11/03/2014 05:14 EST | Updated 11/03/2014 05:59 EST

Christmas Cards: 30 Ideas And Options To Spread The Holiday Joy


The countdown to Christmas is on, and you know how we know? We can't seem to stop looking at stunning Christmas cards.

November marks the moment when you start putting aside a bit of time each day to write those holiday missives in order to get them out in time (Canada Post recommends mailing them by Dec. 5 for most international destinations outside the U.S.).

As for what to write, that really depends on the message you're sending. Hallmark has some excellent suggestions for specific notes, but for general guidelines, you can't go wrong with a "merry Christmas" or "thinking of you." To make it a touch more personal, add in a detail about family members or an upcoming milestone, like a graduation or trip.

And if you're tempted to just send an email greeting this year, think twice about it. As Maralee McKee points out on Manners Mentor, "The drawback of an e-mail card is its brief lifespan. It has just about as much impact on the recipient as the countless jokes, political musings, and urban legends he or she has received."

Whether you use your holiday cards as a chance to catch up with family or friends or simply let people know you're thinking of them, there are tons of gorgeous options to choose from, as well as ideas to — ahem — borrow from others. Check out some of our selections here:

Photo gallery Christmas Cards 2014 See Gallery