10 Christmas Trading Card Sets to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

10 Christmas Trading Card Sets to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Most people love getting Christmas cards in the mail. For collectors, there is another type of Christmas card to chase -- Christmas trading cards. For those who are strictly into sports cards, there are several options. Collectors who want to expand their horizons a little more will find many more if they venture into the entertainment and non-sport side of the hobby.

Here are ten such sets that touch on Christmas traditions, holiday classics and other parts of the season. This is not an exhaustive list, but there should be enough here to get you in the hobby holiday spirit.

1960 Fleer Yule Laff

Part trading card, part Christmas card, 1960 Fleer Yule Laff features cartoon sight gags and plenty of puns. In 1959, Topps released their Funny Valentines set, which carried a similar tone, obviously themed for a different holiday. While 1959 Topps Funny Valentines remains a hobby classic, 1960 Fleer Yule Laff failed to gain the same mainstream notoriety. Today, the 66-card set remains relatively affordable and not too hard to find.

1960 Fleer Yule Laff 260x185 Image

1993 SkyBox Nightmare Before Christmas

It took several years for Tim Burton'sThe Nightmare Before Christmas to build its popularity. Now, the movie has had several sets, but the first came out at the time of its original release. 1993 SkyBox Nightmare Before Christmas has a 90-card base set that includes story and character cards as well as some that look at the making of the film. Etched-foil Spectra cards are the only inserts. They fall two per box with the set consisting of four cards.

In 2001, NECA released a set for the film that is most notable for its autographs. Signers include Tim Burton, composer Danny Elfman and actors Chris Sarandon and Glenn Shadix.

1993 SkyBox Nightmare Before Christmas Spectra 260x181 Image

1994 TCM Santa Around the World

1994 TCM Santa Around the World is a historically based set that looks at how Santa is celebrated in different parts of the globe. The 72-card base set features different artistic interpretations. Inserts include a dozen Santa Foil cards and a 22 carat gold card. And, because it was the mid-90s, collectors can also find prepaid phone cards.

The company released a similarly themed set the following year called Santa and the Snowflakes.

1994 Santa Around the World 211x300 Image

1996 DuoCards It's a Wonderful Life

Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life is one of the most beloved holiday films of all-time. The mid-90s trading card set? Not so memorable. The 72-card base set does a good job of recapping the movie. Six Chromium inserts add a little modern flair. A redemption for a Talking Card. Because DuoCards is out of business, don't expect to redeem one if you find one.

1996 DuoCards Its a Wonderful Life Chromium Card 211x300 Image

2000 Dynamic Forces Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Although 2000 Dynamic Forces Grinch set focuses mainly on the live-action movie starring Jim Carrey, it also combines elements of the book and the classic animated special. Available in both hobby and retail versions, the base set has 99 cards. The majority have movie images on the front, although some have illustrations. Inserts are highlighted by a large list of autographs. Most of these are names you may not have heard of before. Twelve animators who worked on the cartoon signed base cards, which fell about one per hobby box. Also, actors Jeffery Tambor and Christine Baranski, and director Ron Howard, have their own autograph cards. The set also has a handful of costume cards with swatches from a Grinch Santa suit.

Given the names involved and lasting popularity of the movie, these cards could be seen as a bargain. In particular, costume cards can be found for well under $20.

2000 Dynamic Forces Grinch Santa Suit 215x300 Image

2001 Dart Flipcards Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

2001 Dart Flipcards Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a set that sort of exists. While the now-defunct company planned a full-fledged release, they ended cancelling it. They did, however, sell off sets of chase cards. Each has nine Holofoil Movie Reel cards from the CG sequel and six Holofoil cards with characters from the original classic. Sealed mini sets also have a sketch card.

