Saturday, December 20, 2014

Inexpensive Holiday Cards by Angela Benson

Happy Holidays!  I hope you’re gearing up for a safe and happy holiday season.   

I really look forward to sending holidays cards this time of the year.  Hubby and I like sending out the personalized cards with our photo and a personal greeting.  From the response we’ve gotten, the recipients enjoy getting them.  The good news is that these cards are fairly inexpensive.

On Sunday we’re going to Flash Digital Portrait Studios in the local mall for our holiday photo session.  We usually just use a picture we’ve taken on our phones [the picture above is the one we used last year] but I found a great deal on Groupon that I couldn’t pass up.  The photo session and a package that includes three images on CD and one traditional print sheet cost only $15.99.  We’ve had our pictures taken at this place before when it was Olan Mills and I hope we are as happy with the results this time as we were then.

I’m going out all for this photo session.  I haven’t decided what we’re wearing yet, but I do know there will be some red involved.  And right before the shoot, I have an appointment to get my make-up done at the Clinique counter in Belk, also in the mall. This is a much cheaper route than going to a salon.  At the Clinique counter, they only ask that you purchase one or two items, which will probably be around $30.  A salon would charge at least $30 for the make-up session and you wouldn’t get any products.  Again, I think I’m getting a pretty good deal.

To get even more bang for my photo dollar, in addition to striking some poses for the holiday card, I’m also going to try to find a pose that will work as my author photo.  The photographer’s assistant suggested that I bring a few copies of my books to use as props in those poses.  We’ll see how it goes.

After I get the CD with the pictures, I’ll create our cards on With another great Groupon deal, I’m getting 50 custom cards (with envelopes) for only $10.  I don’t think I can do much better than that. 

In total, I’ll spend about $57 for 50 personalized holiday cards, a semi-professionally done author photo and two Clinique products.  That’s a pretty good gift for me to give myself.  I just may give it someone else next Christmas.

If you’re still with me, you’re probably wondering how we’re going to get our cards mailed in time for Christmas.  Well, we’re not.  Over the last few years, we’ve gone from sending Christmas cards to sending more general “holiday” cards.  That way, as long as the cards arrive between mid-December and mid-January, we’re fine. 

I’d love to hear about your holiday card plans for this year.  Do (did) you send Christmas cards, holiday cards or something else?  Have you already put yours in the mail or have you joined the high-tech revolution and started sending only e-cards?  Feel free to also tell me about any good Groupon deals you’ve found.  I’m always looking for a good buy.

Happy Holidays!

Angela Benson is the author of 14 novels and two novellas.  In the novella, Friend and Lover, Reed Lewis thinks his best friend, Paige Thomas, is engaged to the wrong man, so he devises a holiday ruse to make her see things his way. Celebrate the season with this light-hearted holiday romp about two friends on the path to becoming so much more, and the grandmother who helps them get there.


  1. Such smart shopping! Saves you money for the important things. Merry Christmas!

  2. This sounds like fun, and obviously, it's something you enjoy doing. Good luck for a wonderful photo and card and Merry Christmas.

  3. It does sound like fun. Not many people I know send cards any more - I think its the cost of the postage which is more than the cost of the card, which is a shame really. Have a wonderful Christmas, Angela.

    1. I like sending these through the mail, which is strange for me since I don't even pay bills via mail anymore. There's just something more personal to me about snail mail. Or it could be that I don't have email address for all the folks I send cards to.

  4. I'm all for savings and finding a good deal -- sounds like you've got it down to a fine science. What's not to love? Hope you and hubby have a wonderful holiday. Stay warm, be blessed, and here's to good health in 2015. Lotsa Love!