The best Christmas card applications for your smartphone

The best Christmas card applications for your smartphone

Do you want to send your loved ones more than just a simple "Merry Christmas", and surprise them with some really cool Christmas greetings? We'll show you five ways to transform your photos into amazing pictures and videos for WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger & other messaging platforms. Here is a list of the best Christmas card apps we could find on the internet!

A note in advance: not every app in this list is strictly GDPR-compliant (General Data Protection Regulation). If you are interested in data protection, then I recommend that you take a look at the data protection policy and terms of use. After all, in most cases, you would also pass on your own photos and other data to the providers in order to use their services.

Christmas cards with festive photos and creative filters

The creators of the photo editing app Photo Lab have made available a special Christmas version of their app the Google Play Store. Christmas Photo Frames uses mostly user-generated themes, which range from something that is extremely simple to some really impressive effects.

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Tap twice with your finger and that's it. The filters are extremely easy to use / © NextPit

The app places all effects in a single section - the Christmas version will load by default with the seasonal filters greeting you. However, you will also find some interesting Christmas effects in the other categories. Then all you have to do is to select a photo of yourself or your loved ones and, depending on the effect, adjust one or the other available options.

The Pro Pack, which ensures the app will not irritate you with advertisements and watermarks, will also unlock a few more filters for your usage. However, the app also regularly offers the use of Pro effects after watching a commercial clip. Basically, your eyeballs for something in return.

You as a dancing elf in the video

The absolute classic among personalised Christmas videos is Since 2006, the service has delivered hundreds of millions of elf videos - and in 2019, of course, it will be available on your smartphone via an app. Using this Christmas card app is very simple: You just need one or more photos to cast yourself (or others) as elves. From there, you select a theme and export the video, and voila! You're done.

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ElfYourself concentrates on just one theme - as the name suggests - elves. The VR effects are as unique as they are weird / © NextPit

In total, ElfYourself offers 19 different dance videos. Two of them are free of charge, while the others would require you to fork out €1.09 per video. If you are willing to sacrifice a couple of lattes, then all 19 styles are available for €8.49. There are some especially funny ones available, such as the varied dances in addition to an AR version where you can let the characters dance on your table.

Your personal Christmas music video

First and foremost, the bad news: JibJab Christmas cards are not free to make. If you not only want to generate Christmas videos, but also send them, you will first have to create a payment account. In the smartphone app, the monthly subscription costs €3.19 ($3.90), while those who decide to purchase it via the website you can get away with an annual fee of $24. However, the app provider has not yet provided any form of protection against screen recorders on the preview screen, which shows part of the video.

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Once you have recorded a selfie, you can add your face to a variety of greeting cards / © NextPit

The app itself is very simple to use. You create a database of faces at first, before moving on to the casting. For the different kinds of videos, you will need anywhere between one to five faces, and this is achieved by simply dragging and dropping them onto the appearing characters. The app will then renders the video, taking around 30 to 60 seconds to complete, depending on the complexity. And yes, the results are really funny - making the €3.19 is really worth the fun in my opinion.

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There's even singing: JibJab videos are really great fun / © NextPit

A personal message from Santa

Well, have you all been good? With this app, you can play the role of Santa Claus and send personal video messages as Father Christmas. All you need to do is to type in some of the recipient's personal information and the app will generate videos with Santa Claus' greetings.

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Was little Stefan a good boy, too? With this app you generate personalised greeting messages / © NextPit

Unfortunately, the app only supports English, Spanish and French languages. Another possible weak point of this app would be the fact that very young kids will find the videos to be rather difficult to understand - or they simply need a parent or adult to translate the message to them if you happen to speak a language different from the trio listed above at home. It is also nice that the app offers a "Reaction Recorder", which films the children watching the videos using the front camera.

At the time of publishing (17 December), the app offers three free videos: one for children, one for adults, and one with birthday greetings from Santa. App users can pay €5.49 ($6.70) each for additional videos. For those who want all 15 videos in the package will have to fork out €13.99 ($17).

Go paperless with audio greeting cards

You may be in the midst of being torn between sending personal messages to friends and family who live elsewhere and reducing your carbon footprint, but a new feature for Aroundsound allows you to create specially curated audio greeting cards. Creating your audio e-card with the app is a very simple process. Just add #xmas, #Christmas or #holidays to your title in order to enable festive theme. You can then share the audio message with friends and family. When they open the link, they’ll be listening to your recorded audio message while enjoying the seasonal backdrop - making it perfect for Christmas greetings.

Paperless cards are popular with those who and trying to be more environmentally friendly / © Aroundsound

Decorate photos with text and borders

It was from the last point that the idea for this article was originally mooted. And it was actually most difficult to find anything useful to post here. Even most of the four-star and higher rated Christmas picture apps in the Google Play Store were full of unwanted advertising, annoying to use and extremely limited in functionality.

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"Christmas Picture Frames" lives up to its name: There are really many different frames, overlays, beards, Christmas decorations, and so on / © NextPit

The completely free app "Christmas Picture Frames" makes your work here relatively simple. The user interface is easily accessible with a vast selection of options: There are hundreds of different and really nice made frames, various image effects, text tools, and plenty of beards, Christmas hats, and other overlays in a cartoon style.

A final tip: Many image editing apps currently have some seasonal special effects. In the PixaMotion app, for example, you can transform photos into videos and place an oversized gingerbread man by your side. Take a look at our list of the best apps for image editing.

Which apps have you used to create your Christmas greetings so far? Are you willing to pay a few bucks for a particularly funny greeting card or video clip? We look forward to your tips and opinions in the comments!

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