Web-based party invitation sites are handy for helping you notify guests via email of an upcoming bash, but let's face it, the invites themselves aren't always particularly cool. Use Paperless Post to send swanky invitations and save-the-date notices.
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YouTube revives its video-clip-to-holiday-e-card service today. Pick any video—or record your own—and add a background and message and email it to 25 of your close friends at this YouTube page (sign-in required).
Instead of that boring e-card, check out the Emoticarolers (emoticon carolers, get it?). The faces from Yahoo Messenger (one of my favourite emoticon sets out there, hands down) sing classic holiday songs with lyrics you can customise yourself. You choose your tune—from Jingle Bells to Auld Lang Syne to Deck the Halls—choose your emoticon, and write your own lyrics.
You can spend a good chunk of time searching the web for an ecard that isn't annoying, cheesy, ad-ridden, or some combination of all three. Or you can grab a picture, choose a song, and send a super-clean, customised ecard through Postcard.fm. Simply upload an image file and MP3 to the free, no-registration-required site, add a message, and mail it out. The recipient gets a link to your e-postcard page, with no ads in sight (at least for now). This means you can be as cute, clever, snarky, or affectionate as you want, rather than letting some oddly-shaped critters express your wishes.
What, you gave up on ever finding an e-card web site that isn't totally cheesy and/or riddled with Flash ads and annoying jingles? Cheeky e-card site SomeEcards may change your mind. There you'll find gems that read things like "Carpe diem before the glaciers drown us" and my two Easter favourites, "Please join us for Easter dinner unless you've already committed to Satan" and "Adorable candy will help distract us from the astounding horror of a man being nailed to a cross." Not all of them are this good, but the few that are make it worth the visit. someecards.com
Create greeting cards in a flash using Flickr photos with webapp Phreetings (which quite appropriately stands for photo + greetings). Simply enter in a search phrase and watch as hundreds of images come up. Drag the image of your choosing into a separate pane. Enter a greeting phrase and choose a colour scheme. Phreetings will generate a random URL that you can then send off to your friends. The process takes all of 30 seconds and it addictive to use with the number of thumbnails that come up for your choosing. Phreetings (Photo + Greetings)