In a season full of canned greetings, it isn't hard to stand out from the rest of the Christmas card pile. Still, the following holiday card concepts all put your family's annual newsletter to shame.

1. A SHINING CHRISTMAS

Redditor webothlikesoup posted this family portrait last year, inspired by the movie The Shining. The card's inscription: "All work and no play make for a dull holiday. Wishing you a shining new year."

2. LIVING ALONE

Malsies is living alone for the first time this year. She put some thought and some time into her “family” Christmas card to celebrate (or mourn) that fact. The cat costume was the hardest part.

3. EVERYTHING IS FINE, MOM

Dick_Pricklestix moved to Los Angeles, and his parents are worried that the city could be a bad influence on him. So he created the perfect card to reassure Mom that he’s getting along just fine. This is only a portion of the picture. You can see the entire enlargeable NSFW image at imgur.

4. and 5. SEPARATE BUT TOGETHER

Dan Perdue via Facebook

Dan and Christina Perdue spent Christmas 2013 separated by thousands of miles, as he was in Afghanistan and she was in New York. Still, they managed to create their Christmas card together. This year, they are together.

They weren’t the only ones who had this idea in 2013. Redditor professor-science got a Christmas card from friends who had Photoshopped themselves together.

6. FAMILY LIFE

Christmas cards often serve to update friends and relatives on what your children have been up to. Hotincleveland and her husband EnglishTraitor let everyone know that life with two young kids is about what you’d expect.

7. MONSTER CAT

Redditor wgpubs, who has a passing resemblance to Will Ferrell, shared his family’s 2012 Christmas card. Samson the cat has taken over. No word on whether or not they survived that holiday.

8. READING IS FUN

Redditor skagandschisms received this card from his cousins in 2013 showing how the children are growing up. From the looks of things, they're growing up a little too fast. On the bright side, the card does scream “2013” in a way embossed lettering never could.

9. ALIEN ABDUCTION

Johanna Jenkins creates crazy personal Christmas cards every year. My favorite among them is her 2012 Christmas card, the year Santa Claus was abducted by aliens while making his rounds. See a gallery of her Christmas cards from the past five years.

10. DIFFERENT RELIGIONS

Redditor byfuryattheheart celebrates Christmas; his girlfriend celebrates Hanukkah. They met while both were studying photojournalism, so it only made sense to go all out with a multi-holiday card in 2013. The combined card, which is not Photoshopped, brings them together in celebration. They got the cards out just before Hanukkah ended that year.

11. THE GYNECOLOGIST

Professionals often send Christmas cards to all their clients, but few have the sense of humor of this gynecologist. The card was shared by redditor notmaygun. In case you are confused, this is an instrument called a speculum, dressed up to resemble Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer.  

12. ADVENTURE TIME-STYLE

Personal Christmas cards are even more special when the creator is an artist. Artist ekg made this card for her boyfriend in 2014. It shows both of them in the style of the cartoon Adventure Time.

13. CALVIN AND HOBBES-STYLE

An artist named DD drew a card featuring his daughter and dog in the style of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes in 2012. Notice the distinctive snowman in the background. The charming card was shared by redditor inkybloc. 

14. A FAMILY TRADITION

The son of an artist, the-G-Man shared a collection of his father’s personal Christmas cards. They span 33 years, and show the growth and adventures of the family, from the first simple card (depicting just him), to cards that show his wife and their three adult children. When seen all together in this gallery, they tell a lovely story.

See also: 12 Wonderful Homemade Christmas Cards and 13 Wonderful Homemade Christmas Cards.