The holidays are a joyful time filled with many diverse traditions. Oftentimes, these traditions come with unspoken rules of etiquette that you don’t want to accidentally overlook.
Holiday greetings are one of those traditions with some nuanced dos and don’ts. To make sure your holiday greeting cards are warmly received, brush up on a few key tips!
Here are 5 rules to follow when sending out greeting cards during the holidays:
Write Greetings By Hand
Long gone are the days where a handwritten greeting card was the standard.
Nowadays, the norm has become an electronic greeting of some sort, or worse, a text message.
Skip the mass emailed greetings this year and send out a holiday greeting that the recipient will cherish.
When you send a physical, handwritten holiday card you’re letting the recipients know that you thought about them individually and you care enough to take the time to write to them.
Signing Your Cards
As well as writing a little note of warm regards, be sure to sign all of your cards with your name even if it is printed elsewhere on the card.
If you’re sending out these greetings as a family, be sure to include everyone in the household in your signature.
There are a few rules to doing this:
- If you have older children, once they are married, graduated from college, or living on their own it’s time to stop including them as they should be sending out their own cards.
- When listing the family the father’s name should appear first followed by the mother’s name and then listed from oldest to youngest the children’s names.
- Include your last name unless you’re certain the recipients know it.
For blended families:
- List the parents and step-parents name’s first on one line followed by the children and step-children’s names on a second line underneath.
- If there is a difference in last names there are a few ways you can tackle this:
- If all of the children have the same last name, but it is different than the sender’s last name, you can list the children from oldest to youngest and follow it up with their last name.
- If some of the children have the sender’s last name while other’s have a different last name, you can choose to list out all of their names or simply omit the last name altogether. Omission is typically best.
Be Conscious of Traditions
The last thing anyone wants to do is accidentally send a “Merry Christmas!” greeting to someone who celebrates Hanukkah or something else.
In order to avoid such an awkward mishap, be aware of what traditions your intended recipient observes.
Though the etiquette of whether or not one should say a simple “happy holidays” or be specific to their own observances is a highly debated topic every year, cultural sensitivity is probably your best bet.
If you’re sending someone a holiday greeting then chances are they’re someone you have at least a moderately personal connection with, so keep that in mind when choosing the right phrase.
In the case that you don’t know for sure what your recipient celebrates, or you would rather skip the headache of the Merry Christmas debate altogether, sending out a generic seasons greeting is just fine.
Don’t let this be a stressful time. No matter what you decide, a well-meaning holiday greeting is sure to be appreciated!
Choose Quality Cards
You don’t want to send out flimsy, poorly made cards that will wrinkle or get damaged on their trip to your recipient.
Take the time to pick our good quality cards that clearly communicate the message you intend to send.
If you’re going to put a picture on the front or have your cards customized in any way, make sure this is done professionally and the printing is crisp and clear.
Make It Personal
Whenever you’re sending out holiday greetings or thank-you cards, be sure to include a little tidbit of personal wishes in each card.
This isn’t to say that you have to write a small novel inside every greeting you send, but taking a moment to pour a little love and your best wishes into a holiday greeting can mean more than you know to someone.
Especially for the older folks in your life, getting a personalized message within a holiday greeting can mean the world. For these people in particular, since they probably aren’t on social media, going the extra mile and putting in some pictures or even a short year re-cap letter can bring so much joy.
Speaking of re-cap letters:
Though it is going out of style to include a letter to summarize the year for you and your family, it’s not unheard of to still do so.
This is more of a matter of personal choice, but if you aren’t on social media or you feel your recipients would enjoy and benefit from a quick synopsis of the last year of your life then by all means share!
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when doing so.
The first of these things is to keep it brief. Don’t write a four-page essay including every little detail of the last 365 days. A few hundred words highlighting the most important things will suffice.
The second is to keep it informative, but not boastful. If you had the most spectacular year filled with nothing but good things, that’s awesome! But, you should probably choose two or three of the biggest moments and share those.
Remember, the holidays are a time to spread cheer and send your love, so keep it humble.
Avoid the Last-Minute Rush
After going through all of the trouble of picking out the right cards, filling them out by hand, and getting them all labeled and ready to ship out you want to make sure they actually arrive on time.
Though you’ll see different exact dates floating around etiquette guides, your best bet seems to be making sure that all of your holiday greetings get sent out by the end of the first week of December.
By avoiding the last-minute rush you’ll show your recipients that this was an act filled with intention and not just a last-minute thing.
Send Your Warmest Holiday Greetings
Share your love and warmest wishes with the people in your life by sending them a thoughtful card.
By using these tips, your holiday greetings are sure to be a hit.
Comment below and let us know what holiday traditions are your favorite!