How to Address Christmas Cards Properly

Sending Christmas cards is one of the most important traditions for many households. When it comes to getting your photo Christmas cards into the hands of your friends and family, one question that often arises is how to address your cards, including making sure you’re using proper Christmas card etiquette. To help you with this, we’ve assembled the following easy rules and tips to make sure your festive Christmas wishes make it to their destinations. Get started with our guide below.

Step by Step: How to Address Christmas Cards

Whether you’re sending season’s greeting cards, Christmas photo cards or even company Christmas cards, addressing your holiday 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. A modern Christmas card with festive gold polka dots and family photoUse 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 member to decorate your envelopes together and get creative.

A photo Christmas card with the words Merry Christmas and some decorative, snowy accentsFind 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. Try to match the envelope for the card.

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.

Return address labels: Save yourself some time by using Christmas 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.

Shutterfly’s Free Address Book & Address Printing

christmas card with addressed envelope

When you make holiday and Christmas cards with Shutterfly, you can save time and effort with our free address printing and online address book service. You can have both your recipient addressing and your return address printed on your envelopes so you can send holiday greetings in a breeze. To make things even simpler, use our Mail For Me service and we’ll address, stamp, and mail your holiday and Christmas cards for you. Use our free address book service to save all the addresses of your loved ones in one place. Just send us your addresses and we’ll make your digital address book for you that you can maintain yourself.

Resources Related to Addressing Christmas Cards

Sending DIY Christmas cards—whether affordable Christmas cards or luxury Christmas cards, including our foil-stamped Christmas cards, personalized foil Christmas cards, glitter Christmas cards, or tri-fold 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.