Manners & Etiquette

Christmas Card Etiquette

The rules of Christmas card etiquette: What to say? What to write? How to send business christmas cards?

christmas card etiquette, e mail christmas cards

I love hunting for these good old fashioned Christmas cards.

A General Guideline to Christmas Card Writing Etiquette

Be as personal as possible. Use traditional stamps and handwrite as much as you can, (unless of course, you have terrible handwriting.)

Include a message in the card which is the right length, inquiring about their wellness first before sharing a bit of yourself and family.

Think twice about the message of the card. Be sensitive to their religion or if they are going through a period of mourning. Choose appropriate cards.

Sign off with your name, with a signature, without the Mr and Mrs.

P.s. You needn’t send a Christmas card to everybody in your Facebook list. There is no such etiquette for Christmas cards that say you do. Though if you are in business, it is a nice gesture.

Sending Christmas Card Etiquette

Be Sensitive


If you are sending a christmas card to someone in mourning, have a good look at the Christmas card you have chosen.

Is it too loud? Is it too insensitive?

Maybe because your friend is going through a tragic circumstance in the family. So send a peaceful card (like the picture on the right) and not splattered with
large glittery loud greetings.

Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings?

Also, if you have a friend from another religion strongly opposing Christmas, you can send a neutral Christmas card.

These are the ones who prefer “Happy holidays!” or “Seasons greetings!” because they don’t celebrate Christmas.

You can send a neutral Christmas card like this one below.

christmas card

I love all these old christmas cards which I used to get 15 years ago.

There are some etiquette books saying which state that
that one should not send christmas cards to those who do not celebrate Christmas, usually because religion and culture.

However, I honestly think it is okay to as long as it is kept as a measure of thoughtfulness and not peppered with some ulterior motive.

Likewise, if I get a festive card from another traditional holiday, say a Hari Raya card, I would not get offended but feel touched by the thoughtful gesture.

My point is, even if you do not celebrate Christmas or any other festive holiday and receive such a card, smile and be thankful that your friend was nice enough to make the effort and think of you.

Christmas Card Etiquette on Email?

Do not spam. Do not send christmas cards loaded with advertisements. Especially do not send Christmas ecards to your boss, client or anyone you do business with!

Remember to always include a personal message. Do not just write “To” and “From”.

Christmas Card Etiquette For Businesses

For Businesses Sending Christmas Cards

Every year, I get christmas cards from all my business partners and clients.

It is always a nice gesture.

I also know that it is used as a marketing tool to help me remember them. It is a subtle form of advertising.

As for Business Christmas card etiquette, there are only a few things to remember.

When sending out Christmas cards to clients, remember to only

send it at the business address AND

in the name of the company

However, if you and your client have established a more social and personal relationship, you may send your Christmas card (from the company) to his house, making sure that you address her and her husband, or him and his wife.

All personal Christmas cards should be addressed by hand, no matter how large the number of cards you are sending. On the address, inside the card, and especially on its signature. Of course, if it is too large, you might want to print out labels with handwriting fonts.

It is also better to use traditional postage stamps to make it too more personal.

News and Updates in Christmas Card Etiquette

If You Need To Include Other News and Updates

People move away from each other due to work or family and christmas cards are used as a way to communicate and update each other.

These Christmas cards carry news of births, deaths (of pets only), updates at school etc etc.

Sometimes they are long because communication is only once a year. However, with our increasingly connected society, there is no excuse! Though receiving a letter of updates of 4-5 pages long is still very nice and must be commended.

Again etiquette books advise us not to enclose these long newsletters because nobody is interested
to hear about your baby’s new tooth.

But honestly, reading a full Christmas card with updates only takes five minutes.

And people have a choice to read your note or not. If you haven’t had the chance to catch up in a year, I’m sure your family and close friends would love to hear from you anyway, even
if it is in a convenient Christmas card or Christmas ecard.

I suppose nothing should be extreme so don’t go on and on for five pages about yourself.

Christmas Card Etiquette when Signing Off

Position of Names when Signing Off

If you are sharing sending a christmas card, you should always write your name last.

When a family shares a card, the father’s names always come first, followed by the mother’s then the children in descending order.

Never use titles, such as “Dr”, “Mr” or “Mrs” since it is a non-formal correspondance.

You might also be interested in:

  • How To RSVP
  • Emily Post Manners on the Art of Conversation
  • Business Telephone Etiquette
  • Workplace Email Etiquette
    Thank you for reading ‘Christmas Card Etiquette’!
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