Christmas Card Etiquette – Are You Savvy?

Christmas cards! Why are we talking about Christmas cards already? Halloween has just passed and Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away. I know no one wants to begin to even think about Christmas! The truth is this: Christmas season begins the Friday after Thanksgiving. You know, Black Friday…the day you roll out of bed at 4am to get to the “best sales of the year”.  Standing in line outside of Macy’s because the bamboo cutting board you have been eyeballing the past few months will be 60% off!  Not to mention the new set of skillets you would like, but will purchase for your significant other, knowing they will be in your kitchen the day after Christmas.

Now that I was kind enough to remind you that “Christmas season” is in fact only three weeks away, I’m going to hit you with one last piece of fantastic news;  in good etiquette form, Christmas cards should be sent out the Saturday after Thanksgiving. WHAAT! That’s right folks, two days after you spent nine hours in the kitchen creating the perfect Paleo Thanksgiving (or you spent staring down the mashed potatoes your mother-in-law made knowing damn well you couldn’t eat them). Twenty four hours after you fought the gauntlet that is Black Friday, you should have your sixty Christmas cards in the mail. Uggh!

Now I bet you are wondering what other amazing Christmas card etiquette you were unaware of. Have no fear, the Cave Girls are here to help you with all of your etiquette needs! We have compiled a list of things we thought you may (or may not) like to know about the biggest card season of the year.

First and foremost, were you aware that Americans send out over 1.5 billion Christmas cards each year? On average, 85% of households participate in this tradition, and each household sends an average of 58 cards!

Here are some things to keep in mind while putting together your cards:

  1. Cards should be sent the Saturday after Thanksgiving, allowing all cards to arrive in time, no matter where their intended destination may be. Should cards arrive late into the Holiday season, the recipient may feel as though they were a “last thought”
  2. Have several types of cards. Be sensitive of people’s beliefs and personalities. Do they have children, or are they a bachelor? Rudolph kicking ass at the Annual Reindeer Games may not be appropriate to send to a family with a five year old, but that same child may get a kick out of Santa requesting bacon instead of cookies.
  3. Hand write a message. Should you be savvy enough to think ahead and have a message custom printed into your card, it is still proper etiquette to write a small, personal message in the card.
  4. Be sure to sign your name. NO stamps. If you are taking the time to send a card, take the time to sign your name.
  5. Hand write the addresses. Keep it personal and looking like effort was put forth. No pre-printed labels…sorry.
  6. Make sure there is a return address on the envelope. Having a return address stamp or label is appropriate. This allows the recipient of the card to have your address and send you a card in return. They may not be as prepared as you were!
  7. E-Cards do NOT count. Ouch! Right? E-cards are considered an appropriate response to receiving an E-card, but are not a substitute for a true holiday card.

That was fun, wasn’t it? There is a much larger set of rules if you are a business professional sending the cards to clients. We’ll touch on those fun rules at a later date. The truth is that Christmas cards help enhance business. They are a perfect avenue to touch base with a past client, or to remind a present client you are thinking of them.  If you haven’t been one to send cards in the past, give it a shot. You may put a smile on someone’s face.

Don’t forget the best part! Cave Girl Café has a holiday line of cards designed for the Paleo enthusiast. Maybe you haven’t sent cards in the past because you have  been unable to find a holiday card that expresses your lifestyle or personality. We have the perfect cards for you! Give ‘em a look!

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  1. Posted November 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I love this!

  2. DT
    Posted February 6, 2011 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Another thing that I think is rude. This last year (2010) I received a Christmas card from my son and his no-class wife pre-printed and a form letter inside telling me what they did all year long which was mainly about her. I wish someone would give her a course in etiquette on everything she does. I was terribly offended and ask if her mother received one just like it. I don’t particularly like the form letters even from friends. But to a mother-in-law it made me feel like I was no more than a friend. I suppose that was her intension!

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