It’s the time of year for revisiting favorite seasonal traditions: egg nog, presents and, of course, law firm holiday cards. Every year, scores of firms send out holiday greetings, but every year there are some that rise above the pack with humor, creativity or great animation. In no particular order, here are InsideCounsel’s picks for some of the top cards of the 2012 holiday season.

Wolf Greenfield

Wolf Greenfield is no stranger to creative holiday cards: In the past, the firm’s marketing gurus have come up with such classics as a mock holiday gift catalogue, a special advent calendar and a seed-studded card that, if planted, actually sprouted. This year, the Boston-based IP firm has done it again, coming up with a beautifully illustrated crossword puzzle card, perfect for keeping yourself occupied on those long holiday travel days.

Stinson Morrison Hecker

Sure, the holiday season is joyful; but it can also be stressful, filled with crowded malls, flight delays and last-minute deadlines. Stinson Morrison Hecker’s card acknowledges these realities and provides a tidy solution: elves who do more than just make toys.

Fenwick & West

The animation is what really sets this card apart, as it provides a never-before-seen look at some of our favorite holidays. Starting with visuals of the cosmos, the card eventually examines the holidays from a more up-close-and-personal level. In doing so, it probably becomes the only law firm holiday card to feature a look at the inside of an attorney’s heart.

Manatt Phelps & Phillips

Like Stinson, Manatt’s card references the darker side of the holidays, namely awkward office parties filled with stilted chit-chat, bad karaoke and the ever-dangerous spiked egg nog. The firm took its card to the next level with clever animation and an updated version of that holiday classic, “Carol of the Bells.”

Crowell & Moring

This holiday card isn’t just festive—it’s practical. Crowell has given everyone who’s feeling “bah humbug” about the season 12 easy suggestions for getting into the holiday spirit, including a recipe for homemade egg nog with enough rum to put even Scrooge in a good mood.