8 Book-Inspired Christmas Card Ideas

Each year, my family talks about sending out a Christmas card. And sometimes we do… once January starts and we finally get around to it. The problem is, there’s so much to do around the holidays that greeting cards often get shuffled to the side.

But once we finally do get those cards out, I know that relatives appreciate them, as do long-distance friends. After all, it shows that you took a moment to think about them, and maybe scribble a quick note updating them about your life. And you’re never too young to start spreading holiday cheer, right?

Of course, if you’re a fan of the holidays and an avid reader, you’ll need to make sure your card incorporates both festive and literary elements. Forget a scene of Santa ice skating on a pond or whatever typical card you’re about to pick up for a couple bucks at the store. If you’re going to send out a Christmas card, do it right by finding inspiration in the pages of your favorite novel. From the card cover to the envelope, there are plenty of opportunities to send two messages with your holiday cards this year. No. 1: You care about the person you’re sending it to. And No. 2: You also really care about books. These nine book-inspired Christmas card ideas will accomplish both.

1. Repurpose An Old Book For Card Material

Pick up a cheap, old copy of A Christmas Carol — or a similarly fitting holiday classic — and use the pages as the background for a festive card. Whether you're sending a holiday greeting or writing thank you cards for gifts, this DIY idea is both economical and looks pretty (if you can handle ripping pages out of a book...). (Harry Potter Page Card - "Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Muggle," $3.84, Autumnprints, Etsy)

2. Seal The Envelope With A Wax Seal

So, you tried to send a message by Owl post and it didn't work. Next best option: seal your envelope with a wax seal. Add some magic to your Muggle mail — you can even buy seals with your initial. Sealing an envelope never sounded so amazing. (Wax Seal Stamp Vintage Dripping Wax Seal Stamp Set - Love, $9.98, JolinTsai , Etsy)

3. Shape Your Card Like A Bookmark

Send something practical to your friends and family this year by shaping your card like a bookmark. Not only will recipients be able to use your card, it's easy to print lots of these — you can fit several on one sheet of paper, and then cut them out for maximum card production. (P.S.: Repurpose holiday cards you receive as bookmarks, and you'll always have long distance friends close by). (Christmas Bookmark Set - Ho Ho Ho - Merry Christmas Bookmarks, $5, MyPrettyPaper, Etsy)

4. Pose As Your Favorite Literary Family

My family usually goes the picture route for the front of our Christmas card. If you're in the same boat, why not force your siblings to dress up as your favorite literary family this year?

5. Recreate A Scene With Your Pet

Of course, if your family isn't available for a literary photo, why not recreate a scene using your pet? Your dog won't be ABLE to complain about your brilliant card idea, unlike your cranky younger sibling. Though both of them will probably rip up the costume as soon as you hand it to them, so snap that picture quickly.

6. Shop For Book-Inspired Cards

If you're not the DIY type, but you still want to send literary-themed cards, there are plenty of great options out there. For example, this book-inspired "Twelve Days of Christmas" card from Amazon is perfect for all the lit lovers on your card recipient list. (Literary Christmas Twelve Days of Christmas Series, $15.95, Amazon.com)

7. ... Or Shop For Inspiration

Etsy is a great place to shop for cards — or to shop for inspiration. Check out the beautiful work of the artists, and maybe the perfect idea will come to you for what your holiday card should look like this year! (Book Lovers Christmas Holiday Card - Wishing You Stacks of Christmas Joy, $4.50, thebeautifulproject, Etsy)

8. Put A Literary Holiday Quote On The Cover

So you're horrible at drawing. Art is not your strong suit, and neither are crafts. You're also broke. You can still make a holiday card, even if it seems all the odds are stacked against you: print out a literary holiday quote. Put it on the cover. Boom — you're done. Happy holidays! (Modern Christmas cross stitch, $6.14, HawthornTreeDesigns, Etsy)

Images: thebeautifulproject, Autumnprints, JolinTsai, MyPrettyPaper/Etsy; Warner Bros; Courtesy of Julia Seales; HawthornTreeDesigns/Etsy