They say you should never compare your behind the scenes to someone else's highlight reel. And if Instagram is the highlight reel, Christmas cards are the Academy Award winning film. The go-to look is perfection meets overachievement and to be honest, you and I both know that's not true.

2021 wasn't exactly the return to "normal" we had hoped for. In fact, the past couple years have been some of the hardest for pretty much everyone. So why fake it when it comes to the photo Holiday cards? Embrace the mess! The misses! The meh-ness! Not only is it refreshing, it's also just real. And that's worth celebrating.

So instead of looking like you jumped out of a catalog, why not go with a holiday card that says it like it really is? We've rounded up some of our favorite Christmas photo cards that are as stylish as they are honest. And we know you don't need another thing on your to-do list, but each of the brands we've included make it as easy as possible to create something that's beautiful and uniquely yours. And one of them can even be, wait for it, mailed for you. Now if that's not something worth celebrating, I don't know what is.

Shop our favorite Christmas cards that are keeping it real this holiday season.

Personalized Holiday Cards

expectation-vs-reality-holiday-card
Paper Culture $62.25

Jumbled Timeline

What is time anyway? Embrace the expectation vs. reality that was 2021 and celebrate the fact that no one knows anything anymore. 🥴

Price is for 50 cards, on sale through 11/23.

keeping-it-together-christmas-card
Minted $106

Keeping it Together

Lowered expectations are a way of life now, aren’t they? And that’s perfectly fine with us, TBH.

Price is for 50 cards. Get 20% off when you choose recycled paper, 15% off all other cards with code HOLIDAYJOY through 11/23

we-got-through-multi-photo-holiday-cards
Paper Culture $56

We Got Through

Getting through this year has been no small feat. Celebrate all you did with this adorable card.

Price is for 50 cards, on sale through 11/23.

birght-christmas-card
Minted $106

Much Brighter

Eh, who needs calm anyway?

Price is for 50 cards. Get 20% off when you choose recycled paper, 15% off all other cards with code HOLIDAYJOY through 11/23

really-long-time-new-year-cards
Paper Culture $56

Really Long Time

Sophomore year of the pandemic has been a looooong one, hasn’t it?

Price is for 50 cards, on sale through 11/23.

retro-hope-new-year-cards
Paper Culture $56

Retro Hope

One thing alive and well? Hope. With its colorful retro vibe, this one is sure to stand out in the pile.

Price is for 50 cards, on sale through 11/23.

zoom meeting holiday card
Postable $3.29

Season's Screenings

To say the novelty has worn off would be an understatement, but we’re still super grateful for all the video chats this year. Why not keep the theme going? Best of all, Postable is the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it holiday card purveyor. Not only do they put them in envelopes and address them for you but they mail them as well. (So you don’t end up like me with a box full of half addressed and unmailed cards from 2017 lurking in your basement.)

Price is per card.

doing-our-best-holiday-card
Minted $106

Doing Our Best

It’s all we ask of our kiddos, so it’s really all we can ask of ourselves.

Price is for 50 cards. Get 20% off when you choose recycled paper, 15% off all other cards with code HOLIDAYJOY through 11/23

ready-depart-new-year-cards
Paper Culture $56

Ready to Depart

Give 2021 the boot with this travel-themed card that ushers in a better 2022. In the words of Ariana Grande, “Thank you, next.”

Price is for 50 cards, on sale through 11/23.

quarantine-searches-multi-photo-holiday-cards
Paper Culture $62.25

Quarantine Searches

Basically eight dozen versions of “Is ____ a symptom of Covid.”

Price is for 50 cards, on sale through 11/23.

okayest-year-ever-christmas-card
Pear Tree $150

Okayest Year Ever

Yeah, I wouldn’t say this year was the best. But these days, “okay” is pretty, well, okay.

Offering 60% off at checkout with code CYBERNOW through 11/23.

minimalist-holiday-card
Artifact Uprising $92.50

Effortless Holiday Card

Effortless? Count us in. We’re big fans of all things Artifact Uprising because they make everything we print look polished and pro–even though we’re definitely not. This year, this simple layout takes top honors for its delightfully minimalist layout and seven different options for personalization on the back.

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