The festival season is upon us, and pretty soon, you’ll find yourself planning for your Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner, not to mention the Navratri and Diwali celebrations that are going on strong with the Indian community around the world. Festivals are very important in one’s life, especially as it is often the time when the entire family tries to be together for traditional and fun gatherings. Decorations, new decor, house-cleaning, making sweets and snacks, this is all an integral part of the Diwali celebrations in our house, as Diwali is less than a month away. I am so excited, because this time, Ritika, our 15 month old bubbly toddler is also going to be involved in all the celebrations. However, festivals are also a time when you miss family the most, especially if they are living in different countries.
One of the best ways to remember near and dear ones is by sending Holiday Cards. And though online is the way to go is these busy lifestyles, I still prefer the traditional paper cards. The expression of joy that adorns the face of the card recipient is what makes Holiday cards so special! Here are 5 ways how you can make your Holiday cards unique and extra-special!
Find prints & themes to match the occasion
Many a times people buy Holiday cards in bulk, which don’t really have a theme, so you can use it to send it to anyone, irrespective of the occasion. That is just plain boring, and frankly, if someone sent me a card like that, I’d be happier if the person didn’t send a card at all! Make your cards unique by putting thought into what you are creating. Research websites that specialize in personalized holiday cards, and get ideas from pre-made templates, like this Diwali card that I created above using Purple Trail’s design center. With a range of options to choose from, it’ll definitely get you a head-start on what you want your card to look like!
Add photos to create warmth in your cards
Remember, a picture says more than a 1000 words! Your family is away from you, and the next best thing to seeing you in person is to see a smiling photo of their loved ones. Try making a Collage with 3-4 favorite pictures and add that to the card. Or go for a family portrait and enlarge it, then add it to the card’s cover page!
Add meaningful text to your card
Don’t just rip off words from another card. Even if you are not that great with words, try adding at least a few lines that are personal, and will make the recipient feel special! Add a greeting or a 1-liner that only you could come up with – like addressing your family with pet names instead of full names, writing a few lines in your mother tongue instead of English, or adding a small prayer, a lovely poem, or making up a holiday lyric using popular movie-song lyrics – anything that is unique, and will convey to the recipient that you have put time in making and sending this card.
Make your card as colorful as you can!
Festivals are supposed to be bright and colorful, they are meant to lift one’s spirits and fill the hearts with joy. So let your card be a reflection of the festival’s aura too! Use bright-colored pens to write text. You can even use crayons to draw fun images, if you are good at that. Or cut clippings from your favorite magazines and stick them onto the card, creating a meaningful scene depicting the holiday.
Use your surroundings for inspiration
Holiday cards do not have to be simple or mundane – in fact, the farther away you can get from the stereo-typical, the better! Take inspiration from your surroundings. Use real Maple leaves and dried flowers to create a fall greeting card. Use colorful threads, glitter, mirrors and paper to make festive Diwali cards with Diyas and Rangoli patterns. Find an actual mistletoe, and stick it along with scrapbook style Christmas ornaments to make a one-of-its-kind Christmas greeting. Take some time, look around, and you’ll find your inspiration!
Use Fabric to decorate your cards
Another fun and unique way to deck up your Holiday cards is by using fabric. Go to your neighborhood art & craft store, and get patches of fabric that matches the holiday theme. Cover the entire card by wrapping it in fabric, then add buttons and ornaments on the top, or add a family photo in the center, then make a photo frame with the matching fabric by adding borders to the picture. Or cut out leaves, twigs and flower patterns, food motifs etc from the fabric, glue them onto the card to create a holiday scene, then add glitter to the borders to hide frayed edges. Once you find a fabric, I’m sure you’ll come up with tonnes of ideas to use them!
Try a Scrapbook theme in your card
This is a fail-proof way to making a card extremely personalized, without much preparation. Just buy a small scrapbook kit from an art store to match your holiday theme, stick 3 wallet-sized photos around the card, and deck it up by adding scrapbook stickers around the pictures. Add a title or caption by hand under each picture, a small message at the top or bottom, and you have a picture frame ready that the recipient can display proudly during the holiday season.
These are just a few ideas that spring to my mind as I start planning my Holiday cards. I am sure each one of us has a designer hidden inside us, set him free and see what wonders you can create! After all, festivals and holidays are meant to be enjoyed, so loosen up, and start creating memories by making personalized greeting cards this holiday season!
Note: All ideas depicted above are my original ideas. I shall use these to participate in a giveaway for PurpleTrail.com, which makes me eligible for a PurpleTrail gift code.