When the cool weather rolls around again, it’s time to start thinking about the holiday card list. The festive season is traditional by nature, which means that even in a world of emails and instant messaging, people still love to send and receive “real mail” at this time of year. Far from the tedious chore it’s sometimes depicted as, sending holiday cards to the significant people in your world is a beautiful way to realize how many people touch your life all year long. Writing seasonal messages to all of these people lets you reach out and add a little joy to their day, but it’s not always easy. We’ve put together a holiday card wording guide which will help you find the perfect words for relationships which range from the intimate to the professional.
Spreading Holiday Cheer to Friends and Family
Nobody could complain about having too many loved ones, but if you have a long list, it can sometimes be a challenge to keep your wording fresh and personal. Scribbling the same message over and over can feel rote and robotic, missing the sparkle and glow you really want from a holiday card. Here’s a little inspiration to keep the love flowing:
- Be Specific
Your holiday wishes should go beyond the generic. Yes, peace and love are a fantastic place to start, but to make your recipient feel really cherished, dig a little deeper. Do you know if they have any big plans for the year ahead? A vacation, buying a house, getting married? Hobbies and passions are another great source of specific wishes. You can mention Aunt Maude’s beloved rose garden, or your best friend’s blog, or your Dad’s favorite sports team. Simple details specific to the people opening the card will let them know how much they’re on your mind.
- Remember — or Plan — a Special Moment
This is one of the best ways to make your message truly personal. Recall a favorite memory from past holidays, or from the year gone by, and let them know how much it meant to you. Alternately, mention something you’d love to do together in the future. Whether you’re laughing over a funny moment at last summer’s family reunion or looking forward to tasting a trademark holiday recipe once again, writing about something shared and special sparks an instant connection and reaffirms your unique relationship.
Holiday Greetings for the Office
The holiday spirit extends beyond your loved ones to the people you do business with every day. Sending seasonal greetings to clients, co-workers, employers and employees is standard practice, but crafting a message which captures the warmth and wonder of the holidays while maintaining a professional attitude can take some effort. Hold back too much and you could find that your card reads with a chilly corporate tone, but an unconsidered message runs the risk of ringing false (or even causing offense!) Here are a few tips to help you hit the right seasonal note.
- “Happy Holidays” vs “Merry Christmas”
It’s a perennial debate, with vocal advocates on both sides, but determining whether to wish your recipients a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays can be decided with a very simple rule: know your audience. If you have enough personal interaction with your recipient to know for certain that they celebrate a specific holiday such as Christmas or Hanukkah, then it’s okay to go ahead and mention it in your card wording. If you’re not completely sure, or if you’re preparing wording for a large and possibly diverse group of recipients, then you’d be wise to stick with a more neutral “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings.” It’s also possible to skirt the question altogether by simply sending your best wishes for the New Year. The same rules apply when wording an invitation to an office holiday party. This is a season of warmth and goodwill, and it’s easy to avoid making anyone feel left out by choosing to write an inclusive message.
- Thank Them
The holidays are a traditional time for showing your appreciation of the people around you, which offers an easy way to add warmth and sincerity to a your message, and quickly lifts your card out of the category of the realm of just another piece of business communication or advertising. If you have the time to add a handwritten note of thanks to a client for their business, a co-worker for their help, or an employee for all their hard work over the last year, you have a chance to kindle real warmth and friendliness that will last long beyond the holiday season.