How to Sign a Christmas Card (and Get It Right Every Time)

Published October 19, 2021
woman writing christmas cards

Once you find or create the perfect Christmas card design, the next step is to sign your cards so they're ready to send. But, what is the right way to sign a Christmas card? The way you choose to personalize your Christmas cards is totally up to you, though it's a good idea to consider general card signing etiquette.

Closing Message Ideas for Christmas Cards

Before signing your name on a Christmas card, you'll want to include a seasonal saying or phrase. This should be placed below whatever message is printed on the card and followed by a comma that leads into the name of the sender(s). Think of signing a Christmas card along the same lines as closing a letter.

General Christmas Card Closing Messages

Some traditional Christmas card closing phrases can be appropriate in just about any situation. Examples include:

  • Merry Christmas,
  • Happy Holidays,
  • Ho ho ho,
  • Season's Greetings,

Closing a Family-Focused Christmas Card

For a personalized closing message to family members, consider options like:

  • With my (our) deepest love at Christmastime,
  • With fond memories of childhood Christmases,
  • Reflecting on our family Christmas traditions,
  • Wishing we could be together this Christmas,

Closing a Christmas Card to Friends

If you're sending a Christmas card to a really close friend who may as well be family, consider a family-focused greeting. Otherwise, consider more lighthearted options like these:

  • Have a fabulous Christmas,
  • Keep calm and Christmas on,
  • Make incredible Christmas memories,
  • Shine on like the Star of Bethlehem,
Person writing christmas cards

Christmas Card Closings for Co-Workers

If you're sharing Christmas cards with your co-workers, employees, or boss, consider your relationship when personalizing the greeting. Options include:

  • Merry Christmas to a fabulous teammate (boss),
  • May your Christmas be free from unnecessary meetings,
  • Enjoy the Christmas holiday,
  • Take time for the magic of Christmas,

Business-Focused Christmas Card Closings

If you're in charge of signing company Christmas cards, keep in mind that they're probably going to customers, vendors, or others who regularly interact with the organization. Keep the tone professional and consistent with the company brand.

  • Best wishes for a Merry Christmas from our team to yours,
  • Wishing you and your team a joyous holiday season,
  • May the spirit of Christmas shine on you,
  • Holiday greetings and gratitude,

Signing Your Name to a Christmas Card

Once you choose a closing message, then you'll need to sign your name. This will vary depending on how formal you want to be, and whether you're the solo sender, or you're signing on behalf of a couple, a family, or another group of people.

Signing as an Individual

If you're sending a card on your own, you'll need to decide whether to use your first or full name and how formal your signature should be.

  • First name only (Suzy) - Use when sending to friends or family, but only when there won't be any confusion over who is sending the card. Unless you have a truly unique first name, it's probably best to include your last name.
  • First and last name (Suzy Smythe) - This option can be used with friends, family, and individuals with whom you have a business relationship, such as co-workers, your boss, or clients.
  • First name, middle initial, last name (Suzy A. Smythe) - This option is also appropriate for personal or professional relationships. It's preferred if your first and last name combination is very common (like Mary White).
  • First name, maiden name, last name (Suzy Haines Smythe) - If you are or were married and changed your last name but use your previous last name as a middle name, consider signing this way. This is particularly important if you are sending to people you knew before you changed your last name who might not recognize you without your original surname.
  • First, middle and last name (Suzy Ann Smythe) - This is appropriate regardless of relationship. If you commonly "go by" a double name that includes your first and middle name, this is a must.

If you are a doctor or reverend, you may want to include your title. Place it before your first name, regardless of which of the options listed above you are using. For example, you could write Dr. Suzy Smythe or Reverend Suzy Haines Smythe.

Dog and Young Person writing christmas cards

Signing for a Couple

If you're part of a couple, there are also a few options to consider, including whether one person will sign for both of you, or if you'll each sign separately.

  • First names only (Suzy and Terry) - This casual option is best used when signing cards that will go to people who know both of you as a couple and will immediately know who the card is from without the last name. One person can write "Suzy and Terry," or each individual can sign their name in their own handwriting. Don't use the word "and" if each person is signing separately.
  • First and last names for a married couple with the same last name (Terry and Suzy Smythe) - In this situation, one person usually signs for the pair. If you're super-traditional and one person is male, the man's name would go first. Otherwise, it's up to the couple (or the person doing the signing!) whose name to write first.
  • First and last names for couples with different last names (Suzy Haines and Terry Smythe) - In this situation, regardless of whether the couple is married, you'll need to include the first and last name of each person. One person can sign, or each person can sign their own name.

