What’s your favorite part of the holiday season? Is it Christmas songs playing every time you turn on the radio? Is it the red poinsettia that appears throughout the mall? Is it your child’s extra good behavior in hopes of getting the toy he wants? Or is it the peppermint flavored coffee, cookies, and cakes at your favorite cafe?

Personally, I love receiving Christmas cards from friends and family. Like my son who runs downstairs on Christmas morning, I shake with anticipation each time a new card arrives — whether by mail, email, or Facebook post. I love seeing my friends’ creative poses. I love reading their sweet messages. I love humming along to the Christmas tunes. And most of all, I love that they thought of my family during the most hectic, but wonderful time of the year.

Here are 10 absolutely joyful Christmas greetings that have made my day:

1. Santa in the Sun

I always wondered how people celebrate Christmas in warm weather. And during a Christmas vacation to Miami, I finally learned the answer: the exact same way we cold climate people do… except that they wear fewer layers and drink eggnog on the beach! In this card, Santa seems especially happy to be soaking up the sun — with sunglasses, a bare chest, and a reindeer float around his waist.

2. Most Magical Holiday

I grew up in a small town with a beautiful lake. Each winter, the ducks flew south, the lake froze, and the children skated on the ice. Here, a stenciled drawing becomes a translucent blue rink, frozen and pristine, just like the one from my childhood. Light snowflakes fall as the sun sets and the words, “Cherish the season” fill the screen. This card brings back the most joyful memories.

3. Holiday Bustle

Preparing for Christmas means tons of errands! Grocery shopping, tree picking, gift buying… My husband and I divide the tasks and conquer. When Christmas morning arrives, and my family and I sip hot chocolate while opening presents next to the gorgeous tree, I know that all of the hard work was worth it. This card, culminating in a snapshot of a happy family, captures that sentiment perfectly.

4. Holiday Highlights

Even with Facebook, it’s hard to keep up with all of my family and friend’s marriages, births, graduations, and more! This Christmas card includes space for families to share highlights from the past year. I plan to use it this December because we’ve got a few big announcements. We’re moving to a bigger apartment. My husband got a promotion. I ran a marathon. And our little boy learned how to read!

5. Cozy Christmas

Who doesn’t love a cozy, white Christmas? The streets sparkle outside our window, and we sing Christmas carols beside the toasty fireplace. This card is full of Christmas coziness with an image of a small, snowy village set to a gentle tune.

6. Iconic Christmas

Here, Santa transforms into a colorfully-lit Christmas tree, which transforms into a spinning ornament, which transforms into a blue snowflake, which transforms into a waving snowman. I love this card because it showcases a slew of Christmas icons in a fun and creative way. My friend sent me this card last year, and it brought a smile to my face for the rest of the day.

7. Holiday Magic

All of my childhood neighbors got into the holiday season by stringing colorful lights along their windows and placing wreaths on their front doors. But one neighbor went the extra mile with a mechanical train set, plastic nutcracker statues, and a constant stream of Christmas songs blaring from a set of speakers — all on his front lawn. This card, which features a storefront window that suddenly comes to life with marching nutcrackers and a beautiful train, reminds me of that magical display.

8. Nativity Scene

I love Christmas cards that recall the holiday’s religious beginnings and remind me how joyous the day truly is. In this serene card, one of my favorite Christmas songs, First Noel, plays in the background, while Mary and Joseph bow in gratitude for the birth of baby Jesus.

9. Holly Jolly Santa

My son’s first time meeting Santa Claus was very memorable. At first, he timidly sat on Santa’s lap. But, as soon as Santa’s bushy beard touched his cute face, he broke into a huge smile. I took a photo at that exact moment, and now I can’t wait to include it in this festive card.

10. Beary Merry

Last year, my little boy wanted to know how animals celebrate Christmas. Do they decorate a tree? Do they attend midnight mass? Do they sing Christmas carols? When a friend sent us this card, I knew he’d be elated. I played it for him and he finally found the answer to his question: a few birds, a seal, and a bear all celebrate Christmas exactly like we do!

Wishing you a Christmas filled with warm drinks, generous Santas, loving families, and most of all, limitless joy!

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