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How to Creatively Address Your Christmas Cards

christmas card free back of card personalized messages with photos in red, white and turquoise

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of jingling bells and smell those roasting chestnuts. The holiday season is just around the corner, and that means it's almost time to get your Christmas cards printed, prepped and ready to send out to friends and family.

When it comes to choosing Christmas cards, your options can seem delightfully endless. But what about the delivery device itself? Sure, there's the red or green envelope, but that can get tiresome and lost amidst the pile of identical envelopes people amass around this time of year. And frankly, the thought of sitting at the kitchen table and filling out envelopes is about as much fun for most people as sitting in holiday mall traffic.

It may seem like a chore, but addressing Christmas cards has the potential to be just as enjoyable and satisfying as shopping for your card design. Don't dread scribbling out addresses and licking envelopes anymore—make it part of the fun! From easy to extraordinary, there are many ways to mess with the monotony and make your Christmas card stand out from the crowd this season.

How to Address to Your Christmas cards

When you're filling out the envelopes, it's not always as simple as jotting down a name and address. Your addressing approach should be based on the recipient of the card, and there are several different rules to follow, depending on who and how many recipients per card:

  • Single Person: Addressing a card to one person is the easiest, most straightforward approach. If it's a close friend, then no official title is needed. If it's your boss, or perhaps a coworker, a "Mr." or "Mrs." is a good idea. Remember, if you're unsure about the marital status of your female recipient, "Ms." is always the proper way to title.
  • picture on envelope addressing design on envelope with kid holding Christmas tree and red postage stamp
  • Unmarried Couple Living Together: If you're sending a card to a couple living together, but not yet married, then separating the names with an "and" is the way to go. Again, keep in mind the formality of your address:
  • Mr. Jim Thomas and Ms. Jane Doe
    Jim Thomas and Jane Doe

  • Married Couple: Traditionally, the way to address envelopes to married couples is to take the man's name and add the titles. If you want to modernize it, try "Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Jane Thomas," but this is dependent on how much space you have to work with.
    Mr. and Mrs. Jim Thomas
    Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Jane Thomas

  • rainbow fun christmas photo card with three girls laughing and tan envelopes with rainbow stripes envelope liner and turquoise label with red stamp and calligraphy address
  • Families: The easiest approach here is using the family's last name. Then feel free to include all of the family members' names inside the card.
    The Thomas Family
    Inside card: Todd, Jill, Maggie & Mike

  • Other Considerations: If your recipient has a distinguished title (Dr., for example), don't forget to add it. Also, hyphenated last names sometimes pop up, so make sure you include those hyphenated names correctly on your Christmas cards.

Addressing Christmas cards doesn't have to be a mundane chore. Transform all of that repetitive scrawling, licking and sealing into something much more creative, unique and enjoyable—and it's even better if you share the experience with someone you love. It will make the process fun, and hopefully brighten the day of the person receiving your unique yuletide greeting.

1. Gather Your Addressing Goods

red, white, gold and tan envelopes with fancy felt pens in black, metallic, gold and silver

First things first: Make sure you have the supplies you need to properly address your Christmas Cards. Start with the basics.

  • Seasonally Appropriate Stamps. Your Christmas cards don't need to hit the post office drop box with Spider-Man or Einstein in the top right corner—unless they're wearing a Santa hat, of course. Go with a winter scene, an elf, a Christmas tree or anything the post office has to offer for the holidays. Even better, consider having your own custom postage stamps made ahead of time.
  • High-Quality Pens. You don't want to be dealing with poor quality ink when addressing your envelopes. Ditch the freebies you got at the bank and invest a few bucks in a few pens that ensure smooth, thick strokes of ink in a few different colors—black, red and even metallic shades work well.
    Bonus: the effortless movement of a good pen will help ease the inevitable cramp in your hand from addressing so many envelopes.
  • Return Address Stamps or Labels. When you're addressing this many envelopes, you probably don't want to hand-write your address over and over. Instead, consider using a customized stamp or sticker address labels either on the front left corner or the back flap of your envelope—we prefer the back for a clean first impression.
    • With embossed stamps, you can dress up the font considerably. Add a little flair to your name and address by dressing it up with your silver or gold paint pen.
    • Sticker labels open up many avenues as far as decoration. However, make sure to stay close to the same theme and color palette as your stamps.
    • For ink stamps, use an ink color that complements your envelope color and the other ink you're using.

2. Adorn Your Envelopes

Red and green envelopes are undeniably festive, but it only takes a bit of effort to make your envelope truly stand out from the rest of the stack. Take that red envelope and add some white diagonal stripes across the front using Washi tape. Or if you have white envelopes, add red stripes. Instant candy cane envelope!

White envelopes give you the most freedom to be creative. Draw a Christmas light border, go crazy with a snowflake stamp, or sketch a Christmas tree on the front. These are just a few ideas, but if creativity flows through you like the toys through Santa's workshop, the sky's the limit when it comes to decorating your envelopes.

Another quick and easy detail to add to your envelopes is a holiday-themed liner. Whether you purchase the liners or make them yourself using cardstock or wrapping paper, this little detail adds a welcome surprise when recipients open their cards. From subtle color-coordinated stripes to more elaborate holiday scenes, there are many options to choose from.

3. Address for Success

calligraphy addressing envelopes with white, black and pink pen and gold, red, tan and white envelopes

Now for the addresses themselves: the most important part of this project. Obviously, they have to be legible, otherwise it will be your mailbox filling up with Christmas cards—your own. But the address doesn't necessarily have to be written in boring font in the center of your envelope, either.

  • Experiment with Calligraphy. Learning basic calligraphy is easier than you may think. Look online for inspiration and tutorials, practice on scratch paper, and give your recipients' names and addresses some serious style. To save time, you may want to only write the names in a special font and print the addresses using your neatest, everyday handwriting.
  • Play with Lines. Try drawing a long, curved line across the middle of your envelope and writing the names and addresses above and below it. Or write your names on the left and the address on the right separated by a bold vertical line. Even adding a thick line of ink between each line of text can give your addresses a more modern, streamlined look.
  • Add Some Flourishes. So maybe you're not naturally skilled at calligraphy or design—and that's OK! Sometimes even something as simple as adding a few stars or holly leaves can give your envelopes a special touch.
  • Go Crazy with Color. Again, your writing must be legible at the post office, but consider having a little fun with the colors you choose to use. Make each line a different color, or add flourishes with a complementary shade or metallic ink.

Addressing Christmas cards doesn't have to be a mundane chore. Transform all of that repetitive scrawling, licking, and sealing into something much more creative, unique, and enjoyable—and it's even better if you share the experience with someone you love. It will make the process fun, and hopefully even brighten the day of the person receiving your unique yuletide greeting.

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