The Fashion Magpie Christmas CardsThe Fashion Magpie Christmas Cards

The Chicest Holiday Cards.

Are you ready to think about holiday cards?

Probably not, but as a lover of fine paper and an occasional pre-Halloween-listener-of-Christmas-music, I’m never not ready to think about holiday cards.  (Insert grimacing emoji face.)  And, more to the point, if you are planning to send a card this year, now’s a good time to order.

We haven’t sent out photo-centric holiday cards yet.  I don’t know why, but resisting holiday photos has been my final, stubborn holdout before I fully transform into what I perceive to be “middle-aged mom” territory.  Why holiday photos have become the arbitrary stage upon which this transition will play out is beyond me.  I mean: I have identified myself as “Emory’s mom” on more than one occasion.  I have packed Halloween treats with little tags bearing mini’s name on them for music class.  I have started wearing a backpack.  I have even subscribed to Parenting magazine.  (It was free, but still…who am I?!  It’s a step away from Cooking Light and Cathy comic strips.)  But holiday photos?!?!?

Not yet.

The tides have turned this year, though.  As I was planning to order our Christmas cards, I found myself telling Mr. Magpie I think it might be nice to do holiday photos next year — that they are such a nice way to capture our family in a formal way, and that other people are curious anyway.  (I love receiving other people’s holiday photos!)  To my surprise, Mr. Magpie seemed to acquiesce.  And that’s how I knew I was probably a few years behind in this developmental milestone; Mr. Magpie usually grimaces at these kinds of things.

But this year, we’re still busy pretending we’re twenty-somethings, so I had one of my favorite stationers, Carrie & Seash, design a card without a photo enclosure.  It looks similar to this (also seen above!), but without the picture!  I absolutely love her designs.  I also adored this wreath style and this bow style.

The Fashion Magpie Christmas Cards 3

The Fashion Magpie Christmas Cards 2

A couple of other elegant holiday card picks to consider:

+Sweetly Said Press: Ah, letterpress.  The creme de la creme.  I love the understated simplicity of this style.  And this style from the same brand has convinced me that when we do holiday photos as a family, I want them in black and white.

+Dixie Design by Inslee Fariss.  My friend Inslee designed the cheekiest set of holiday cards — I just love the alpine skiiers!  So festive and youthful.  I also love this antler print set of hers.

+Minted: There are always so many great options and ways to customize Minted cards.  I love these simple letterpress ones (about as inexpensive as you’ll find letterpress!), these watercolor-effect ones (Rifle Paper-esque!), and this elegant frame one (there’s something so stately about it in cardinal red or forest green).

+Lola Louie Paperie: I love these simple cards with their fun liners!  What a great way to make a statement without getting overfussy on the card itself.

+Olive and Star: I bought a lovely set of cards from this brand last year that served as both a moving announcement and holiday offering.  I was impressed with the chic designs (and the pricepoint!)  Many of their cards are listed as invitations, but can easily be changed into holiday cards with re-wording. This year, I love this painterly wreath style, this nutcracker set (you know me and nutcrackers….), and this winter wreath variation.

+Non-personalized sets: If you just can’t be bothered by custom-ordering and wording and all that jazz — or maybe custom holiday cards are YOUR Custer’s-last-stand before giving into full-on adulthood — there are plenty of chic options.  I love all things Rifle paper, including these and these.  I also love Kate Spade, especially this set! Meanwhile, these are remind me of Inslee’s alpine skiiers, and these are bold and throwback at the same time.

+Gift card enclosures: I absolutely adore all of the styles from Elizabeth Rose designs (<<especially these).  Also love these plaid ones and these wreath ones.  Darling!  (I bought a melamine tray similar to this style a few years back and love serving holiday cookies on them.  Might order a few of these for friend gifts this year!)  I’ve also used Preppy Prodigy for loads of things already — book plates, treat tags, and, soon these gift enclosures for mini’s gifts to her little friends.  Incidentally, these would be a great gift for a kiddo along with a favorite book or two.  Finally, these are precious!

P.S.  I bought this jumpsuit last year and LOVED it.  It’s forgiving, elegant, and festive.  The white would be epic for a bridelette — or for a bold fashionista in winter white!  (Imagine it with black suede heels?!)  Also love it in the navy.

P.P.S.  This is currently in my cart for an event next week.

P.P.P.S.  Holiday decorating in your 20s and 30s; what to wear for the holidays; and a refrigerator diary.


