Season's greetings for everyone on your Christmas list

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Searching for holiday sentiments? When you find yourself staring at a blank card, pen in hand, and at a loss for words, don’t panic. We’re here to help you decide what to write in your Christmas cards this year, no matter who you’re sending them to.

What to Write in a Christmas Card

When writing, a general rule of thumb is to keep your message appropriate to the recipient and to the occasion. Christmas card inscriptions should be both 1. short and sweet, and 2. warm and seasonal. (Of course, if you’re writing your Aunt Joan and she requires paragraphs of life updates, then write accordingly.) Strike a balance between succinct and festive, and you’ll have appropriate Christmas card sentiments for everyone on your list.

Begin and end each inscription with a seasonal greeting (such as “Merry Christmas”). Follow it with a personal message appropriate to your relationship with the recipient, and close with a final festive address, plus your signature. Most of the sentiments collected below, of which there are many, work for general seasonal greetings too. You could also add “Happy Holidays,” “Season’s Greetings,” or “Happy Hanukkah,” to the message, depending on the holiday you’re celebrating and who you’re corresponding with. Happy writing!

What to Write in a Christmas Card for a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

This card should be appropriately festive and affectionate. It’s ideal to keep the message short and sweet (see above).

“All I Want for Christmas Is You”
This Christmas, you’re the best gift I could ever receive.
I hope this Christmas brings you happiness and joy.
Christmas is all about love, and I’m lucky to spend it with you.
You make my heart sing.
You light up my life all year long.
Merry Christmas to the one I love
My favorite part of Christmas is spending it with you.
You’re brighter than all the Christmas lights.
I asked Santa for you, and wow, did he deliver.

What to Write in a Christmas Card for Family

Writing warm greetings for family members near and far makes for a Christmas card to display, keep, and treasure for years to come.

Family is the best Christmas gift of all.
Family is a reason to be thankful this season.
Wishing good health and happiness for you this holiday season
Dashing through the snow to wish you a Merry Christmas
Thank you for all the Christmas memories.
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
Sending my love to you this Christmas and all year long
“I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.” —Charles Dickens

What to Write in a Christmas Card to a Friend

When writing to a friend, feel free to inscribe your card with warm wishes and personal sentiments, even jokes that are appropriate to the occasion. This card should reflect the friendship you share with the recipient.

The holidays are the perfect time you tell you how much I treasure our friendship.
You’re a gift all year long.
Thank you for the gift of your friendship.
I hope Santa brings everything you want this year. You deserve it!
You narrowly avoided the naughty list this year, friend. That calls for celebration!
I’m sending all the magic of Christmas your way this holiday season.
You bring joy to my world, and I cherish our friendship.
I’m looking forward to rockin’ around the Christmas tree with you this year.

What to Write in a Business Christmas Card

When writing a Christmas card for a business acquaintance, a co-worker, or a client, it's important to ensure that your sentiments are elegant, professional, and sincere.

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas
Warmest wishes this holiday season
It’s a pleasure to work with you all year long, and it’s my joy to wish you a Merry Christmas.
I hope the holidays bring you peace, goodwill, and happiness this year.
The Christmas season is a good time to remind you how much I appreciate your business and continued support.
I hope your holidays are filled with joy and laughter.
Sending season’s greetings and glad tidings to you and yours
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

What to Write in a Teacher’s Christmas Card

Christmas cards for teachers should also contain messages that are more professional than they are casual, and they should be heartfelt too. It's appropriate to share how much the teacher, their attention, and their dedication means to you and your child. 

A great teacher is the best gift a child can receive.
If teachers were Christmas gifts, we’d pick you!
You’re a gift to all those whose lives you touch. 
Wishing you a joyous holiday season and the happiest of New Years
This year, I hope you and yours unwrap a wonderful holiday season.
Wishing you joy, happiness, and peace this Christmas
“What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps... means a little bit more!” ―Dr. Seuss

What to Write on a Christmas Photo Card

It’s nice to add a personal inscription to photo cards, but the greeting and signature are non-negotiables. Here are a few ideas for greetings to add to your photo card designs this year.

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”
Merry and bright
Peace on Earth
Have a holly, jolly Christmas!
“Deck the Halls”
“It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas”
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
“Christmastime Is Here Again”
Jingle all the way!
“Joy to the World”
“ ‘Twas the night before Christmas…”
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” —Clement Clarke Moore

You can also include Christmas quotes or Bible verses in addition to or in lieu of a personalized message. For more Christmas card etiquette, check out our tips for addressing holiday cards, as well as our guidelines for timing and sending cards. Also be sure to avoid these common etiquette mistakes when preparing your Christmas card correspondence this year.

WATCH: Christmas Card Etiquette Mistakes We Hope You'll Never Make

Are you a dedicated card sender during the holiday season? What will you be writing in your Christmas cards this year?