2001 Dart Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Holofoil 260x182 Image

2004 Upper Deck Disney Holiday Treasures

In 2003 and 2004, Upper Deck's Disney Treasures line produced some of the best trading cards to date to feature Mickey Mouse and his friends. 2004 Upper Deck Disney Holiday Treasures is a 50-card set that includes subsets for Christmas-themed cartoons, holiday postcards and princesses dressed in holiday clothes. Ultra-rare sketch cards are the only inserts.

2004 Upper Deck Disney Holiday Treasures came packaged in five-pack blaster-style boxes. They also came with a pair of Mickey and Minnie Mouse figures.

2004 Upper Deck Disney Holiday Treasures 260x189 Image

2007 Topps Santa Claus

2007 Topps Santa Claus is a cheap box set that comes with 16 base cards. They feature St. Nick on various Topps Baseball designs between 1952 and 2007. Sets also come with an autograph and a Santa suit relic. Available for well under $20, it makes for some cheap hobby humor.

2007 Topps Santa Claus Autograph 214x300 Image 2007 Topps Santa Claus Costume 214x300 Image

2008 Inkworks A Very Supernatural Christmas

In what would become one of the final Inkworks sets, the company released a small box set based on the sci-fi show's holiday-themed season three episode. Every set comes with seven foil base cards and one of two costume cards. Sets are numbered to 2,500 copies. While not the biggest following, Supernatural fans were very supportive of the card line. As a result, these sets still move well today.

2008 Inkworks A Very Supernatural Christmas Costume Cards A Image2008 Inkworks A Very Supernatural Christmas Costume Cards Image

Benchwarmer Holiday Sets (Various Years)

For several years now, Benchwarmer has been producing holiday-themed sets. Like all of the company's sets, they're a modern equivalent to pinups. Cards feature beautiful women in skimpy clothes. For these sets, it's mostly red and green lingerie and bikinis. The chase is led by autographs, model-worn clothing and kiss cards.

2012 Benchwarmer Holiday Carmen Electra Autograph 209x300 Image

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Harry Potter HBP P6 121 330 Slughorns Christmas Party Drapes
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Harry Potter HBP P6 084 290 Table Cloth from Slughorns Christmas Party
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Pokeman Wrapping Paper Vintage 2000 Nintendo Christmas Red Paper
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Pokeman Wrapping Paper Vintage 2000 Nintendo Christmas Green Paper
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Pokeman Wrapping Paper Vintage 2000 Nintendo Christmas Blue Paper
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Santa Claus, A Nostalgic Art Journey and Milk & Cheese Trading Card Promo
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harry potter half blood prince prop card christmas drapes 16 330
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1955 Topps Rails and Sails 137 "Santa Maria". PSA 6 EXMT. (TX43643).
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IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE CHASE CARD-C-6-Mint-Gorgeous- Plus bonus cards
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Rare Topps Brady Bunch Card - #25 - Christmas Celebration
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W20 Christmas Trading Cards 8 Packs Twas The Night Velveteen Rabbit Carol
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Sexy Santa Helper X-Mas ELF Original Sketch Card Painting by Bianca Thompson
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Action Comics #105 1947 4x5" Cover Postcard 2010 DC Superman & Santa Claus
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Ryan Cracknell

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Ryan's collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection. Ryan can be found on Twitter @tradercracks and Google+.

User Comments

  1. Wait, we’re talking lasting popularity of animated Grinch right? Cuz the live action one is rubbish, to be generous.

  2. lonestarr » Personally, I would say the film is far worse than rubbish (torture,spoons and eyeballs are the three words that come to mind) but it’s also tough to deny its popularity with the masses.

  3. What about that Santa card from 1990 Pro Set football? I know this is about sets and that was a special insert, not a set.

  4. Tom » I stuck to entertainment sets this year. Did SOME sports last year: http://www.cardboardconnection.com/guide-christmas-themed-sports

    Looking back, not sure why I didn’t have the ProSet Santas listed. There was probably a reason (possibly they need a piece all to their own) but I’m a year older and forget things.

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