Holiday Card Etiquette

I love this time of year! It’s a time when most of us focus on generosity and our friends, family, loved ones and fellow beings. A fleeting moment in an age of the me mentality in an instant gratification society.

A longstanding holiday tradition of generosity is sending holiday cards. It’s a simple act to show someone you care enough to take time and send a long distance warm fuzzie. Time is often the greatest gift and who doesn’t love snail mail?

 Below are some tips I’ve compiled to help your holiday card sending be successful.

  • Just because you celebrate Christmas, doesn’t mean everyone else does. It is acceptable to send Christmas cards to those who celebrate. However, if someone celebrates any other religious tradition send a neutral greeting such as, Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings. If you are unsure of the recipients beliefs always send a neutral greeting.

  • Write a short note inside each card. It could be as simple as “Wishing you a Very Merry” or “Happiest New Year”.

  • Always sign your name, even if card is imprinted.

  • If you are a couple or family signing, the wife’s name should always be first, followed by the husband then children. For same sex couples, if one partner changed their last name, they would be first. If neither partner has changed name, order does not matter but children should always be last or on the second line.
    For example:
    Best,
    Amber, Tom and Scooby-doo Favorite

    also acceptable:
    Best,
    The Favorites
    Amber, Tom and Scooby-doo

    Couple with different last names:
    Best,
    Amber Tomsfavorite and Tom Favorite
    Scooby-doo

    The only exception to the rule is formal correspondence:
    Mr. and Mrs. Favorite

  • Send newsletters and photos only to close friends and family.

  • Cards to Business associates should be sent to their office unless you know them socially. If a card is sent to their home always include the spouses name on the envelope. (remember: wife’s name or partner who changed their last name should always be first).

  • Mail cards to your co-workers home, resist handing them out at the office.

  • Mail your cards early. The ideal time to receive cards is mid-December. Plus the post office is crazy busy the week leading up to Christmas.

  • Include your return address. This way the recipient will have your current address.

  • Hand write envelopes, if possible. This gives your cards a personal touch & let’s the recipients know you gave their card personal attention.

    • When addressing envelopes the wife-partner name change rule is in effect.
      Example:
      Amber and Tom Favorite
      123 Happily Ever After Lane
      The Best City Ever 12345

      also acceptable (notice plural “s” not possessive):
      The Favorites
      123 Happily Ever After Lane
      The Best City Ever 12345

      Couple with different last names:
      Amber Tomsfavorite and Tom Favorite
      123 Happily Ever After Lane
      The Best City Ever 12345

      the ONLY exception to wife first rule is formal:
      Mr. and Mrs. Favorite
      123 Happily Ever After Lane
      The Best City Ever 12345

      Now, go forth & send some warm fuzzies!

      add your thoughts?