holiday season is upon us, and many Americans are dreaming of a "write"
right, it's time to begin writing our annual holiday cards, a tradition most
Americans say they wouldn't do without. "Holiday greetings provide a
way for us to connect with friends and family, a goal that continues to grow in
importance," says Wendy Shotts, Hallmark product manager. "Though today's
lifestyles are busy, consumers tell us they look forward to this once-a-year chance
to share news about their families and to hear from loved ones."
study by Hallmark showed that 87 percent of consumers would eliminate
something other than greeting cards from their holiday to-do lists. In addition,
73 percent of consumers said they send greetings during the holidays because they
know how nice it is to receive greetings during the season.
will send around 1.9 billion holiday cards this year. Of course, in today's
hurried lifestyles, the annual holiday card mailing to friends and family needs
to be as easy as possible. Here are some tips from the experts at Hallmark to
help you make your card-sending merry and bright.
Holiday cards are available in most stores following Halloween. Buy your cards
early, and write a few cards each day during October and November.
Make card-sending a family activity. Let older children help with addressing,
signing and placing stamps on the cards. Younger children can decorate the backs
of the envelopes with stickers.
Normally mailing cards requires two trips to the post office one to purchase
the stamps and one to mail the cards. Save yourself one of those trips by buying
your stamps while shopping for cards in a Hallmark Gold Crown® store. Or you
can order stamps online from the U.S. Postal Service.
If you're really starved for time, let Hallmark.com help. You can order your
cards online and even have Hallmark print your name and holiday message, address
the cards, and mail them for you. If you'd rather hand-write a note, Hallmark
will print your names and address the cards, then ship them to your home for your
Running out of time? Don't worry. Most people are happy to hear from you
no matter when your greetings arrive. Or you can skip the Christmas cards in favor
of New Year's cards.
Ms. or Mrs.? Holiday Card Etiquette Tips
purchased your cards, and the family is gathered around the table with pens and
stickers in hand. Now what? Here are some etiquette tips from the experts at Hallmark
to help you address and sign your cards.
family and friends:
Personalize your cards with a little note, and always sign the card even
if your name is printed.
Keep your signature informal no courtesy titles, and to close friends and
relatives, no last names either. Traditionally, family signatures begin with the
father's name, then the mother's and finally the children, or simply
"John, Mary and family."
If a card is from more than one person, the person who signs it should write his
or her name last as a gesture of courtesy.
When sending a card to a couple with two different last names, address the card
to Mary Smith and John Jones. If there are children, write Mary
Smith, John Jones and Family.
When addressing cards to family and social friends, include the children's
Mail cards for business associates to the office. If you are social friends, however,
or have met the person's spouse or significant other, send cards to the home.
Business greeting cards should be more tailored and formal than cards for family
and social friends. Messages are brief and usually secular.
When sending to a co-worker in your own office, send the card to the home and
address it to Mr. and Mrs. if the recipient is married.
When sending to a married woman who uses her maiden name at work, address the
cards to Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. If she prefers to use her maiden
name for all occasions, work and social, address the card to Mr. John Smith
and Ms. Susan Jones.
Sign only your name to a card for a business associate, unless your spouse has
met the recipient.
If your family creates a holiday newsletter, do not send it to co-workers unless
you have a very close personal relationship with them.
When sending a card to someone of a different tradition or ethnic background,
choose a card with a secular design and sentiment, such as Happy Holidays
or Season's Greetings, or those with general good wishes or wishes
for peace. As an alternative, send a Thanksgiving or New Year's card instead.
Hallmark offers many options for these holidays as well.
Take special care following a death in a family. Cards are available with messages
of sympathy at Christmastime. If the card is to a widow, address her as Mrs.
to properly place a card in the envelope:
Insert the folded side into the envelope with the design face up toward the flap.
Save yourself holiday hassles by mailing early any time after Thanksgiving
and before New Year's Day is appropriate
Mail cards first class so they will be forwarded or returned to you if the address
cannot be located.
Include your return address to comply with the U.S. Postal Service's request
and to help your friends keep their mailing lists up to date.