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Unique Things to Put in Christmas and Holiday Cards

Shasta Matova enjoys adding a unique and personal touch to Christmas cards. She shares tips for making your cards memorable.

Put more than a message in your Christmas or holiday cards. Try one of these fun, unique card insert ideas.

Put more than a message in your Christmas or holiday cards. Try one of these fun, unique card insert ideas.

Unique Ideas for Christmas Card Inserts

Times are tough, and you might be considering sending only a Christmas or holiday card instead of a gift this holiday season. You also don't want to spend a lot of money on holiday gifts, and these lightweight holiday gifts will save you money on postage. Since it is the thought that counts, you may also want to add special value to show the loved ones on your Christmas card list how much you care about them.

Tuck a Surprise Into the Envelope

There are several little things you can tuck into the envelope to provide a pleasant surprise for your loved ones. Most of these ideas are quick, simple and efficient. For many of these ideas, you create one to start and then make copies of it for everyone.

Giving cards is a great Christmas tradition, and by including a little surprise, you are making full use of your first-class stamp. (Just be sure that whatever you are adding doesn't add so much weight that you will have to pay additional postage.) These items are inexpensive and provide a special and thoughtful touch to your Christmas cards. You can mix and match the ideas or come up with some of your own:

  1. Recipes
  2. Drawings
  3. Family Photographs
  4. Holiday Letters
  5. Personal Notes
  6. Cash
A copy of a family recipe written in Grandma's writing, with her notes, would be much appreciated.

A copy of a family recipe written in Grandma's writing, with her notes, would be much appreciated.

1. Recipes

Type up your favorite holiday recipe and add a photo if you have one. Make lots of copies, and tuck them into your Christmas card. If there is a special memory that goes with the recipe, be sure to include that as well.

If you have a favorite family recipe written in Grandma's handwriting, then you may consider simply copying the recipe instead of typing it.

A drawing made by a child adds a personal touch to your holiday cards.

A drawing made by a child adds a personal touch to your holiday cards.

2. Drawings

Drawings or other flat things would be appreciated. Your children could draw a picture, and you can copy it. Use a copier at home or the office, or you can simply go to a local print shop. Most office supply stores also have copying services. For just a few pennies, you will make your card special. Another option is to simply have your children draw directly on the card for a special and unique touch.

This fun family Christmas card uses photographs to personalize it.

This fun family Christmas card uses photographs to personalize it.

3. Family Photographs

Take your favorite candid photo, and make many copies. Or you can get a professional photograph and order wallet-size photos. They don't even have to be one photo—take several pictures and decide which card recipient gets which photo. You can even go through photos you have taken throughout the year and decide which ones you want to share.

  • Tuck in a photo or two in your Christmas card, and the recipient will enjoy seeing your presence with the card, especially if you live far away. If you do this every year, they will enjoy seeing you and your family change through the years.
  • Instead of tucking a photograph into the envelope with your card, you could also consider printing the photographs on the card. There are many services now that will turn your photographs into holiday cards.
  • You could also send a photograph of the card recipient if you have taken one during the year.
  • If he has moved away, a photograph of a local establishment he used to frequent or another point of interest in the town would be good to bring back cherished memories.
  • Instead of a recent picture, you can also send an older one to remind the recipient of days gone by or of relatives who have passed. If the recipient doesn't have Greataunt Ethel's picture, she would probably appreciate having a copy.
One of the ways to make a Christmas card special and memorable is to tuck in a special note of thanks inside it.

One of the ways to make a Christmas card special and memorable is to tuck in a special note of thanks inside it.

4. Holiday Letters

Write a letter or newsletter about your year and share it with your holiday card recipients. You can add photographs, drawings or clip art to decorate it. You can even include recipes in it.

A Christmas letter is a good way for your friends and family to catch up on events they might have missed throughout the year and helps you remember the special things that have happened.

It is also a good way for you to see how things change over time in your family. I save a copy of each holiday letter with my genealogy files so I can keep track of the changes in our family history.

