Christmas Card Etiquette
Nothing maximizes your ability to keep in touch during the holiday season like good Christmas card etiquette.
Sending out cards to far-flung family and friends lets them know that you are thinking of them, so do it right with the right holiday etiquette.
Make A List & Check It Twice
If you're a stickler for the traditions, you could easily find your holiday card list growing long enough to rival the Jolly Fat Man's list, especially if you have a large family. There's room in appropriate gift etiquette for seasonal cards for managing your list, so take advantage of it. Your greetings will mean more when they're from the heart, and not from a stress-related ulcer.
- You may remove acquaintances from your list if they have not sent you a card in two years. One year may have been an oversight or a stressful event.
- You may remove acquaintances from your list if they have changed addresses and you haven't been notified personally by them, or if your card was returned to sender the previous year.
Business or Personal?
Sending holiday cards to business associates, clients, and service providers is a good way to maintain goodwill and deepen your business relationships.
- Business holiday cards thank your patrons for their business. Send holiday cards to clients or providers addressed to the business address.
- Send holiday cards to coworkers and colleagues at their home address, and address them to the colleague's name "and family."
In both cases, your business holiday card should avoid religious overtones. A simple "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" avoids the awkwardness of mixing religion and business.
Personal cards, however, are another story. It is still not considered good gift giving etiquette to send a religious holiday card to someone who does not keep the faith or objects to the practice. Your personal relationships should give you a clue whether someone celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah, or prefers not to express their religion.
It is good holiday etiquette to keep a variety of holiday greeting cards at hand, and select the most appropriate one. Many people reserve the funny cards for those who appreciate a good seasonal joke, and send more sentimental sentiments to those who send them in kind. But if this is not practical for you, a more general card still sends your thoughts.
No matter the card style, always include a short personal thought to each recipient, and sign and address your cards by hand whenever possible.
Be An Early Bird
The holiday season seems to start earlier and earlier every year--these days, Halloween's not even over when the Christmas displays go up in stores. As cynical as this may seem, it does give you a little bit of cover when it comes to picking out holiday cards. If you're really proactive on your Christmas etiquette, you'll have this year's cards bought right around Halloween, and you can spend a leisurely November addressing them.
But it's still not quite proper Christmas card etiquette to send them out before Thanksgiving, so keep them out of the mailbox until Black Friday.
Apart from that satisfaction of ticking a holiday task off your list early, sending out your season's greetings before the last minute provides the opportunity for your recipients to reciprocate with the grace and timeliness of their own holiday etiquette.
Paper or Pixels?
No doubt about it, modern Christmas card etiquette includes the use of electronic means of transmission, and in spite of the Wild Wild West nature of the internet, electronic communications still follow appropriate gift etiquette rules.
You may exchange e-cards with others who send you an e-card--for far-flung friends in faraway lands, e-cards are more likely to be received on time, and will save on international postage and potential troubles with shipping that could find your holiday good wishes sitting in a warehouse somewhere for months or forever.
However, you should make sure that your e-cards come from a reputable source that treats the email addresses of your loved ones with respect. It's poor holiday etiquette to send out an e-card loaded with advertisements, or intrusive code that could harm your friends' computers.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Christmas card etiquette is one of those activities that nets a large return for a small effort. Follow the simple guidelines to personalize, propitiate, and post promptly, and you'll be spreading the holiday cheer!
A Selection of Christmas Cards and Card Makers
Thank you for reading Christmas Card Etiquette. Below you will find some selection of Christmas cards. In addition, there are also Christmas card makers, so you can create your own. If you do not find exactly what you are looking for, click on the store name to go directly to the store's website to search more easily.
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