It’s crunch time! There are only 11 days left until Christmas, so if you’re planning on sending holiday cards this season, it’s time to get cracking. With to do lists getting longer and longer in that mad dash towards the end of the year, some are forgoing what has long been a time honored tradition. Vogue.com Contributing Editor Michelle Ruiz had reached peak working mom frenzy earlier this month when she felt compelled to Tweet: “I ordered photo Christmas cards and now have no time to fill them out and just want to post pictures instead. Christmas cards are dead, I hereby declare.”
One response in the comments: “Noooo Christmas cards are the best. It’s the only kind of mail that’s any good anymore.” We tend to agree. When else does anyone get excited to sift through what’s usually nothing more than a stack of bills, parking tickets, and the oh so dreaded jury summons? Who doesn’t love seeing how the kids have grown, how the parents have aged, and who in your circle actually knows how to sign off in a grammatically correct way? (FYI, it’s “Love The Carters,” not “Love The Carter’s.”) Much like the language on wedding invitations, holiday card text etiquette can be a bit confounding.
With all of this top of mind as we approach the middle of December, we talked to the ladies at Dixie Designs, a company that specializes in semi-custom stationery, holiday cards, and wedding paper featuring customizable calligraphy and beautiful illustrations, about their tips and tricks for getting your holiday cards out the door—and right!—this season.
1. Spell your name correctly!
This sounds like it should be simple, but you’d be shocked by the number of people who get it wrong. “Truth be told, we see this mistake a lot, and we don’t want it to happen to you!” says Jennifer Hunt, the founder of Dixie Designs. The Kardashian Family or The Kardashians is correct. The Kardashians’ or Kardashian’s is incorrect. The only time it’s ok to use a possessive on a card or invitation is when you want to say something along the lines of: “Please join us at the Kardashians’ home for a unicorn-themed birthday bash.”
2. Ladies first?
This is hotly debated, but the traditional way to list out family members’s names on a card is husband first, then wife, followed by children oldest to youngest. Pets can be added at your discretion.
3. To punctuate or not to punctuate?
“That pesky Oxford comma is a tricky one,” Hunt laughs. “It’s common practice in every day use, but it can sometimes be unnecessary or even distracting on a holiday card.” We personally think the list looks best sans the Oxford comma and with an ampersand, but we know that’s getting fancy . . .
The Clooney Family
George, Amal, Alexander & Ella
4. If it doesn’t move, monogram it!
Initials can look lovely on a holiday card. “We recommend using a single letter monogram of the family last name,” Hunt explains. “If you are a newly married couple, you might want to use your married three letter monogram. If you’re a newly engaged couple and want to send a holiday card or party invitation that includes a monogram, the bride’s initials should be used or the couple’s first name initials—not the married monogram.”
5. A picture is worth a thousand words, but also really should be hi-res.
“This should go without saying, but make sure your photo is high resolution and of good quality so it prints well,” Hunt notes. “Remember the photo you see on your computer screen or on your phone is backlit and will look brighter there than when it prints. So please try not to use a dark photo when customizing your card.”
6. Good from far, but far from good.
Obviously, you want to fill the entire photo box with your photo. “You should zoom in or out to get it placed exactly where you want it,” Hunt explains. “But if you move in too much, it could reduce the sharpness of the image.” Bottom line: proceed with caution and zoom at your own risk.
7. Extra, extra!
Always get more than you need. You want to be ready just in case you get one from someone you didn’t have on your own mailing list. In this instance, more really is merrier!