5. Personal Notes

Taking the time to write a personal note on the card is a great way to add meaning to a holiday card. Maybe remind them of something great you did together during the year, or tell them why they are so special to you. A personal note adds a great deal to the boilerplate Christmas card.

6. Cash

It is fun to get a small check, cash or a gift certificate or gift card in a Christmas card. I don't know of too many people who might object, although it might make them feel obligated to reciprocate.

Other Things to Put in Your Christmas or Holiday Card

There are other small and flat gifts you can add to your Christmas cards:

  • Bookmarks
  • Stickers
  • Artists' trading cards
  • Postcards
  • Poems
  • Your favorite quotation
  • Coupons
  • Gift card
  • Tickets for a play, concert or movie
  • Baseball cards
  • Stamps
  • Ribbons
  • Sharm squares of fabric
  • Announcement for a subscription to a magazine
  • Handmade coupons for favors and chores
  • Lottery ticket

These do not cost very much, and—more importantly—they don't weigh very much, so you can fit them in without having to pay additional postage.

Make Your Christmas Cards Special

It takes just a few minutes and a few cents to make your next Christmas card or holiday card special. But it means so much to the recipient to have something to cherish and helps them remember how much you mean to them. Make their holiday season a little brighter by tucking in a special something before mailing off your Christmas cards this year.

© 2011 Shasta Matova

Comment on These Card Insert Ideas:

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on January 01, 2020:

For some years, I've been cutting bookmarks from old Christmas cards. Then I tuck these into the cards or holiday newsletters that I send out.

Shasta Matova (author) from USA on December 21, 2012:

Thanks RTalloni, hopefully fun things will be making their way in the mail to friends and relatives this year. You are right, these ideas are also useful throughout the year with birthday cards, anniversary cards, thinking of you, and any other mail. I've even sent a thing or two to bill collectors!

RTalloni on December 20, 2012:

You offer some nice ideas here for personalizing Christmas cards, and to use throughout the year. Thanks!

Shasta Matova (author) from USA on December 16, 2012:

Thanks Stephanie. A small painting sounds wonderful. Looks like you are already making sure that your loved ones enjoy opening up their Christmas card envelopes!

Thanks Cyndi. I am sure your friends and relatives will enjoy getting a surprise with their holiday cards!

Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on December 15, 2012:

These are great suggestions. I haven't sent my cards yet and will add a few of the items you mentioned. I'm glad Stephanie tweeted it. Very timely.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on December 15, 2012:

Adding a little special something to a Christmas card is a lovely idea. I hadn't thought about a special recipe - love that one! I do often include a family picture or make my own Christmas cards using a photograph of my husband and myself. Something I'm doing this year is sending some special people a small matted painting. It just feels good to share a bit of ourselves at holiday time! Voted up and tweeted!

Shasta Matova (author) from USA on December 12, 2012:

Thanks Mary. I don't send cards every year, but I do like to tuck in a little present in my correspondence throughout the year - even to companies!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on December 09, 2012:

Well, I'm a little embarrassed to say I no longer send Christmas cards. It's part of my frugal (my kids say I'm cheap) way of life. You do have some good ideas here, though.

I voted this UP, etc.etc. and will share.

Shasta Matova (author) from USA on December 09, 2012:

Thanks Jeannie, I don't feel like so much of a cheapskate if I can tuck a special surprise in each card.

Thanks Linda. Perfume samples sounds like a great little gift for your customers.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on December 09, 2012:

This year I'm adding samples of Avon fragrances! :)

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on December 09, 2012:

These are such great ideas! I would have never thought to include a recipe or a drawing in a Christmas card. Thanks for sharing! Voted up!

Shasta Matova (author) from USA on November 07, 2012:

Thanks Pamela - I am very frugal, but I do try to not make it very obvious in real life. I think of it as giving my friends and family an extra little surprise in the mail and hopefully get a smile out of them.

Thanks Ishwaryaa, how sweet that you make handmade cards. That is much better than the store bought ones. Kudos!

Thanks livingsta. Esther and sereseus, I hope you can use one of these ideas with your Christmas cards this year, and that they work to increase the holiday spirit this season.

