Let’s face it. It takes a juggler to take care of our families, keep up with our busy lives, and send out our holiday cards ahead of or on time. Right?
If, like me, your anxiety has been building with every mailbox incursion of another holiday greeting card, you can breathe a sigh of relief. E-cards are your friend, and they’re good for the planet too! You can add one more checkmark to the “nice” versus “naughty” column charting your life.
Many a year, I have featured my dog on my New Year’s card. He’s usually doing something heroic, such as leaping through the air, or looking dashing on the grooming table. One year, I even became inspired to create a YouTube video greeting.
The 2008 Greeting: Take a Leap in ’08! (solution: create it online, input my address list, and have them mail it out for me. The cards turned out beautifully. But they cost me.)
The 2009 Greeting: Dress Code for the New Year: Black Tie Optional; Happy Tails Required (far more affordable solution: mail out my own e-card, using the trusty “bcc” field. Only cost: my man-hours.)
But all this photoshopping and moviemaking isn’t in the cards this year. Time to turn to my go-to sources for the heavy lifting. And so I share with you some of my favorites:
1) JacquieLawson.com. Have you heard of her? Her whimsical animated greetings are unique and tasteful, as is the music that accompanies them. To send a card, you must become a member for $12 a year, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving — I’ve found her creations to be just what the doctor’s ordered no matter what the occasion may be.
Depending on your sense of humor, you can choose A Winter Waltz, in which the animals decorate a snowman, or Robins’ Nest, which features “two cheeky robins” who run the animation in reverse. Others are more Christmas-centric, or playfully interactive for kids, such as Snow Dog (which betrays its English source with its reference to a pub).
2) Pet-a-Greeting.com. This company came on the scene a few months ago. They don’t call themselves “talking pet greeting cards” for nothing. You can upload a photograph of your pet, select default greeting text or input your own, and then choose a male or female voice to “speak” for your pet! Your typed text is translated into the spoken word. It’s fairly believable, and a fun choice for kids, though I recommend choosing an image where your pet is facing the camera. You can go to town selecting a mouth, resizing and rotating it, adding a festive accessory, and choosing a holiday-themed border. Then you can email your greeting to friends or share it on Facebook or Twitter. A one-year membership costs $9.95.
3) KocoEcards.com. I never tire of seeing these well-designed square cards with meaningful or charming sayings. A limitless annual subscription is $20, or you can pay $1.50 per card. They don’t have a pets section per se, but if you expand your horizon to animals, you can find a few. Here are some from their holiday section:
What are your favorite sources of pet e-cards? And have you already sent yours out? If so, be kind to those who haven’t!
P.S. Procrastinators looking to break bad habits and get a jump on next year’s holiday cards can read Real Simple’s tips, or perhaps order from another of my favorite sources, albeit a snail-mail solution: R. Nichols. Check out the holiday section of note cards for stylish women and pooches as well as naughty cats and dogs.