  1. I’m with Anna — writing Christmas cards has been part of my personal holiday tradition since college. I typically opt for letterpress and spend time writing personalized notes to each recipient, keeping it to a tailored 30-or-so family members & close friends. I haven’t done a photo card yet — I’ve told myself that when I get married I’ll venture down that road. I totally understand where you’re coming from there!

    Love all of the options you’ve pulled together here — I’m totally bookmarking this for future use. 🙂 xo

    1. Typically I like to support Black Ink, a local gift/stationery store here in Boston. However, I’ve found Etsy to be a great resource — love Parrott Design Studio, and I’ve even lucked out at Paper Source a few times! xo

  2. I was unabashedly obsessed with Christmas cards as a child to the point of drafting my own for my imaginary future family. I don’t do that anymore, haha, but I do gleefully look forward to the day that I can send my own– so I say send away! It’s a wonderful tradition, and really does brighten everyone’s homes. I vote for the Sweetly Said 🙂

    1. Love this! OK, OK. I’m on board with the photos for next year. 2019, the year of the family photo card. And, agreed: Sweetly Said has the most gorgeous designs. xx

  3. I completely agree on how the photo card seems to usher in a new part of adulthood, and not one I’m rushing towards. And yet… here I am sending one that features my little “family”: the horse, the dog and myself. Funny enough, it seems to almost have the opposite indication in my circumstance – sending out this card feels like a statement of my independence – that I don’t need to wait for a husband, kids or anything else to have this little holiday tradition.

    1. Ah! Holly! I love this. And I love that you have built this tradition for yourself and your little family 🙂 xoxo

  4. I’ve been designing our Christmas cards since my husband and I got married – before child (B.C.???), I was adamantly against including photos on cards, but now that we have one, I’m all about it. (And about getting “formal” pictures taken on a regular basis as well – there’s something nice about having a real photographer document your life – now, I just have to get around to getting some of the photos framed so we can actually hang them!)

    This is a good reminder to get on creating our cards for this year! I’ve done several for my friends, but am dithering on what I want on ours – I should just choose an idea and go with it.

    1. Ooh, let me know what design you end up creating. So cool that you design your own! I was slow to coming around to your point on the formal pictures but I totally see the value now. The number of photos we have of the three of us as a family = maybe 2 or 3. Going to start doing this annually! xo

    2. Christmas card swap?!?

      We take selfies when we travel, and sometimes try to get someone else to snap pics of us (to varying success – and lately, the baby has HATED having her picture taken, so we have a lot of the back of her head or her yelling, sigh)… but at the end of the day, there’s nothing like having a real photographer take pictures and edit them to perfection. So yes, a vote for annual photos (at least!).

  5. I’m single and childless but I adore sending holiday cards. I started doing it a couple years after college, and it has become one of my favorite holiday traditions. I love taking the time to browse and pick out a beautiful card that I know my friends/family will like- I know I’ve succeeded when I go over to their houses in January and they are still on the fridge! Then I sit down on a Sunday afternoon with a drink and write everyone personal notes in the cards. It’s a great way to feel connected to loved ones I don’t see often. This year I got a minimalist design on Etsy that is just 9 small drawings of different species of spruce trees. Christmas-y but not so much so that the non-Christians in my life won’t feel alienated. My other favorite card source is NYC museum gift shops- Moma, Brooklyn Museum, the Historical Society, etc.

    1. Oooh, I just love this tradition! Sounds so cozy. May have to replicate it — I don’t normally set aside time to write personalized notes aside from quick little dashed-off blurbs. Sounds so rewarding and enjoyable to put on a Christmas movie and really dig in.

      And your cards sound so chic! xo

  6. Hi! The link for the antler print by inslee seems to go to a different card. Just checking. No need to post this but thought you would want to know. Xx Nancy

  7. “Go Boldly” into your older self! It’s a great place as you listen more, enjoy your surroundings more and relax with the knowledge you gained in your 20’s. Life is just a little smoother! 😉

    As far as Christmas pictures go… Our family took a Christmas picture every year through high school. We too enjoyed watching our friends children grow up through annual picture Christmas cards. Then every five years I would gather those pictures and make a collage in a large frame. Those “Christmas card collages” now line the hallway of our home and make me stop and smile of the memories when we all looked like that! We love displaying and viewing our family as it developed and matured.

    Just a thought!

    1. So sweet!!! I love that! How often do we just led cards accumulate, unreviewed and unseen, for years and years?! So thoughtful! xoxo

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