Albin Pius from kerala,India on November 06, 2012:

Packed with interesting ideas, great job.

Esther Strong from UK on November 06, 2012:

Great ideas for making Christmas just that bit more special. Thumbs up and more.

livingsta from United Kingdom on November 06, 2012:

Enjoyed reading this hub. Beautiful ideas, to bring up that smile and holiday spirit. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Voted up and Beautiful!

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on November 05, 2012:

A wonderful hub packed with creative & economical ideas! These ideas sure add a lovely personal touch to the Christmas or Holiday cards. I often made handmade cards for my family on special occasions. Handmade cards are far better than store bought ones as they are created out of love.

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & Shared

Pamela Dapples from Arizona. on November 05, 2012:

My dad is a wee bit like you, but much more frugal. He uses once-used envelopes to send his mail.

Shasta Matova (author) from USA on November 05, 2012:

Thanks Terrye, rasta1, Mary, Pamela, Nick, and stillwaters707. As a cheapskate, I always try to get the cost out of the cost of the stamp, and love it when I can think of something personal that I can tuck into the envelope to show the person that I am really thinking of him or her, and not simply sending a mass production card out of obligation.

stillwaters707 from Texas on November 04, 2012:

I've received nice newsletter updates from people who have moved away. Poems and small photos are nice new ideas for me.

nanderson500 from Seattle, WA on November 04, 2012:

Nice ideas, I like to send out Christmas cards. They are fun to get as well. Voted up and interesting.

Pamela Dapples from Arizona. on November 04, 2012:

Very nice ideas. A recipe in grandma's handwriting -- sent at Christmas -- is my favorite and I never would have thought of it myself. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Voting up and useful.

Mary Craig from New York on November 04, 2012:

What great ideas! I send a 'family newsletter' every year and hear back that people love it and look forward to it. I don't include too much information 'cause I don't want to bore anyone. I love the recipe idea and there are certain folks that stamps or baseball cards would certainly be a good fit!

Voted this helpful hub up, useful, and interesting.

Marvin Parke from Jamaica on November 04, 2012:

I will give it a try.

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on November 04, 2012:

Those are some fantastic ideas and I'll be using several. :)

Shasta Matova (author) from USA on September 21, 2012:

Thank you Kathy. I don't really like getting plain cards that are sent to everyone else, so I like to personalize the ones I send out. Instead of sending cards because it is on my list of things to do, I hope my card recipients feel like I really care about how they are doing and really do want them to have a happy holiday season.

Kathy Sima from Ontario, Canada on September 20, 2012:

These are all great ideas for things to add to your Christmas cards, and I'm sure most recipients would enjoy receiving any of these little surprises along with your holiday greetings. :)

Shasta Matova (author) from USA on September 20, 2012:

Thanks for your comment and vote alocsin. I hadn't thought about getting invited to try out the meal, but it does sound like a great bonus!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on September 18, 2012:

All fun ideas but to me the most interesting one is to include an old family recipe. The method also ensures that your favorite meals stay alive and perhaps you can even invite yourself to the recipient to try them out. Voting this Up and Useful.

Shasta Matova (author) from USA on December 04, 2011:

Thanks quilt827. Those are great ideas.

quilt827 from Tampa Bay, Florida on December 04, 2011:

lots of good ideas! I some times will enclude tickets, groupons and of course there is the plastic gift cards we see everywhere!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on December 03, 2011:

Or just say ooops how did my HP card end up in your holiday card?! :)) Keep on hubbin' MT!

Shasta Matova (author) from USA on December 03, 2011:

LOL Sunshine - you have to be subtle though - maybe if you wrote a hub about how special they are, and hope they follow the links to your other hubs...

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on December 03, 2011:

Business cards advertising your hubpages is another idea:)

Shasta Matova (author) from USA on December 03, 2011:

Thanks Sunshine! This was actually a part of a Christmas card exchange I was in with a quilting newsgroup.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on December 03, 2011:

Never thought of a favorite recipe! Good idea MT!!:)