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High-Tech New Year's Cards

One of my favorite things about opening the mail in December is getting to see all of the incredible holiday cards from my family and friends. In the past I’ve sent out some pretty creative holiday cards (if I do say so myself), but this year I’ve been slowed down by my pregnancy and the holiday card magic just didn’t happen.

Luckily, there’s still time for me (and you) to send out a New Year’s card, especially if you forgo the old-fashioned physical card. Here are a couple high-tech alternatives that will leave a great big smile on the faces of your family and friends.

The Digital eCard

There are many websites (like Smilebox) that allow you to create and customize your very own holiday eCard. These websites make eCards that end up looking very professional, and give you a tremendous amount of control over the final product.

If you’ve taken the perfect photo during the course of the year, feel free to use it in your eCard, but I like to take a new thematically appropriate photo for my cards such as this one I took some years ago:

holiday 2005

Or this one a few years later:

coming soon

Once you’ve uploaded the photo of your choice, you select a design, style, music and message for your eCard, then indicate who you want it to be sent to. You can also send your eCard to Facebook instead of personal email addresses.

Some of these websites have apps that allow you to make these cards entirely on your smart phone. These are very convenient, but unfortunately they only allow you to use the less than stellar quality photos taken on your smart phone. The one exception when using these apps is the Samsung Galaxy camera, which takes super high quality photos but also has an internet connection.

The Video Card

I love eCards, but video cards are even more fun. After all, everyone’s favorite part of a holiday card is the family photo, so why not take it one step further with a video?

Making a video card isn’t nearly as hard as it may sound. First, have your family members spruce themselves up and gather together (as you would for a family photo), then record a short video. You can get creative (singing! dancing!), assign a line to each family member, or keep it simple and have one person speak. No matter what is most “you,” you probably want to keep your message under sixty seconds. It’s always best to leave ‘em wanting more, as they say in show business. If you want your video to look extra professional, you can edit it using Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, but if you don’t have those programs don’t sweat it. Your friends and family want to see you and not your editing skills.

There are a few ways you can send your video card. The simplest is to attach your masterpiece to an email with a short message. You can also upload your video to YouTube and send the link to your friends and family or embed it into Facebook. For something a little fancier, check out the websites mentioned above as being great for sending eCards. Many of them allow you to upload video and customize your very own video card, too.

No matter what kind of video you make, the Samsung Galaxy is a great camera to create it with because its internet capabilities allow you to do everything you need to do directly from the camera. This means you won’t have to transfer anything to your computer, which makes life a lot easier!

A big thanks to Samsung for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Would you like to win your own Samsung Galaxy Camera? Repin one of the photos from our “Holiday Memories + Moments” Pinterest board   with the hashtag #samsungmemories for a chance to win, or upload your own photo onto your personal board with the hashtag #samsungmemories. And from there, we will pick the top twenty photos. Contest ends December 31st, 2012.

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