Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:00 AM 18th November 2023

Etiquette Expert Issues Advice On Giving And Receiving This Christmas

Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash
Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash
Ever found yourself squirming after being greeted with a Christmas card from someone you hadn’t considered as a worthy recipient? Or perhaps you’re often the one sending festive wishes year after year to receive nothing in return.

Christmas card etiquette may not be your first thought when it comes to the festive season, yet there are plenty of do’s and don’ts to ensure you’re following best practice.

“I have a three-year Christmas card cut off – after that you’re off the list!”
Photo printing company CEWE conducted research which delved into the nation’s habits when it comes to greetings cards over the festive period.

Brits revealed that receiving a card at Christmas time is still really important to people, with 80% of those questioned admitting they like to receive personalised Christmas cards.

Follow etiquette expert William Hanson’s guidance to save face this festive period:

Christmas cards should be sent to anyone to whom you wish to express festive wishes. You can send as many or as few as your wrists can cope with writing. That said, it is fairly standard practice amongst the more prolific card writers to keep a list of who sends you cards and who you, in turn, send to. I have a rule that if I don’t get a card from someone for three years, they’re off the list, however much I may love them. You have to give to receive!

If you’re sending cards, you should definitely personalise them inside by including the recipients’ names, as well as your own as a sign-off. What’s the point of sending cards if you can’t be bothered to pop their names down? Leaving off names doesn’t signal you’re really busy and have too many cards to write. It just reads as plain rude.

As for the design being personalised, this is a great idea - especially with far fewer options being available on the high street with each passing year. This is where creativity comes into play (if you have any). You could simply use an arty shot from a holiday that year, perhaps a photo from a family event, or for those who have both time and talent on their hands, the product of a special shoot just for the card itself.

Although Christmas cards used to be saved for the day itself, standard practice is now to open them whenever they arrive. Sending out cards during the first week of December is normal; the last week of November for international ones.

With rising stamp costs, there is nothing wrong with hand-delivering Christmas cards. Save on the ink, too, and don’t write out the recipient’s address on the envelope, just their first names. If feeling a little extra, in the bottom right-hand corner, one adds ‘by hand’.

For further tips check out William’s Instagram