The Berry House

Planning life’s most delightful moments!

The Anatomy of a Perfect Holiday Card

If you’re like us and already mentally prepping for the all presents you’ll need to buy (and wrap), the decorations you’ll need to put up (and take down), the holiday menus you’ll need to plan (and cook), then you need fewer holiday to-dos and more holiday how-tos! Let Cheree Berry Paper & Design help you make one thing on your overflowing plate less of a difficulty and more of a delight! 

Whether you’re sending your very first holiday card as a couple or you’ve mailed yuletide wishes from your family for years, building a flawless holiday card can be a major undertaking. You want your holiday card to stand out for all the right reasons and certainly don’t want to commit a festive faux pas with the wrong wording.

Once you select your showstopping holiday card design (be sure to read our Holiday Card Ideas post if you’re just getting started), it’s time to put the finishing touches on your masterpiece of mail. We know the ins, outs, ups, downs, fronts and backs of an unforgettable holiday card. And we’ve broken down the key components of a perfect holiday card bit by bit so you can easily bring your own tidings to life with maximum heartwarming impact. 

Diagram showing the parts of a holiday card: Return Address, Greeting, Year, Sign-off, and Family Members

Holiday Cards Aren’t an Exact Science, But We Have a Foolproof Formula You Can Follow 

No need to guess and test different theories. We’ve distilled the perfect holiday card down into four easy-to-follow parts: 

  1. The Greeting:  
  2. The Visuals 
  3. The Signoff 
  4. The Addresses (recipient and return!) 

Trust us, this proven formula results in priceless reactions all around! 

Start Your Season’s Greetings Strong Straight Out of the Envelope with The Greeting 

As the opening act of the whole holiday number, your greeting warmly welcomes readers into your paper palace. Deciding which verbiage to use is a choice that depends both on your personality and the tone you’ve chosen for your card. 

Keep Your Holiday Card Classic with Traditional Terminology 

Classic personalized holiday card from Cheree Berry Paper & Design printed on blue linen with attached photo

Shop All the Feels: Linen

A chic holiday card with a formal feel always strikes the right chord. Set a traditional tone with a crowd-pleasing “Seasons Greetings,” “Happy Holidays” or your holiday call-out of choice like “Happy Hanukkah,” “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Kwanzaa.” 

Or Get Playful with Tongue-in-Cheek Tiding

Trendy holiday or Christmas card from Cheree Berry Paper & Design

Shop Fun and Games

If you opted for an informal holiday card, burst out of the envelope with a clever or humorous welcome that grabs your recipient’s attention and elicits those sought-after smiles. Don’t be afraid to get a little kookie with your greeting or play up a theme with a play on words. 

Let’s Get Visual, Visual! 

Now it’s time to wow with some eye candy that highlights your people and what’s been poppin’ in your neck of the woods this year. Photos are an engaging way to personalize your holiday card. Or you can get creative with custom illustrations and compelling graphics. 

Say, “Cheese!” and Deck Your Holiday Card with Family Photos  

New baby holiday card from Cheree Berry Paper & Design

Showcase how family members grew or highlight key memories from the past year with photos. Whether it’s a snapshot from a special trip, a group photo from milestone event or favorites from a professional photoshoot, pictures can enhance your card and update recipients on happenings with your crew.  

Stand Out in the Sea of Holiday Mail with Custom Illustrations and Clever Copy 

Custom illustrated holiday card from Cheree Berry Paper & Design

Shop Collector’s Edition

If you think photos are the only way to make your holiday card feel personalized, think again! In fact, photo-free cards with eye-catching graphics, custom artwork and/or expert typography can make a major impression. 

If you can’t find a photo you love (or were a little camera-shy this year) but still want a made-just-for-me look, commission a holiday card design that features custom illustrations from our award-winning in-house artistes. One-of-a-kind portraits of your family, renderings of your new home or drawings of your family’s most meaningful ephemera are automatic additions to any gallery wall. 

Copy-focused cards with heartfelt messages and handwritten fonts also make for unexpected and impactful holiday greetings.

Wrap Up Your Seasons Greetings in a Nice Little Signoff Package 

Finally, it’s time to sign off. You don’t need an elaborate Von Trapp Family-level farewell to express sincere sentiments. But try not to pull an Irish goodbye in your season’s greetings either. At the very least your signoff should include three elements: 

  • Salutation 
  • Names of family members (or family name) 
  • Year 

Feel Free to Make a More Festive Farewell 

While more concise courtesies like “With love” and “xoxo” are dependable crowd-pleasers, you can also tie up your holiday greeting with additional well wishes, a note of appreciation, a meaningful verse or spirited quote if you’re so inclined. Whatever the message, we recommend reflecting your personality and aligning with the overall design. Looking for some inspiration? Get your wheels turning with a few holiday favorites: 

  • “Wishing you a season of joy and togetherness.” 
  • “Wishing you the most wonderful time of the year surrounded by those you hold dear.” 
  • “May your holidays be filled with laughter, love and a whole lot of eggnog!” 

What’s in a Name? On a Holiday Card, a Whole Lot! 

Surprise, surprise: there’s more than one way to call out your crew! The trick is deciding which farewell sounds most like you. Whichever format you choose, we recommend incorporating the year as somewhere on your season’s greetings. This way, when you and your posterity can distinguish a specific date stamp when looking back on your holiday card years from now. 

List Your Holiday Card’s Cast of Characters 

If you choose to list each family member by name, start with the parents first (we recommend shouting out Mom first or going in alpha order for same-gender couples) followed by children from oldest to youngest. If desired, feel free to include ages in parenthesis after each child’s name. And don’t forget your four-legged family members! Though we do recommend adding a paw print to avoid any confusion between people and pets. 

Say Your Goodbye as a Group 

If you prefer a singular last name look, keep in mind the rules for making surnames plural: 

  • If your last name ends with “s, x, z, ch, sh”, add an “es” at the end of your name.  

The Joneses 

  • If your last name ends with any other letter, simply add an s. 

The Garcia-Millers 

  • Never add an apostrophe. Nope, never!  

The Smiths (NOT The Smith’s) 

Don’t like how your name sounds when it’s been “pluralized”? Feel free to just add “Family” after your last name. You can’t go wrong! 

The Williams Family 

Make Your Recipient Address List and Check it Twice 

Now it’s time to get these holiday greetings out to your nearest (or farthest) and dearest. Recipient address printing is complimentary on all Cheree Berry Paper & Design holiday cards, so use our address list template and give your writing hand a break. Be sure to include yourself on your recipient list so you know when your cards start to arrive and ensure you get a keepsake copy! 

And don’t forget to add your return address on the envelope in case an entry in your address book is outdated. 

Your Card is Done (Yay!), and You Crushed it Like a Nutcracker! 

And just like that, your 2023 holiday card is done and dusted! Your card will not only spread joy to loved ones this Christmas season, but also live on as a cherished memento of your life at this very moment in time.

If you don’t already, consider saving your holiday cards in a keepsake book that you pull out as holiday décor or in a photo frame that decks your walls all year long. After all, there’s no better way to commemorate a year than with a perfectly appointed holiday card of your very favorite people!  

Be sure to tag us in posts of your customized CBP holiday cards at @chereeberrypaper. We can’t wait to see what merry magic we create together!