Things to Know

Invitations, Announcements

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Holiday Card Etiquette & FAQs

What’s the proper way to pluralize my family name?

little boy with green sweater smiling on holiday card

Most of the time, just add an “s” to your last name—no apostrophe required. So Smith would become The Smiths. Add an “es” if your name ends in s, x, z, ch or sh—so Williams becomes The Williamses. Don’t like how that “es” looks on the end of your name? You can always say “The Williams Family” instead.

When would I use an apostrophe in my name

brown paper holiday party invitation with cookies and cocoa

Apostrophes should only be used to make your name possessive, like when you’re throwing a holiday party at your family home. For example:

  • Cookie swap at the Smiths’ house!
  • Christmas party at the Williamses’ home!

Notice your family name is plural, because your house belongs to all of your family members.

How should I list out my family members’ names?

black photo merry Christmas card with gold foil

Anything goes, as long as you keep it consistent. Here are some examples for a dad, mom and three kids:

  • Jim, Jan, John 5, Joe 8, and Jane 10
  • Jim, Jan, John (5), Joe (8), and Jane (10)
  • Jim • Jan • John (age 5) • Joe (age 8) • Jane (age 10)

Is it New Years or New Year’s?

black happy new year card with pink and yellow writing and polka dots

When it comes to greetings, there are a lot of inconsistencies out there. Here are the proper greetings:

  • Season’s greetings
  • Happy Holidays
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Happy New Year

What are some general photo guidelines?

two little boys having a snowball fight happy holidays photo card

If you don’t get professional pictures taken, make sure the photo you’re going to use is high resolution. (Photos from your phone are typically not high resolution.) This is especially important for a photo that takes up your entire card. If your heart’s set on a photo that isn’t high resolution, make it smaller on the card.

How do I choose the right design for my photo?

The easiest way to find the right card design for your photo is to use our “My Photo” tool. With one click, it’ll place your photo in every design, so you can easily browse and find the perfect one for your shot.

What if my photo clashes with the design I want?

three little girls sisters with blonde hair on rainbow happy holidays cardf

Hey, we’re human and mistakes happen! Simply choose our Designer Review Service to have your order proofed for typos, grammar and photo edits. We can even help customize your layout, so you can make your card uniquely yours.

Who to Send to?

Holiday cards are a great way to reach out to all of your friends and family, especially those you may have lost touch with throughout the year. Typically, cards are sent to friends, neighbors, close business associates and family. For recently married couples, a great way to develop your holiday card list is to start with your wedding guest list and add new friends or acquaintances to it.

When To Send?

Gather updated addresses and order custom photo or greeting cards by early November. Mail your greeting cards any time after Thanksgiving. Most recipients appreciate early cards, and by mailing cards early you can be sure that your good tidings will stand out. In general, plan to send all cards so they arrive at their destination before Christmas Day, but rest assured that January 1 is considered the official final day of the holiday card season.

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