Season's Greetings, right this way

Caroline Rogers

‘Tis the season for celebration—and holiday cards galore. When sending out your holiday greetings, there are some things to remember. Whether you pick up your greeting cards at the stationery store, craft them by hand, or design them online, there are a few Christmas card etiquette tips you should always follow to ensure that your cards get to their recipients on time, free of mistakes, and with the warmest wishes within. 

1. Late Arrivals

December is a busy time for the U.S. Postal Service, so it's a good idea to plan your card-sending strategy well in advance. Ideally, you’ll want your cards to arrive 1-2 weeks before the holiday you’re celebrating. With this in mind, you should plan to send them 2-3 weeks in advance. For Christmas, you should aim to send your cards for arrival between December 1st and Christmas Eve. If you miss this window, you can always send celebratory New Year’s cards to friends and family instead.

2. Impersonal Messages

Every holiday card should be signed, but it’s also nice to include a short personalized message for the person or family to whom you’re sending the card. Adding a personal touch makes your holiday greeting a bit more special. An individualized note transforms your card into a keepsake to display throughout the season. 

3. All Photo, No Inscription

Holiday cards with family photos are extremely popular, and family and friends love receiving seasonal photos and seeing familiar, smiling faces with their holiday greetings. Be sure to leave room to write, though. Leave the back of the card blank, or make room for a short inscription and signature when designing and printing your greeting cards.

4. Forgetting a Seasonal Closing

When signing your name and your family’s names on the holiday card, include a closing appropriate to the recipient, such as: “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas,” “Warmest Regards,” “Season’s Greetings,” “Happy New Year,” “Peace and Joy,” or “With Love.”

5. Grammatical Errors

Brush up on the season’s common grammar mistakes and their remedies to keep your greeting cards error free and easy to read. Then read over our guide on how to make your last name plural (no apostrophes needed!) so that the process of signing your greeting cards goes as smoothly as possible.

Follow these Christmas card etiquette tips to ensure you're sending the warmest holiday greetings this season. What etiquette rules do you always follow when it’s time to send out your family’s holiday cards? We’re wishing you and yours a happy holiday season!