matching Christmas pajamas like these or these! Sources: {A} Hulahoop Photography {B} Mary Ann Photography {C} Southern Charm Portraits {D} Hulahoop Photography {E} Diva Gabby

Snow Sled

3. Snow Sled-  Pile the kids (or the whole family) onto a sled for a fun snowy photo. Love the vintage style of this oneSources: {A} Wildflowers Photos {B} ShaiLynn Photography {C} Amy Tripple Photography {D} Rebekah Westover Photography {E} Rebekah Westover Photography

4. Hot Cocoa-  Use festive mugs full of cocoa as a fun photo prop or even set up a whole family hot cocoa stand! PS – how cute is this Grinch mugSources: {A} ShaiLynn Photography {B} Mandy Ringe Photography {C} Kim J Martin Photography

Rudolf Nose

5. Rudolph Nose-  Red ornaments make the perfect Rudolph nose for a fun and silly photo. Or – you could grab a fun light up nose hereSources: {A} Kathleen Solarczyk Photography {B} Sweet Pickle Pictures

6. Reindeer Antlers-  Use reindeer antler headbands from the dollar store or even draw your own using chalk! Sources: {A} Hollyhocks Honeybees {B} Lauren Athalia

7. Christmas Presents-  Boxes covered in festive wrapping paper and bows make the perfect holiday photo props. Sources: {A} Stock Photo {B} Ryan Ray {C} Kristen Duke Photography

Christmas Storybook

8. Christmas Storybook-  Snap a picture of your kiddos reading their favorite holiday storybook, like How the Grinch Stole Christmas or ‘Twas the Night Before ChristmasSources: {A} Stock Photo

9. Christmas Lollipop- Bright and festive lollipops not only look great in pictures, but also keep the kiddos smiling and happy.  Sources: {A} Portraits by Sands

10. Santa Hats- A cheap and easy photo prop that instantly makes your photo more festive. Grab some for the kiddos here, and some for the adults here. Sources: {A} Stock Photo {B} Vanessa Kuehne

Winter Blankets

11. Winter Blankets-  Snap a picture of the family cuddled together under a warm winter blanketSources: {A} Sarah Libby Photography {B} Sweetest Thing {C} A Simple Photograph

12. Mistletoe-  Capture a romantic moment underneath the mistletoeSources: {A} Kristen Duke Photography {B}  Melissa McCrotty {C} Kissing Booth Blog

Christmas Ornaments

13. Christmas Ornaments-  Bright colored ornaments add lots of color and fun to photos and are great at keeping the little ones’ attention.  Sources: {A} Melissa McCrotty {B} Ampersand Studios {C} Stock Photo

14. Scarves and Hats- Bright colored scarves and hats are a great way to liven up your holiday pictures. Sources: {A} Natalie G Larson B} Rebekah Westover Photography {C} Rebekah Westover Photography 

Christmas Sign

15. Christmas Sign-  Use a fun chalkboard sign to display your holiday message. Sources: {A} Southern Charm Portraits {B} Haley Sheffield

16. Christmas Banner- Or spell our your holiday greeting with a festive banner. Sources: {A} Willivia {B} Simple As That {C} EK Studios

17. Santa Claus-  You don’t need an authentic-looking Santa Claus to get the perfect holiday photos.  Just incorporating Santa’s hand, legs, or hat adds a fun Christmas-y element. Sources: {A} Alamond Photography {B} ShaiLynn Photography {C} Alamond Photography

Christmas Lights

18. Christmas Lights- It’s amazing how a simple string of Christmas lights can totally brighten and add to a Christmas photo. Sources: {A} Caroline Tran {B} House on a Hill {C} By Grace {D} Melissa McCrotty

19. Christmas Tree- Take your pictures at a Christmas tree farm or use a mini tree as the perfect prop for a photo shoot with the little ones. Love the coupe! Sources: {A} Rebekah Westover Photography {B} K Stevenson Photo {C} Renee Hindman

