Shop
Ideas and Inspiration for Every Occasion | Shutterfly

How to Address Christmas Cards Properly

When it comes to sending out Christmas cards, the last step to sending the perfect greeting is addressing your cards with the proper Christmas card etiquette. Whether you’re sending photo Christmas cards to your co-workers or sending a family card to a loved one, there are easy rules and tips that you can follow to make sure your Christmas wishes make it to their destination.

Step by Step: How to Address Christmas Cards

Addressing Christmas cards is an important step in Christmas card etiquette. How you address a recipient can determine how receptive that person is to your greeting. Follow these steps and rules when addressing your Christmas cards to avoid any unwanted reactions.

  1. Use titles for associates and acquaintances. If you’re sending Christmas cards to a person that you’re not close with, use formal titles when addressing their envelope, such as “Mr. John Doe” or “Ms. Jane Doe”.
  2. Titles for a single person: If you’re addressing a card to a single woman, use the title “Miss”. If you’re unsure of the recipient’s marital status, use the titles “Ms. Jane Doe” or “Mr. John Doe”.
  3. Titles for a married couple: Address a married couple traditionally as “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe” or try “Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe” for a modern take.
  4. Titles for an unmarried couple that lives together: Address an unmarried couple that lives together by joining their names with “and”, such as “Mr. John Smith and Ms. Jane Doe”.
  5. Titles for a family: Use the family’s last name to address your card if the card is intended for the entire family, i.e. write “The Smith Family”.
  6. Use professional titles. Always use professional titles when addressing your card to doctors, members of the clergy, or elected officials.
  7. Use informal titles for close friends and loved ones. If you’re sending a Christmas card to a person that you’re very close with, you can skip the title and just use “John Doe” or “Jane Doe” when addressing your card.
  8. Use a company’s office address when sending business Christmas cards. If you’re sending Christmas cards to a company or a colleague, always send the card to their primary office address.
  9. Don’t use abbreviations. Avoid using abbreviations for street names. For instance, spell out “Ln.” as “Lane” or “St.” as “Street”.

Creative Ways to Address Your Christmas Card Envelope

After you’ve figured out the logistics for how to address your Christmas cards, you can begin designing your envelopes. This is a fun and inspirational process that can get crafty. You can even set aside time with a friend or family members to decorate your envelopes together and get creative.

Find pens you like: Take time to purchase pens with strong ink to get you through the mailing process! If you plan on using calligraphy or hand lettering to write your recipients’ addresses, use a fountain pen with an ink cartridge and flex nib. Other popular pens include felt pens, brush pens, and dip pens.

Choose a festive envelope color: Spice up your Christmas cards by using colored envelopes to make your card stand out! Popular envelope colors for the holiday season include antique gold, white, red, and green.

Experiment with Calligraphy: Calligraphy has been around for years and is commonly used for special occasions. The holidays are the perfect time to try your hand at calligraphy. Use a felt pen to practice in advance and then upgrade to a fountain pen to begin addressing your envelopes! Stick to black ink or white ink to balance out a festive colored envelope. You can experiment with calligraphy across a variety of your Christmas decoration ideas to practice.

Return address labels: Save yourself some time by using custom address labels that match your holiday card when considering your return address. Holiday address labels add character and charm to your card, while giving a hint to the recipient that a special holiday card is to follow.

Custom postage: If you want to embellish your card even further, use custom postage stamps that match your address labels and Christmas cards. You can customize postage with a photo of your family that didn’t make the final cut for your Christmas card to get the most use out of your christmas photos.

Sending Christmas cards can be a fun activity if you use the steps from above to simplify your process. Always take the time to properly address your recipients, while remembering to give your cards a custom feel that represents your holiday cheer with holiday card wishes and messages , christmas card sayings or even a special christmas card message in your signature.  Early preparation and a bit of love can go a long way when you’re addressing your cards. For more christmas inspiration check out how to display your christmas cards and when to send holiday cards.