They come through your mail slot with alarming regularity during the waning weeks of the year: holiday cards wishing you to be happy, merry, joyous, and bright. But maybe all that tangible mail has you feeling anything but peace and love as you wonder where the heck to put all these glad tidings. While you like looking at the cards—a happy reminder of friends and family spread far and wide—the display options seem to be crowd 'em on a mantel or toss 'em in a basket.

A better option would be to try thinking outside the gift box by considering some of these creative ways to display holiday cards.

Modern eucalyptus garland

A beautiful display that also smells great

Show off your cards and scent your house with this eucalyptus garland. To get this look, you'll need a main tree branch, small branches of eucalyptus, floral wire, and small clips. Wrap a few eucalyptus branches together with the floral wire to create five or six 36-inch-long thin branches. Using floral wire, vertically attach each thin eucalyptus branch to your main horizontal branch. Then clip cards onto each miniature branch as they arrive in your mailbox.

Light 'em up

Add a pop of light to your cards.

To get this glowing display, grab about 10 of your favorite holiday cards and arrange them to form a rectangle. Then turn them face-down and tape the backs of the cards together. Using a hole punch, make holes around the perimeter, then take a strand of LED lights and poke individual lights through the border of your cards, spacing them evenly. All that's left is to hang your display and plug it in.

Show off your cards under a glass table

If you have a glass-top dining table, coffee table, or even end table, simply put your holiday cards under the surface.

"Gingerly lift the glass and arrange the holiday cards nicely," suggests designer Zakiyya Rosebelle of Sweet Little Luxuries. You can even cut out a few strips of colorful wrapping paper and use them as borders. Or use ribbon to embellish the display.

Don't have a glass-top table? No problem. Simply put your holiday cards in an unused picture frame.

"Lay the frame flat on the coffee table so it looks like a beautiful and personalized accent, tray, or décor item full of color and warmth," Rosebelle adds.

Turn cards into a screen saver

Enjoy your cards digitally.

Photographer Trish Reda takes pictures of her holiday cards every year as they come in. Then she puts them all in a digital album.

"I set this album as my screen saver on my TV and on my computer to enjoy them rolling across my screens all season," says Reda.

Create a card tree

Design a tree, a menorah, or the New Year’s Eve ball.

You can easily create various holiday shapes on your wall out of your greeting cards by using removable magnetic stickers such as GoodHangups ($19.99 for a pack of 16).

Just take the magnetic stickers and apply them to your wall in your desired shape. Then place your favorite holiday card on top of the sticker, put a small magnet on top of that and voila! When the holidays are over and it's time to take down the display, the magnetic stickers easily come off the wall without peeling up paint or damaging surfaces.

Update the contact photos on your phone

Create a yearlong memory.

You haven't seen your friend from college in years, so you look forward to the picture she includes on every holiday card. Or maybe you love the yearly snaps of your growing nephew. Whoever you look forward to seeing on personalized holiday cards, just take a snap of that photo with your phone's camera and upload it to your contacts. That way you can see the sweet portrait whenever you get a call from people on your holiday card list.

Wrap up your door

Wrap your door like a giant present!

For an economical holiday decoration, grab a roll of festive 2-inch-wide ribbon. Stretch it horizontally and vertically across a door in your main living area or even your kitchen, tying a bow in the middle. Then use clothespins to pin various holiday cards to the ribbon.

Use that decorative object languishing in your garage

Grate expectations

Many of us have some piece of fencing or lattice we picked up at a yard sale—or couldn't throw away in the first place—sitting in a forgotten corner of the garage. But during the holidays, these can serve as a perfect display for cards (even a piece of that old crib!). Hang your object on a sturdy hook in your living room. And then decorate away.