Found: Personalized Holiday Greetings – The Easy (and Cheap way)

By Laura Braden

elf2Disclaimer – I’m simply horrible with (handwritten) correspondence.  Being from the South, this is total blasphemy, but I can’t stand writing notes or addressing envelopes.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my handwriting has stayed the same since the 3rd grade (minus the circles or hearts over my I’s and J’s).  Or maybe it’s a generational thing — like the need to know how to do basic math and balance my checkbook, computers have replaced 99% of my need to hand write anything.  And while I love getting mail and thank you notes and sweet cards from friends (I’m incompetent, not ungrateful), I’m all for cutting corners – especially if it saves $$ and a few trees.

So I tracked down some of the best ways to e-spread holiday cheer to your loved ones and friends.

And for those who can’t stand the thought of not sending actual cards, please stop reading and head over to Devon Carey Berrier’s counter article and best local options for stationary and holiday cards.

ANIMOTO ($30+) – Animoto allows you to generate high-quality slide shows using your own music, pictures and video (perfect for those of who are getting a Flip Video from Santa or Hanukkah Harry).  They’re currently offering a holiday package: create a holiday greeting/e-card, and you can make unlimited video greetings for the rest of the year.  They even allow you to schedule the delivery of the greeting and post it on your social networking sites. (LINK)

MYPUNCHBOWL (free) – Elegant and modern e-cards for Christmas, NYE, and Hanukkah.  After choosing a template, you then customize the font, colors and add photos, videos and a message.  The format and design are the most realistic alternative to sending actual holiday cards. (LINK)

GAP’S CHEER FACTORY (free) – Say what you will, but I am O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with these commercials.  The format, the message, the dance moves, everything.  And in an act of pure genius, you can send friends and family personalized cheers that are spin-offs of the commercials.  That’s right, type in the name and the adorable Gap kiddo’s and models will do a cheer for you (aren’t computers simply amazing?).  10 choices of pure fun. PS: If you love these commercials as much as I do, check out YouTube, which features local Gap stores’ own cheers. (LINK)


ELF YOURSELF (free) – Brought to us by Office Max and Jib Jab (the makers of the hilarious political videos back in 2004), thankfully they have kept the dancing elves around for another year.  You can create up to five personalized elves, and it’s fairly simple: upload a picture of yourself (or friend), pick your elf, pick your annoying music and then share with the world.  Totally cheesy, but it makes me laugh every single time. (LINK)

CRITTER CAROLS (free) – Similar to Elf Yourself but with your pets!  You choose the cat or dog (or you can upload a pic of your pet), their outfit and the song you want them to sing.  Insert your personal message, and you’re ready to share with world. (LINK)


E-CARDLETS (free) – 3D personalized messages you can send via your iPhone.  Limited design options but they accept user contributions and submissions. (LINK)

And while you’re at it, please also send a personalized greeting card to our troops abroad via  You pick the design, write the message and Xerox will print and deliver the cards for free!

EDITOR’s NOTE:  What do you think?  E-greetings versus handwritten notes?  Let us know your take – and favorite local and online sources by emailing girlsonthegrid AT gmail DOT com.

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