In an age where digital greetings are at our fingertips, the timeless tradition of sending holiday cards continues to be a cherished ritual. These tiny but mighty tokens of affection encapsulate the warmth and care we feel for others in a way that instant messages can’t quite match. However, as with all long-standing traditions, whether you’re a seasoned sender or a novice to the practice, understanding the dos and don’ts of holiday card etiquette is essential. Let’s delve into the art of sending holiday cheer through the perfect card.
To whom to Send Holiday Cards:
- Family and Close Friends: Start with your inner circle. These are the people who should be at the top of your list.
- Extended Family and Acquaintances: Think about relatives you may not see often and acquaintances you want to maintain contact with.
- Neighbors and Community Members: Strengthen local ties by including neighbors, local business owners, and community members you interact with regularly.
- Professional Relationships: Sending a card to your boss, close colleagues, and business partners can be a nice touch, showing appreciation for your working relationship.
- Service Providers: Don’t forget people who assist you throughout the year, such as your babysitter, mail carrier, or hairstylist.
When to Send Holiday Cards:
Timing is an essential element of holiday card etiquette. Aim to send your cards out in early December to ensure they arrive before the holiday rush, or the first two weeks of December. If you’re sending cards internationally or to military addresses, give them a head start by sending them in late November.
Crafting the Perfect Message:
- Keep It Personal: Personalize your message to reflect your relationship with the recipient. A few heartfelt sentences can mean more than a generic greeting.
- Be Inclusive: Use inclusive language that respects diverse holiday traditions— “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” are safe bets.
- Reflect on the Year: Share a brief update or reflection from your year, but keep it upbeat. The holiday season is about spreading joy.
- Express Gratitude: Use this opportunity to express your thanks for the recipient’s presence in your life.
- Sign Off with Warmth: Close your message with a warm sign-off, such as “Warmest wishes,” “With love,” or “Looking forward to seeing you in the New Year.” Sign off your card with a handwritten signature instead of a printed name for extra personalization.
Holiday cards are more than mere paper and ink; they are expressions of thoughtfulness and connection. By adhering to the proper etiquette, you ensure that your season’s greetings enhance the joy of the holiday season for each person on your list. So, as you prepare to spread holiday cheer, remember that a little etiquette goes a long way in making spirits bright.