Who to Send Christmas Cards

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas card time!

We all know how much fun it is to see festive envelopes in our mailbox throughout the holiday season — and how good it feels to know you’re bringing that same kind of joy to others. So, of course, you want to make sure all the important people in your life get a card from you, right?

But how do you choose who’s on your list? Is there someone you might be forgetting?

It’s easy to start with your annual list of close family and friends who will always get a card. But now is also a good time to think about who is important to you at this current stage of your life by looking back on the past year and asking yourself these questions:

  • Who do I appreciate in my everyday life — for their help, for their service, for their kindness?
  • Are there any relationships I’d like to improve — or possibly reconnect?
  • Who would enjoy, or be pleasantly surprised, by a card from me/my family (even if I don’t get cards from them)?

Here are some suggestions to make sure you've thought of everyone:

Aunt / Uncle

Let’s be honest, when we were kids, it could be a bit awkward socializing with older relatives that we only saw sporadically. But as adults, we tend to have a better appreciation for family, and we know that staying connected is definitely worth the effort. Your aunt(s) and/or uncle(s) would sincerely appreciate a card from you, knowing you chose to send it. And it would be a great opportunity for you to write something thoughtful to them.

Niece / Nephew

On the flipside, you may have younger relatives with whom you’d like a closer relationship. A card just for them is a great way to let them know how much they mean to you — that they’re someone you’re proud of, amazed by, thankful for. Or, maybe you want to tell them you’re here if they need you. A personal or supportive note in your card (such as “So proud of the person you are!” or “Always here if you need me!”) might mean more than you realize.


Of course, some friends rise to the top of your list year after year. But what about new friends you’d like to know better? Consider jotting a note in your card to let them know you enjoyed meeting/getting to know them this year, and you look forward to more chats on the soccer sidelines/giggles in yoga class, or whatever brought you together. Or, maybe an old friend has been crossing your mind, and you’d love to reconnect. Perhaps remind them of a funny memory, give them your phone number or email address (more personal than social media) and suggest reconnecting in the new year. If you could use a little inspiration for what to write in a Christmas card to a friend, look no further than these suggestions.


This might also be an automatic choice — if you’re close to your neighbors. But what if waving hello is the extent of your interaction? It’s still nice to give them a card to strengthen a feeling of community, which most people appreciate in their lives. Even if nothing about your relationship changes, you’ll create a friendly environment through the kindness of this gesture.

Co-worker / Boss

Whether these are people you see often, or you communicate with from your home office, there are probably a few co-workers you consider friends. This is a great way to step out of your professional role, if only for a moment, and share some Christmas spirit. Just be sure to send a card that is appropriate for your relationship. And it’s best to send to their home address, so other co-workers don’t feel left out. Need help with your message? Check out these ideas for what to write in a Christmas card to a coworker or boss.

School / Daycare Staff

If you have children who are cared for by someone else at any point throughout the day, it’s thoughtful to give them a card with a personal note. Even if another parent coordinates a group gift from the class — a separate card from you, with specific words of gratitude, could mean the world to a teacher. Also, if someone provided extra comfort or support to your child this year (such as a counselor or school nurse), they’re worth considering for your list. Adding a note, drawing, or signature from your child will especially warm their hearts.

Coach / Team Manager

While we’re on the subject of kids — odds are, yours are involved in an activity (or two or three) outside of school. And many of the coaches and managers of these extra-curriculars are doing it voluntarily (or for very little money) simply because they love children. That puts them right up there with Santa! Or at least his elves (who would probably be thrilled with a thank-you in their Christmas card).

Pet Sitter

We can’t forget those who care for our other “kids” as well! When we can’t take our furry, finned, scaly, or non-human little ones with us, it sure is a gift to have someone reliable to help out. Even if you only use a pet sitter a few times a year, it’s nice to show them you appreciate their time and effort for the very kind service they do.

Hair Stylist

Depending on the conversations you have with your stylist, he/she might know more about you than many of the other people on your Christmas list! Not only does a card let them know you’re grateful to them for making you look good, but also that you see them as someone more than a person you’re paying. If you have an appointment around the holidays, a card is a festive way to present their tip.

Healthcare Provider (Pediatrician, Dentist, Orthodontist)

We’ve all seen family Christmas cards proudly displayed at our doctor or dentist office during the holidays. Who are all these thoughtful people who remember to include them on their list? That could be you! Good health is always something to be grateful for — as well as the folks who look out for ours.

Mail Carrier

This is someone who provides a service we need nearly every day, especially now that we order so much online. But even if we wanted to say thanks, sometimes we don’t see them in action. Christmas is the perfect time to acknowledge their hard work, especially during the holiday rush, with a festive envelope for them. Wondering how to address it? “To Our Mail Carrier” will do just fine.


Still have a few cards left over? Wish a merry day to our military! If you don’t know a soldier personally, simply start with “Dear Hero/Brave Soldier,” and then write whatever comes to mind. A quick online search will give you several options of organizations who will help you get them where they need to go.

Hopefully, this gave you some inspirational ideas or prompted a few of your own. If you need help with writing the perfect Christmas message, we have lots of helpful tips here.

Have a very happy holiday and thank you for making the world a merrier place by sharing your kindness and love!

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