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    Holiday cards done right


    2009 - 11.17

    You might remember last year about this time when I reviewed custom photo holiday cards from Minted.com.  Imagine my pleasure when someone from Minted contacted me again this year to do another review.  I admit, that besides the lure of beautiful, professionally crafted Christmas cards to mail out to friends and family, that I was intrigued to see what the company had changed this year and what new designs they had to offer.

    I wasn’t disappointed! I couldn’t say for sure, but I think this year they’ve doubled (or maybe even tripled!) the number of available designs to choose from.  And there is literally something for everyone.  Do you want a secular holiday card, appropriate for passing out as someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas?  Or maybe you’re looking for something with a heart-felt message of faith?  Do your interests swing towards the more modern, or retro-stylish look?  Perhaps you prefer a traditional, elegant card.  Whatever your fancy, Minted has what you’re looking for.

    MIN-ALU-HYC-001_A_PD

    It was a tough choice, but this card fit the bill!

    Last year I mentioned that the cost might be somewhat prohibitive.  It’s still a little pricey for those of us who do most of our Christmas card shopping at places like Walmart, but when you consider the quality and service you get with Minted, the prices are really not that bad.   Especially when you consider you can get corporate cards, engagement announcements, wedding invitations, baby shower announcements…. the list goes on.  Custom cards like that aren’t exactly cheap, and Minted’s prices are very much in line and often, you can get a great deal on something that looks like it cost a whole lot more.

    Last year, everyone was very impressed with our Christmas cards.  We had many people ask us where got them from and I was more than happy to pass on the information.  We’re not usually the bragging sorts, but it felt good to have people ooh and ahh over our cards (and the cute kiddo pics we selected go on them!).

    It also needs to be mentioned that Minted has made the ordering process even simpler than it was last year.  Last year I wanted to have a picture of each of my three children on the front of the card.  Unfortunately, it was next to impossible to get everyone together in one picture and looking appropriate.  I wanted to use one picture for each child.  My solution was firing up my trust photo editing program and creating a collage that I saved as one image and then used that.  Not difficult at all for me, but I can see where other people might not be able to or know how to do that for themselves.  This year, Minted offers many cards that are MADE for multiple images.  I had my pick of beautiful designs, since I planned to do the same this year, with three separate images.

    Once you submit your order, the folks at Minted proof it closely, making sure the typography is centered and that the photos are looking their best.  I was impressed at how quickly they got back to me via email with a proof to approve.  And once approved, it took just a few days for the order to show up on my doorstep.  So if you’re thinking it’s too late to get custom cards this year, think again!

    Consider pampering yourself (and your loved ones!) with a custom card from Minted this year.  It sure had eliminated a lot of guesswork for me this year and I’m actually (gasp) looking forward to sending these out!   I just need to go get stamps and I’m all set!

    Spoiling yourself with professional Christmas cards


    2008 - 11.12

    I pretty much fail at all the customary duties of a grown-up.  For instance, it took me a lot longer than it should have to crank out my thank-you cards after my husband and I were married.  I don’t always think about bringing a hostess gift when attending parties (luckily, my husband does).  And I almost NEVER get Christmas cards sent out.  Partly because I don’t think of it (as with everything else) and partly because my inner-slacker gets the better of me and I’m just far too lazy to go to the store, pick out a box or two of generic holiday cards, write a pithy letter to accompany them, address them and take them to the post office.  The holidays are all about stress, after all, and Christmas cards are just yet another layer of stress.

    So you might find it odd that when the Parent Bloggers Network contacted me about doing a review of Minted’s new Christmas card collection that I literally JUMPED at the opportunity.   Professional Christmas cards that would include super-cute pictures of my family?  it would be like a dream come true!

    There are literally dozens of cards to choose from and different cards have then even more options for customization.  So in essence?  The possibilities are endless with these cards.  If you can dream it, the folks at Minted can make it happen.  If you want to print your standard Christmas letter right there on the card in a fancy font (that you can select!), you can.  Want to take advantage of the “year-line” feature that lets you insert photos and “blurbs” about the big events your family has experience in the last year?  Go for it!  Do you want a simple card with a simple greeting and nothing else?  Well, you can have that too.

    That’s what I loved most about the ordering process.  There were so many opportunities for customization, that I really felt at the end of the “design process”, that this card was mine and unique.  For the record, this was the card I started with:


    (of course, my family does not look that put-together)

    It took me the better part of the morning, but I figured out how I wanted my card to look and what I wanted it to say and placed my order.  I was assured that my photos and design would be taken care of by an actual human being designer and everything would come out looking just as it should.  I felt that I could really relax about what the final product would look like.  And the cards arrived super-quick.  I can’t speak for the holiday rush that is inevitable as my cards were ordered last month, but I was impressed by the timliness of the delivery.

    And they came all wrapped up with a sweet little bow and a note with the name of the designer who oversaw my order.  Very professional and very classy.  The cardstock is heavy and thick with quality.  The card itself turned out even better than I hoped.  The colors are bright and cheerful and vivid.  The photos I selected (I used a photo collage that I created myself) came out looking sharp, even though my camera isn’t the spiffiest one out there.  All in all, these are cards that I am going to be very proud to send out to my friends and family.  And, I promise you, I will be sending these out this year.  I can’t wait to put the stamps on them, in fact!

    The biggest drawback is the price.  They’re a little spendy for your average Christmas card, but if you’re looking for something upscale, these will definitely fit the bill.  And Minted doesn’t only offer holiday cards.  They are a wonderful source for birth announcements and wedding invitations as well.  Also, sometimes you need to spoil yourself and splurge on quality.  These cards are exactly that.