Christmas Card-Sending Tips
The holiday season is upon us, and many Americans are dreaming of a "write" Christmas - writing holiday greetings to family and friends, that is.
Hallmark estimates that Americans will write (and send!) around 1.6 billion holiday cards this year. It's a tradition most of us continue to value: in fact, a 2011 Hallmark research study found that, when measured against other traditional forms of holiday well-wishing, greeting cards are more popular than phone calls, emails and ecards by a ratio of about 3:1.
Of course, with today's busy schedules, even cherished traditions need to be as easy as possible. Here are some tips from the experts at Hallmark to help you make your card-sending easier and more meaningful:
For family and friends:
- Personalize your cards with a little note, and always sign the card - even if your name is printed.
- Keep your signature informal - no courtesy titles, and to close friends and relatives, no last names either.
- If a card is from more than one person, the person who signs it should write his or her name last as a gesture of courtesy.
- When sending a card to a couple with two different last names, address the card to "Mary Smith and John Jones." If there are children, write "Mary Smith, John Jones and Family."
- When addressing cards to family and social friends, include the children's names.
For business/work relationships:
- When sending a card to someone of a different tradition or ethnic background, choose a card with a secular design and sentiment, such as "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings," or those with general good wishes or wishes for peace. As an alternative, send a Thanksgiving or New Year's card instead. Hallmark offers many options for these holidays as well.
- Take special care following a death in a family. Cards are available with messages of sympathy at Christmastime. If the card is to a widow, address her as "Mrs. John Jones."
How to properly place a card in the envelope:
- Insert the folded side into the envelope with the design face up toward the flap.
- Save yourself holiday hassles by mailing early - any time after Thanksgiving and before New Year's Day is appropriate.
- Mail cards first class so they will be forwarded or returned to you if the address cannot be located.
- Include your return address to comply with the U.S. Postal Service's request and to help your friends keep their mailing lists up to date.