Best Wishes From Minted

I was contacted recently by www.minted.com and asked if I would like to review their Holiday Card Collection. As my regular readers will know, I am a total stationery addict and I have a special place in my heart for greeting cards. I ran my own greeting card company for several years and I am still pretty much obsessed with finding 'the perfect card' for every occasion.

The one thing I miss about owning my greeting card company, is no longer having cards for all occasions, on tap. I never had to plan ahead for anything. A last minute birthday party - no problem. I had a selection of suitable cards at the ready. A new baby? Boy, girl or twins, it didn't matter - I had a card for it. Weddings, anniversaries, and all of the seasonal festivals - I was always sorted. Having a home office full of cards was especially useful at this time of year and - because I had designed all of the cards - they had that personal touch I love so much in a greeting card.

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But, I don't own that company anymore and my home office has been taken over by fairies and unicorns and random crafty odds and ends. These days I always seem to be scrambling at the last minute to find cards. I do utilise my creative children quite a lot and get them to make cards for birthdays and things but Christmas is another story entirely. I would ask the girls to make those too, but with the size of our family, the production line might begin to look a bit like child labour... and I know if I decided to make the cards myself they'd just never get done.

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It's time for Plan B.

I really like the idea of getting some personalised Christmas cards made. I know this is popular in the US, but I haven't seen it very often here. In a way it reminds me of the cards my Mama always posted to far-flung family at Christmas years ago and of the cards we would receive in return. The cards themselves were never personalised, but there were always a few photos tucked inside them which were always more interesting to me than the cards they accompanied!

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Pictures of the dimple-cheeked babies born that year, children dressed in their best for a special occasion, or gawky teenage cousins skulking behind a row of smiling siblings. My Mama would ooh and aah about how much each child had grown since the previous year and tell us again who each one was and how we were related. It was a way to 'see' them. To know them. Even though they were far away. There are still a stack of those photos to be found today, in my Mama's house.

Things have changed so much since then. Because we can share photos so easily and quickly on social media we 'see' our far-flung family a  lot more often, so sending a physical copy of a photo doesn't seem necessary. Also, and this might just be me, people don't seem to get photos printed as often anymore. Despite me taking so many photos of my girls (or perhaps because of it) I never actually get around to printing them out.

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I think designing a personalised Christmas card appeals to me so much because it would mean actually printing out a nice photo of my family! Sharing it with loved ones, especially older relatives that do not use social media, will in some way carry on a fond tradition from my childhood too.

Of course, that would mean I'd also have to actually take a family photo. Which is something we are notoriously bad at in my family! As you can see from the above images, the ONLY family photo we have is sadly out of date and of very low resolution. If designing some personalised cards changes that I'll be a very happy girl this Christmas.

All of the above images were made on www.minted.com and show just a small selection of their holiday photo-card selection. Minted showcase independent designers worldwide. All of the cards are beautifully designed and come in a vast range of styles. There are die-cut options and the text is all fully customisable. I haven't seen their cards 'in the flesh' yet, but they claim to have an "obsession with quality" so I imagine they are as lovely in real life as they look on screen.

So what about you? What kind of cards do you send at Christmas? Home made? Charity cards? Or have you ever sent a personalised card? Or do you avoid the whole card thing altogether?!

Disclosure: I was offered a $75 voucher by www.minted.com in return for a review of their Holiday Photo Cards. All opinions are my own. Thank you, dear reader, for checking out one of the companies that helps to support this blog.

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