When to Write and Send Holiday Cards

Category: General Tips

The holiday season is notoriously busy. There are meals to plan, gifts to buy for loved ones, and guests to organize around. With all that to arrange, it’s easy for writing and sending your annual holiday greeting to fall by the wayside.

When you do get the time to write your holiday cards, what should you say? When is the best time to send them? How do they differ from funny Christmas cards?

Read on for when to write and send holiday cards.

Writing Your Holiday Card

Writing holiday cards is deceptively time-consuming. This is especially true if you like to personalize your cards.

As you prepare your holiday cards, consider:

  • What type of stationery to send
  • Whether to add a personal touch the message
  • Your holiday greeting card recipients

Print Versus Electronic Cards

The first decision you need to make when writing your cards is to decide what kind to send. The rise of the internet has made sending a Thanksgiving, Christmas card, and other greetings easier than ever.

Considerations when choosing whether to send print or electronic cards include accessibility, time constraints, and personalization.


While electronic cards are fun, and the messages they generate can save you time, some people may struggle to read them. Unless your e-card also includes an auditory image description, there’s a chance older or visually impaired users may struggle to read it.

The e-card may still not work properly depending on the browser your recipient opens it in. Nor does that automatically make a printed card immediately accessible. While many people have someone on hand who can read or otherwise interpret the card for them, not everyone does.

When you sit down to write your holiday cards, consider writing in large print or using other visual aids depending on the recipient.

Time Constraints

That said, e-cards can be an excellent solution to wishing your friends, family, and clients a happy holiday. That’s because you don’t have to worry about them getting delayed or help accommodate long-distance postal journeys.

Want to send your cards automatically from online? Handwrytten has got you covered this holiday season. Simply login to your account, grab your holiday card list, and start sending greeting cards in minutes! Just make sure to keep in mind how long it normally takes for mail to get delivered.


A handwritten holiday card is simply more personal than an e-card. That said, the world of electronic cards has evolved, and it’s now possible to write highly personalized messages from online.

Some people find that the time and effort that goes into snail mail demonstrates extra thought and consideration on the part of the recipient. That’s true even if all you’ve done is write the same holiday message across the inside of 20 cards.

The other benefit of a handwritten greeting is that it’s readily displayed, not only on a mantel, but beside hospital beds or in nursing homes. This can be particularly important for people who don’t have immediate access to printers, but want to be reminded of the people that care for them this season.

While there are merits to printed and electronic holiday cards, give careful consideration to who will receive the card when you make your choice. If you aren’t sure what kind of seasonal greeting the recipient would like, a handmade card is also a great choice.

It’s now possible to write highly personalized messages from online.

What to Write in a Holiday Card

If you opt to write your cards by hand, it can be tempting to simply sign your name under the inscribed holiday message.

But taking a minute to add an extra, personalized line is an excellent way to show you remember the recipient. Even if it’s a short message or a version of a message you’ve sent someone else, they’ll appreciate the thought that went into it.

Designing Your Own Holiday Cards

Another way to personalize printed cards is by designing your own or hiring a professional. Many people do this by creating a photo card. Popular choices are family photos, a family home or cottage in winter weather, or a company photo.

If you customize your card with Handwrytten, their team can easily print your personal or business Christmas cards in bulk. Make sure to factor in that time when ordering holiday cards so they can arrive on time!

When to Write Your Holiday Cards

It goes without saying that when you send a holiday greeting, you want it to arrive before the holiday. This upcoming season, consider different holidays being celebrated and how to send.

Different Holidays

As we become increasingly attuned to others’ holidays and festive seasons, we’ve widened our greeting card selection to accommodate different occasions. That also means that when you’re sending cards, you have to be aware of various holidays, not just the ones you observe.

Getting the right holiday cards out at the right time can take a bit of planning. Take note of the holidays friends, family, and clients observe with their associated dates to ensure they arrive on time.

Sending Holiday Cards Locally

If you’re sending holiday cards within the United States, you want to allow approximately a week for your  card to reach its destination.

Since the Christmas season can create an influx of snail mail, sorting and delivering your card may take longer than usual. Post your cards up to two weeks in advance to ensure your thoughtful gesture arrives in a timely manner.

A good rule of thumb is to wait until after American Thanksgiving to start writing and sending cards to American friends.

Sending Internationally

When to send international cards varies depending on:

  • How far you’re sending the card
  • When the holiday falls
  • The efficiency of the destination postal service

For instance, a card sent from America to Canada has a shorter delivery time than one sent overseas to the United Kingdom because it has to cover less distance. Likewise, there are always higher levels of postal traffic around Christmas and Hanukkah than at Easter. Knowing when to factor in postal hold-ups can help you time your holiday cards so that they always arrive on time.

Another thing to consider when planning to mail your holiday cards is what constitutes a working day. Britain, for instance, delivers on Saturdays, and that affects delivery time.

Wherever you’re sending your holiday cards, ensure you build in time to accommodate for weekends and statutory holidays that could delay your card‘s arrival.  However, if you are going the digital route, you will be able to send it whenever you want. However, some people might not get the same warm feelings from a digital card.

misc holiday cards on shelf

Sending Your Holiday Card

Finally, before you send your holiday cards, there are a few last-minute things to check over. This includes ensuring the cards are signed and addressed correctly.

Signing the Card

If you’ve ever received an unsigned holiday card, you’ll appreciate the importance of double-checking you’ve signed this year‘s greeting cards. An unattributed greeting can be an intriguing mystery, but it doesn’t help much if you want to send a letter in return.

While it’s possible to check the return address on the envelope for the recipient’s identity, a signature is quicker and easier to identify.

Correct Address

People move often these days, and the last thing you need is to have a card returned to sender in the face of a holiday rush. Before sending out your cards, ensure your address book is up-to-date. That way, you’ll avoid an eleventh-hour rush to the post office to readdress and resend any holiday cards.

Also, remember to include a return address. That way, if your best efforts fail and you do get an address or two wrong, you’ll be able to retrieve a holiday card and resend it.

Finally, when it comes to addressing your recipient, your relationship determines how formal the address is. You can afford to be more relaxed in addressing cards to family and close friends.

Whereas you’ll want to double-check titles and prefixes for a business holiday card, employers, and acquaintances.


When to send your holiday cards and what to write in them is about more than stamping and addressing the envelopes.

You’ll want to ensure you allow ample time for your holiday cards to reach their destinations. We recommend you start writing your cards after American Thanksgiving, but there’s no hard and fast rule about this.

It’s also worth making sure that any e-cards you send don’t fall into the spam folder. The last thing you want is for a friend to feel overlooked while you’re carefully considered holiday card languishes in cyberspace.

Whatever type of holiday card you choose, and however you send it, what matters is the thought behind it. Friends, family, and business professionals receiving their cards will know you spent time and effort thinking of them this holiday, and that is a gift in itself.

Choose from our cards design or your own.

Over 100 designs to choose from or design your own. Our online card customizer makes it simple.

Check Out Our Cards!

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