Christmas isn’t Christmas without some sort of card. Doing the usual Post Office run, for many, marks the start of the festive season proper.

The conventional Christmas card can be a touch outdated, but with a bit of digging Pocket-lint has come up with some hi-tech alternatives to make your Christmas post that bit more exciting.

Crafting your own Christmas card is one way of doing things, but putting cards together for each family member could see you spending more time with scissors and glue than unwrapping your own cards.

A quick fix that can have some awesome results is Apple’s Cards app. Using your iPhone or iPad, you can design custom-made cards, add photos from your Apple device and then send them anywhere in the world for £3.99.

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Touchnote is also doing customised Christmas cards. You can do this online simply by uploading a snap, adding a message and then sending it to the relevant address. Simple, quick and easy and with cards starting at 99p, a bit cheaper as well.

This one is right at the other end of the spectrum in terms of complexity, but do the build and it’s worth it. Credit has to be given to the Evilmadscientist blog for working this one out.

You will need plastic, LEDs, paper, electrical tape, batteries, scissors, a ruler and a pen. For the plastic, the blog suggests cutting out the side of a plastic container. You then need to cut a design into the plastic using a craft knife. This will be the final design of the card, so make it Christmassy.

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The LED is very simple to make, simply buy an LED bulb, which you can pick up here and then attach it to the positive and negative of a lithium cell: the flat kind of battery you see in watches.

Then attach the bulb to the edge of the plastic and it will shine through, illuminating the design. Attach this to the card and you're away. More comprehensive instructions can be found on the Evilmadscientist blog.

With 3D printing all the rage at the moment, why not top off 2012 with a custom-printed Christmas card unlike any other? Naturally, they will turn out a touch thicker than normal Christmas cards, but the weight gain should be worth it.

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First you will need to come up with a design for your card. Then, once you have it drawn in 2D, use this web app from Shapeways to convert it into 3D. Wait a while and your 3D model will be printed and sent out. Make sure you include the text in your design, otherwise it won’t be easy to print on later.

Thanks to Flickr user Kieran Mc for the picture.