Christmas Card Etiquette

Are you confused about Christmas Card etiquette? I sure was!

I never used to be very big on Christmas cards when I was younger until I moved away from my family and friends. Now that I know more people around the country it means a lot more. Also, now that I have children, it's really enjoyable to send out a Christmas card with a photo of the kids on it. I love receiving cards now too. It's just nice to know that people are thinking about you even if it's only once a year.

Christmas Card etiquette is something that always concerned me once I started to send them regularly. Here are some tips for sending holiday cards to friends and family without offending anyone and making sure the recipient feels special.

Keep your list small

You don't have to send a card to every single person you know, but Christmas card etiquette says you should send a card to everyone who sends you one. Keep the list to your closest family and friends or people who have been on your list for a long time that you wish to keep in touch with and let them know you're still thinking about them.

Keep your list updated

I have started to keep my Christmas card list on my computer instead of needing to recreate it every year. I keep the name and address of each recipient on the list, and I update it when I'm aware of a new address. Also, if I choose to add someone, I can just add it to this list. This is also a great way to calculate just how many cards you're going to need to purchase as well.

Keep the card simple

If you have recipients who do not celebrate Christmas, or if you're not sure, etiquette says you're better off to go with a more general type card that isn't religious. There are plenty of beautiful cards with such sayings as "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" etc.

Signing the Card

Make sure you hand write the recipient's names in the card. You should also write a simple line as well to personalize your card to the recipient. Even if you use a pre-printed card, you should still sign it below the printed version in your handwriting. When signing the card, use the father's name, then the mother's name, and then the children (Bob, Sue, Ken and Mary OR Bob, Sue and Family).

Addressing Envelopes

On the envelope, write the recipients name and address clearly (no labels), and be sure to use your return address (labels are acceptable here). If sending a card to two people with different last names, address the envelope to both of them (Bob Jones and Sue Smith OR to Bob Jones and Sue Smith and Family). You should include the children's names inside family cards.

Mail Cards Early

It's always nice if the recipients get your greeting card before Christmas. You can start mailing them out any time after Thanksgiving.


You should only send a family newsletter to your very closest friends and family. And even then, you should keep it simple and upbeat.

E-mal Greetings

E-mail greeting cards do not replace actual greeting cards.

Enjoy sending out your Christmas cards this year!

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