Christmas Card Etiquette Mistakes We Hope You'll Never Make

'Tis the season for celebration—and holiday cards galore.

When sending out your holiday greetings, it's essential to remember some etiquette tips. Whether you purchase a greeting card from a stationery store, craft them by hand during a DIY project, or design an online e-card, there are a few best practices for filling out your Christmas cards. These tips will help ensure your letters get to their recipients on time, free of mistakes, and with the warmest wishes written within the card.

Christmas Card Etiquette
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Christmas Card Etiquette Rules

Avoid Late Arrivals

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

Avoid Impersonal Messages

When sending holiday cards, you should sign each one, 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.

christmas card addressing stencil
Emily VanSchmus

Leave Room for the 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.

Don't Forget a Seasonal Closing Salutation

When signing your name and your family's names on the holiday card, close the greeting with an appropriate phrase for the recipient, including "Happy Holidays," "Merry Christmas," "Warmest Regards," "Season's Greetings," "Happy New Year," "Peace and Joy," or "With Love."

Avoid Grammatical Errors

Brush up on the season's common grammatical mistakes made when signing cards. Determine the appropriate remedies to keep your greeting cards error-free and easy to read. Remember to review how to make your last name plural (no apostrophes needed) so that 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 sending your family holiday cards?

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