Holiday card etiquette – how to address the envelope, how to write a holiday letter, and more!

Cardstore Holiday Etiquette: Top of the Mantel Holiday Card Etiquette, from the Inside Out! | Cardstore Blog

Questions about the ins and outs of holiday card etiquette? Here’s expert Mindy Lockard, of The Gracious Girl, with a few tips to think about as you get ready to send your holiday greetings.

It’s such a treat to be back here at Cardstore and share some holiday card etiquette that I keep up my gracious sleeve. The holiday card tradition is one of my most favorites of the season. While social media keeps me connected to my friends and family, I absolutely love receiving a beautiful photo card or letter in the mail. Here are a few of my tips for putting the right touches on your holiday cards, both inside and out!

1. Inside of the Card

When it comes to holiday cards, the inside matters most — the message and the family name. While the message is individual to each person or family, the signing of your name or family name follows these gracious guidelines: In etiquette, a woman always precedes a man, whether walking into a room or printing a name on a card. So, when printing the family names inside a holiday card, remember: ladies first, and then children. Here are some examples:

Family
The Lockard Family
Mindy, Ty, Elle, and Maggie

Mindy and Ty Lockard
Elle and Maggie

Couples
Mindy and Ty Lockard

2. Holiday Letters

A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes we want to share a bit more. When composing a letter, be mindful of how much you share. While it’s never our intention, oversharing both in content or length can be perceived as arrogance. So, keep it short and sweet. One idea is to put your highlights in a photo card, like this:

Cardstore Holiday Etiquette: Top of the Mantel Holiday Card Etiquette, from the Inside Out! | Cardstore Blog

This way, you get the best of both worlds. You’re able to share highlights from the year with a card that can also be displayed on the #topofthemantel. I often struggle to know how to display holiday letters, but this card answers that question.

3. Envelope

While I choose to handwrite the address of my envelopes, and include a short message on the inside, it’s really up to personal preference whether you handwrite or print the address. The rule of etiquette, though, says the printing on the envelope should match the card. If there’s handwriting on the inside, then the envelope should be handwritten. If it’s printed, then the envelope should be printed. Here are some examples:

Married Couple
Formal: Mr. and Mrs. Ty Lockard
Casual: Mindy and Ty Lockard

Cardstore Holiday Etiquette: Top of the Mantel Holiday Card Etiquette, from the Inside Out! | Cardstore Blog

Family (with children’s names)
Formal:
Mr. and Mrs. Ty Lockard
Isabelle and Maggie

Casual:
Mindy and Ty Lockard
Isabelle and Maggie

Family (without children’s names)
Formal: The Ty Lockard Family
Casual: The Lockard Family

Unmarried Couple
Ms. Mindy Knight
Mr. Ty Lockard

Cardstore Holiday Etiquette: Top of the Mantel Holiday Card Etiquette, from the Inside Out! | Cardstore Blog

4. Christmas List: Who to send to?

When it comes to etiquette, I always believe you cast your net wide in sending greetings to friends, family and colleagues. I even give one to our Starbucks morning staff with a little extra tip for all they do for me throughout the year.

Before you order, go through your list and update, prune if necessary (perhaps that coach of your daughter’s soccer team, 5 seasons and three sports ago can be taken off), and add new 2013 friends. Always plan to have an extra 10–15 cards so that when a card arrives from friends not on your original list, you can reciprocate. And make sure to update your list along the way.

There you have it, friends! Here’s to enjoying the holiday card process and always putting our most gracious foot (or should I say card) forward!

About Mindy Lockard

2 Responses to “Holiday card etiquette – how to address the envelope, how to write a holiday letter, and more!”

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  1. Annette says:

    On the inside if the card, what is the proper way to address the inside of a Christmas card? Is it: Dear Jane and Mike? Or do the the recipients need to even be addressed

    • Mike Gali says:

      Hi, Annette,

      Great question! I would say that since greeting cards aren’t a formal piece of communication, there isn’t really a “proper” way to address someone on the inside. My advice is to do whatever’s most comfortable for you—even depending on the recipient you’re sending to.

      If you’d like to write a longer, more letter-style message, feel free to address your recipients with “Dear Jane and Mike” (just make sure to put the lady’s name first). If your card is going to someone you aren’t close to, I think you’re fine with a nice message, followed by your signature.

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