Christmas Card Etiquette Guide


Follow these top tips to avoid an embarassing social faux-par or unwanted card stress this Christmas!


Jo Sandford, etiquette expert at online personalised card company, Yellowpostie provides her expert advice when it comes to sending Christmas cards.

Sending Christmas cards should be easy, but so many of us get it wrong year after year, and in some cases, this can cause serious rifts with friends and family. It’s always worth getting organised, and thinking carefully about card sending etiquette. It’s often the little things that can make a big difference, so watch out!

1) Get organised and don’t be late. This should be a no brainer, but each year at Yellow Postie, we see so many people missing the Christmas last post, and sending their cards late. This not only looks lazy, but can also make the recipient feel unvalued. So make sure you’re organised. Work out your card sending list in November – our service allows you to build one in advance which can save you time – and check when last postage is for Christmas. Aim to be at least a couple of weeks ahead of that and make sure you include a return address so they can send you one back.

2) Don’t send cards to everyone. As tempting as it might be, you don’t need to send a Christmas card to everyone who’s friends with you on Facebook! Receiving a card from someone you don’t really know can make you feel awkward. But by a similar token, make sure you’re consistent with who you send to – if you plan to send cards to work colleagues, for example, then whatever you do don’t exclude anyone in your department or office, and the same goes for relatives or friendship groups.

3) Split into personal and professional. When it comes to card design and the verse you write, consider how well you know that person. Do you want to send the same thing to your boss as you do to your partner? Probably not, so think carefully about your choice of language and type of card. However, including a personal message is always a nice way to make people feel appreciated, whether it’s a reference to their family, or even a shared experience in the office.

4) Respect those who don’t celebrate Christmas. There’s lots of people whose religions either don’t celebrate Christmas, or oppose it. If in doubt always err on the side of caution, and if in doubt go for a more generic card, and ‘happy holidays’ type message.

5) If someone sends you a card and you’ve not got them one…this is a difficult one, but extremely common! If there’s still time to send them one back before Christmas, then I’d recommend you do so, unless there’s a specific reason you’ve not got them one in the first place. If there’s no time, then either make a joke about it next time you see them, or if you wonder why they sent you one at all, then keep your head down!

6) Check your spelling! You’d be amazed at how many people make spelling mistakes in their cards, especially when it comes to names and addresses. While you think this might not matter, spelling someone’s name wrong really is unforgiveable – think how you’d feel! It also looks sloppy and makes it appear that you don’t care.

Remember, there’s enough stresses at Christmas, so make sure sending cards isn’t one of them!

Find out more at

Want more? We thought you might like this video.

Like this artice? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.