If there is something particularly notable about your status as a couple, such as your first Christmas together or your first Christmas as a married couple, you might also want to make note of that on the card.

Signing for Your Family

If you're sending a Christmas card on behalf of a family, you can stick with a basic family name greeting or mention everyone by name, taking into account the type of family structure.

  • Family name only - For the shortest, most basic way to sign a Christmas card on behalf of a family, you could just write "The Smythe Family." This could, however, lead to a bit of confusion over exactly who the card is from if the recipient has relationships with multiple Smythe families.
  • Multiple last name household - If multiple last names are represented in the household, include them all. Use a fun, yet accurate phrase like "The Smythe Haines Household" or "The Haines Smythe Homestead." Don't hyphenate unless the family members all actually use a hyphenated last name. If you want to visually separate the different names, use symbols such as diamonds, squares, or circles.
  • Family name with individual first names - To reduce confusion, you could expand the signature to clarify by adding the first names after the family name(s), such as "The Smythe Family (Terry, Suzy, Stevie, and Cindy)." One person could write all the names, or each person could sign their own first name. For a creative touch, use a thumbprint for babies or toddlers.

If you're including a family photo, consider listing everyone by name, in the order each person appears in the image. This will be helpful to people who haven't seen you in a while. If pets are in the photo, consider including their names as well.

Signing for a Group

It's not uncommon for a group of employees to send a joint Christmas card to their boss, or for students in a class to give a group card to their teacher. These are just a few examples of the many situations in which a card might need to be signed on behalf of a group.

  • Individual signatures only - Group cards are usually passed around so each person signs his or her name. People can choose whether to sign their first or full name. Doing just this is a good idea when there is no question about what group the card is from. For example, if a teacher is with the same group all day, which is usually the case in elementary school, this is a great option.
  • Group designation only - Sometimes it's not feasible to get everyone to sign a card, so someone ends up being in charge of signing on behalf of the group. In this case, the person signing the card can write a phrase that lets the recipient know who the card is from. For example, it could be signed "The WVTC Marketing Team," "The XYZ Company Executive Team," or "Your Monday/Wednesday 8 a.m. Public Speaking Class."
  • Group designation and individual signatures - When feasible, the best option is to combine a group designation with individual signatures. That way, there is no question which group is sending the card, and each person has an opportunity to be represented individually.

When signing on behalf of a group, be sure that it doesn't appear as if the person signing the card is the sole sender. Whatever you write, the recipient needs to know the card is from a group of people rather than just one person.

Signing for a Business

If you're signing on behalf of a business, the company name should always be included. It's fine to stick with just the company name on its own, but it's also possible to personalize the way business Christmas cards are signed.

  • Business name only - With this option, the card "signature" would simply be the name of the company. Companies often order cards with their name already printed on them. These can be sent as-is. Or, for standard cards, simply write in the name of the company, or expand it a bit to "The [insert Company Name] team."
  • Person signing on behalf of the company - If the office manager or another company leader is signing the cards by hand, one option is to put the person's first and last name, followed by "on behalf of [Company Name]" or "on behalf of the entire [Company Name] team."
  • Company owners - For a small business with just a few owners, it's a nice touch to have each owner sign individually below the name of the company. With this option, consider having each owner list their title or role after their signature (Suzy Haines, Chief Operating Officer; Terry Smythe, Managing Director).
  • Team signatures - For a relatively small business, you may want to go beyond just the owners to invite all employees to sign the company Christmas cards, if they so wish. You could place the cards in a central location and invite each person to stop by and sign during a set timeframe. This should be optional rather than required, because not everyone observes Christmas.

These are just a few of many appropriate options for company Christmas card sayings.

Several Ways to Sign Seasonal Greetings

There are many signature options for holiday greetings, just as there are many options for buying or making Christmas cards. Choose the one that works best for you and stick with it, or vary your approach based on who will receive a certain card. Ultimately, sharing the joy of the Christmas season with the people who are important to you is what really matters.

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How to Sign a Christmas Card (and Get It Right Every Time)