The holiday season brings long-held traditions such as decorating the Christmas tree, gathering with friends and more. 

And your family might be preparing to send out holiday cards to friends and loved ones. Some people find it difficult to address holiday cards.    

Additionally, the U.S. Additionally, experts from the U.S. Postal Service are encouraging shoppers to receive their holiday gifts by mail as soon possible. 

Daniel Post Senning, author and spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute, told USA TODAY that, however you send your holiday greetings, “never underestimate the value that a personal touch can put on your communication.”

Here’s what you need to know before mailing your best wishes.  

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What is the best way to write holiday addresses?   

USPS recommends that people sending letters “print addresses neatly in capital letters.” If you are handwriting the addresses on your holiday cards, use a pen or permanent marker.

You don’t need to use a comma or period when writing addresses, according to the USPS. 

Senning explained it’s also important to use a person’s full name when addressing an envelope.  

“The most important thing is that it gets to the right person. And it seems like obvious advice, but oftentimes that’s the biggest trick,” he said. “You want to use people’s full names on external envelopes, even if inside it’s to ‘Dear Sally’ or ‘Dear Smith family.’”    

Some holiday card makers allow you to add your family’s addresses online. Jim Hilt, Shutterfly president, told USA TODAY that you can also personalize your holiday cards while addressing them.  . 

“When you’re addressing cards, the font you choose can really help set the tone. I like to keep it simple by addressing cards to the individual’s name or the household family name,” he said. It’s possible to make unique envelopes, get address printing for no charge and even Shutterfly can mail your cards. 

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Are you Miss Ms., Mrs.  

If you want to use formal titles when addressing your holiday card, “Miss” refers to an unmarried woman or a girl. Mrs. is a married woman. All women can use Ms. For men, Mr. can be used. 

Business is more appropriate for Ms. than it is for women. Mesdames is the plural form of Ms., while Mr. refers to Messrs. 

Senning advised that “the standard for how you address people is how they would like to be addressed.”  

“In terms of the ways that you structure and organize titles, it’s really more about the preferences of the recipient,” he said. 

What are the best titles for my family members and friends? 

For a couple that consists of a man and woman, one of the most traditional ways to address them is by formal titles and the man’s first and last name: Mr. And Mrs. John Kelly.  

But it’s 2021, so experts say you can take a different approach without offending your loved ones.  

“You’ve got the very traditional form for a married couple that are addressed using the husband’s name, essentially, so it becomes the Mr. And Mrs. John Smith. It can be just as formal to address Dr. Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith,” Senning said.  

But he added that “it’s always good etiquette to ask if you don’t know.” 

“It’s OK to ask the person who you’re sending it to, ‘I’m sending something. You want me to make sure that the address is correct. How do you like to be addressed?’ is never an impolite question to ask. It’s not revealing the surprise too early, or sort of stealing your own thunder to do it,” he said.  

Hilt explained to USA TODAY that there are details that could make your card personal. 

It’s a great way to smile by adding their nickname in brackets. Add their pets (even goldfish!) “It’s a nice way to make your card standout,” he stated. 

Senning also suggests that you ask whether a person would prefer a title with a neutral gender such as Mx.  

Is it Happy New Year, Happy New Year’s or Happy New Years?  

If you want to send a card to mark the new year, you should wish friends and family a “Happy New Year.”  

You don’t need to capitalize the name of the holiday if you’re discussing events in the new year. You might, for example, tell your family that your spouse will be starting a new job.  

And another quick tip — it’s season’s greetings, not seasons greetings. 

Merry Christmas to the Smiths’? Smith’s? Smiths?  

You might be unsure where or when you should use the apostrophe to address holiday greetings. Here’s a quick reference:  

Family Smith  

Do:The Smiths wish you a Merry Christmas. The Smiths’ Christmas Eve party is coming up soon. This is a gift from the Smiths.  

Don’t: The Smith’s are traveling for the holidays.  

Family Jones: 

Do:The Joneses wish you a Merry Christmas. The Jones’ Christmas Eve party is coming up. 

Don’t: The Jones’ are traveling for the holidays.  

The May Family

Do:Merry Christmas, Mays. Merry Christmas from the Mays! 

Don’t:The Maies travel for holidays. 

Let’s start with the basics:Other than names ending in “ch”, those names that start with “k” such as “monarch;” or “she;x; and “zombie;” need to be spelled out using a hard k.  



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