Every year most of us get a small pile of Christmas cards from friends, family, and associates. It is a sweet gesture and one that hints at a relationship, respect, and esteem. In that pile there are typically cards that go straight on our mantle, our refrigerator, or in some other high-traffic location.

And then there are the Christmas cards that, well, don’t make the wall. Most of these are cards from acquaintances that simply don’t rate a spot beside close friends and family—but an unfortunate number are cards that look thrown together, badly printed, or have blur or a number of other potential issues. With digital card creation and services that let you create, customize, and order occasion cards of every shape and size, such as MiDesign@Michaels(TM) at invitations.michaels.com (the best service I’ve been able to find so far), there is absolutely no reason you should ever have these issues again: Here’s a few reasons why!

1. Better paper. An unfortunate number of DIY Christmas cards are printed on normal paper. Even double folded, this paper is not meant for images. In fact, even the heaviest stock most commercial printers can handle isn’t really good for sending Christmas cards. Using MiDesign or a service like it can get you commercial quality stock that feels like it has weight and purpose, and that holds color ink and images correctly.

2. Better images. When you use an online service there is no image breakdown—everything stays online and in high def form, and gets printed in HD as well. What does that mean? No graininess like you find with home computers, and you also get the faint gloss that marks professional work as well.

3. Templates. Let’s face it, we aren’t always all perfectly creative—and our best attempts can go awry if we don’t have time to invest in our crafting. Online templates, however, let us drag and drop and take credit for the results (which I am a huge fan of). Even if I don’t go with a professional design, I like being able to look at ideas and glean or modify them as I please (customization that really makes MiDesign a winner btw).

4. Shipping Options. I like having things shipped straight to home but I’ve discovered that having them shipped to store, in this chase Michaels (thanks to an upgraded membership), adds up to a lot of savings over time and I can then grab postage and whatever else I need in one trip. Time and money savers are always huge around the holidays after all.

5. Unexpected designs and shapes. Circle cards with Christmas card sayings were huge last year—I did one myself and it worked really well. Most local Christmas card shops don’t even give you the option of straying past rectangles, which is fine, but sometimes I like to let things stand out and the fact that it was so easy and so available was huge. Creativity unbound …