A great way to upscale a holiday card is to add a true photograph to the cover of the card. This is revisiting an old idea used prior to digital and desktop publishing. Back in the day one could make their own photo card from just about any store bought card by making several copies of the same photograph and attaching them to the card.
Typically having a wallet size photo of your family portrait is all that is needed.
There are several ways to make the base card. You can make your own card using your color printer, as I have done here, or you can buy a store bought card and add a wallet size photo to it.
Typically I design my own cards using special software (which I sell the cards as part of my portrait photography business) and have them made at my professional lab. Especially when I need a lot of cards, as making several myself takes quite a bit of time! The photo will be printed on the card rather than having an attached photo.
When I want to give a more personal touch to them, I will make a few cards with true photos attached and send them.