20. Cookies and Milk- Snap a picture of the kids leaving out cookies and milk in a jar for Santa. Sources: {A} Caressa Rogers {B} Carrie Small Photography {C} ShaiLynn Photography {D} Homemade Ideas

Sack of Coal

21. Sack of Coal Here’s a fun and unique prop to add a little humor to your card. Sources: {A} Family Tree Photography 

22. Bundled Up- Turn a family snowman-making session into a festive photo op.  Sources:{A} Rebekah Westover Photography {B} ShaiLynn Photography {C} Rebekah Westover Photography {D} Sweet Pickle Pictures

Snowman

23. Snowman- Turn a family snowman-making session into a festive photo op.  Sources:{A} Bubbaloo Photography {B} Bubbaloo Photography {C} Bubbaloo Photography

24. Snowy White- Dress up in snowy white for some gorgeous pictures. Sources:{A} PS Photography {B} PS Photography {C} Stock Photo {D} Hulahoop Photography

15 Free Christmas Card Templates

{DIY Freebies to make your OWN holiday card!}

Christmas Card Template

Christmas Card Template

1. Birdesign– A darling “Our Year in Review” family newsletter template.

2. Merry Christmas Birdesign- A free, traditional 5×7 Christmas card design. Christmas photoshop templates, 5×7 card and Facebook timeline.

3. Sassafrass Studios– Happy Holidays card as PSD files, front & back, instant download files made for 5×7 cards.

4. PosyPrints Year in Review– Two super cute 5×7 PSD files – print at your favorite print shop or at home!!

5. PaperLark Designs– Stylish festive cards with easily editable text and colors!

6. Indigo Boutiques– Beautiful Christmas holiday card template – love the beautiful Christmas tree outline.

7. The Hummingbird Press– Free Christmas card template with pretty pink snowflakes.

8. Stillbrook Designs–  Elegant one-of-a-kind designs for your Christmas cards.

Christmas Card Template

9. Ashe Design–  Gorgeous designs – front and back photoshop card templates.

10. Laurie Cosgrove Design–  Simple and elegant urban holiday designs.

11. Announcing You– Beautiful and simple front & back layered 7×5 photoshop template.

12. Cherry Bloom DesignBright and cheery Christmas card template.

13. Sweet Sawyer Photo Co– Let it snow with these beautiful designs.

14. Bellenity Design–  Super easy to customize, this card is bright and merry! Perfect for the holidays!

15. Salsal Design–  Customize your own Christmas card with gold, hand-painted script and ornaments.

And there you have it- OVER 100 IDEAS to inspire your family Christmas card!  Didn’t I tell you we found something for EVERYONE?  Now comes the hard part… picking your favorite.  Good luck!

If you still can’t seem to find a design that speaks to you, there’s also Shutterfly. They have about a bazillion holiday card templates and they even come with envelopes!

**We did our very best to find and link to the original source of each photo, but if you see a photo that is not linked correctly, please let us know so we can fix it.  We definitely want to give credit where credit is due.  We are so grateful for these wonderfully talented photographers who captured the magic of Christmas so beautifully!**

For even MORE photography inspiration, make sure to check out our popular…

 101 Family Picture Tips and Ideas

AND our

 101 Tips & Ideas for Couples Photography! 

About the Author: Becca

Besides my hilariously witty husband, I love a good book, sappy songs, old black-and-white movies, cute crafts, and all things chocolate. I have four (seriously adorable) little kiddos at home and they definitely keep life at home FUN!

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29 Responses to 101 Creative Christmas Card Ideas

  1. This is the most creative and fabulous post to share so many photo ideas! I’m always feeling stumped this time of year trying to think of something unique for our family Christmas cards…this helps alleviate a lot of the stress…thank you! 🙂

  2. THank you for the great compilation! GREAT WORK! I did want to provide an update on 26 B for Not a creature was stirring. The source was me! Those are my kiddos and it appears the image came from my facebook page!

    What a treat to see it published here. THANKS!