Heather likes it when I pick her holiday card, so this year’s annual, “Ooh, look at all the pretty cards” post will have a secondary goal of helping her find one that hun liker.

Two years ago, I declared myself a holiday Card Ho because I ordered from three different companies in order to make use of all the promo codes I had. Last year, I declared The Year of the Infographic because there were a wide assortment of cards with that theme.

First, a lay of the land for 2013. Cardland, that is. Infographic cards are no longer new, but they’re still so clever that I hope to receive some in the mail.

What’s new this year? Shapes.

Allow me to give you a tour of the new shapes of holiday cards.

Rounded corners have long been my jam. You can pay extra to order them or clip off your own corners with a handy scrapbooking tool. (Over the top? I don’t care.)

“joyous heart” card from tiny prints is perfect for those who don’t celebrate Christmas or who can admit right now that they won’t get cards in the mail until new year’s.

recommended: a photo with a darkish, solid background.

Pay $0.10 per card extra to have your corners round like the ones pictured instead of right-angled on either tiny prints or Snapfish. Or, spend $10 on this round corner punch on Amazon and have rounded corners on all your documents for the rest of your life.

Round cards. Hallmark offers ornament-shaped cards but they’re so expensive compared to all the others, I’m not going to bother expanding on this.

Ticket-shaped cards. tiny prints has turned the rounded corners thing on it’s head by producing a new flavor of rectangle — one that is missing it’s corners. I think this is designed to evoke a ticket, but I’m not really sure. In any case, they will ship your card with missing corners, for just $0.15 extra per card.

I love this red and gold card with vintage lettering and glitter that they promise is NOT actually glitter and won’t destroy your house. The back of the card is polka dotted, so it’s pretty much the Zooey Deschanel of holiday cards.

“merry bright moment” from tiny prints can be accented with white or green instead of red. achieve the same ticket shape by starting with a rectangle card and use a martha stewart 1-inch circle punch to remove the corners.

You-can’t-do-this-yourself die-cut cards. Now this is truly what’s new for 2013. This shape will run you $0.20 extra per card. and if you have four kids and you get three of them to act jubilant at the same time, I think you win. (And if you have four kids and can afford an extra $0.20 per card, even more win!)

“graphic glee” from tiny prints

“to be jolly” from tiny prints

Scalloped edge cards. Based on my selections above, it does appear that these shapely cards can only be ordered with a single photograph. That’s not the case. If the only way you can accurately represent your family is with a collage, you’re still in the game.

“merry happy moments” card from tiny prints comes with any of the edge shapes you see above and can accommodate 3 OR 4 photos.

You can buy a product that would allow you to scallop your own edges, but I don’t recommend it. You’ll probably screw it up and I don’t want you blaming me. If you must have a look, here are products designed for such insanity activity.

Another trend is the clear card. I don’t mean invisible, as in, I never got around to sending them so I’ll just tell everyone I sent invisible cards. I mean sections of the card are transparent. Kan du fortelle?

I cannot recommend a clear card because it’s too hard to see when sitting in a pile with other cards or on your coffee table or even pinned on a bulletin board or fridge. This trend gets a thumbs down from me.

Foil-pressed cards. another way to step it up a notch is with these stunning cards that offer a hint of shine on the text. You have to see the display on the Minted website to appreciate the shine, so I’m going to simply send you over there.

Finally, I want to suggest Shutterfly because they’re honoring a 40% off promo code for the next 24 hours. It’s CARD40. While the designs there include many appealing, vibrant colors, make sure that the design you choose doesn’t overpower your photograph(s). I uploaded several photos there and chose designs that I loved for their festive color palettes and then found that my non-professionally-lit photos looked dull in comparison. Anyway, hit that sale, if you’re ready to go with a favorite photo from the year.

Extremely related post: My frustrating holiday photo shoot: a gallery of failed shots.

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