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 turn your photos into amazing pictures and videos for WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger & Co.
Festive photos with creative filters
The creators of the photo editing app Photo Lab provide a special Christmas version in the Google Play Store. Christmas Photo Frames uses mostly user-generated themes, which range from very simple to really impressive.
The app bundles all effects in one stream - the Christmas version starts by default with the seasonal filters. However, you will also find some interesting Christmas effects in the other categories. Then all you have to do is select a photo of yourself or your loved ones and, depending on the effect, adjust one or the other option.
The Pro Pack, which frees the app from advertising and watermarks and unlocks a few additional filters. However, the app also regularly offers to use the pro effects after watching a commercial clip.
You as a dancing elf in the video
The absolute classic among personalized Christmas videos is elfyourself.com. Since 2006, the service has produced hundreds of millions of elf videos - and in 2019, of course, it will be available on your smartphone via an app. The functionality is very simple: You need one or more photos to cast the elves. Then you select a theme and export the video - done.
In total ElfYourself offers 19 different dance videos. Two of them are free of charge, for the others €1.09 per piece is due. All 19 styles are available for €8.49. Especially funny are some of the dances also offer an AR version where you can let the characters dance on your table.
Your personal Xmas music video
The bad news first of all: JibJab is not free of charge. If you not only want to generate the videos, but also send them, you have to create a payment account. In the smartphone app the monthly subscription costs €3.19, on the website you can get away with $24 a year though. However, the app provider has not yet installed any protection against screen recorders on the preview screen, which shows part of the video.
The app itself is very simple. You can create a database of faces. Then it's on to the casting. For the various videos, you need between one and five faces and simply drag and drop them onto the appearing characters. The app then renders the video in about 30 to 60 seconds. And yes, the results are really funny - the €3.19 is really worth the fun in my opinion.
A personal message of Santa
Well, have you all been good? With this app, you can play Santa Claus and send personal video messages as Father Christmas. You just type in some of the recipient's personal information and the app generates videos with Santa Claus' greetings.
Unfortunately, the app only supports English, Spanish and French. At least for the very young kids the videos might be rather difficult to understand - or they just need a parental translator with them if you speak a different language at home. It is also nice that the app offers a "Reaction Recorder", which films the children watching the videos with the front camera.
At the editorial deadline (17.12.), the app offers three free videos: one for children, one for adults and one with Santa birthday greetings. The app programmers can pay €5.49 each for additional videos. All 15 videos in the package cost €13.99.
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 paper consumption but a new feature for Aroundsound allows you to create bespoke audio greeting cards. Creating your e-card with the app is very simple. Just add #xmas, #Christmas or #holidays to your title to trigger festive theme. You can then share the audio message with friends and family. When they open the link, they’ll be listening to your message while looking at the seasonal backdrop to the recording, perfect for Christmas greetings.
Decorate photos with text and borders
It was from the last point that the idea for this article was originally born. And it was actually most difficult to find anything useful here. Even most of the four-star and more rated Christmas picture craft apps in the Google Play Store were covered with advertising, annoying to use and limited in functionality.
The completely free app "Christmas Picture Frames" makes your work here comparatively excellent. The operation is understandable, and the selection is very large: There are hundreds of different and really nice made frames, various image effects, text tools, and umpteen beards, Christmas hats and other overlays in cartoon style.
A tip at the end: Many image editing apps currently have some seasonal special effects. In the PixaMotion app, for example, you can turn photos into videos and put an oversized gingerbread man to your side. Take a look at our list of the best apps for image editing.
Which apps have you used to compile your Christmas greetings so far? Are you willing to pay a few bucks for a particularly funny greeting card or video clip? We are looking forward to your tips and opinions in the comments!