Tis the season... to send out all your holiday cards! And in the spirit of the season (and of Christmas Card Day, which was just yesterday!), I spoke with Marilyn Pentel, Owner and Creator of Mannerly Manners in Minnestrisa, to find out a little more about card-sending etiquette in the digital age.
Marilyn's Top Five Tips for Holiday Card Sending
- When to send your cards: Marilyn says any time starting after Thanksgiving is kosher for dropping your cards in the mail. "Etiquette rules were written to help others feel comfortable," she says. "When you send your cards out earlier, you're helping the Post Office and thinking of others first." If you can't get them out early, she says, as late as the first two weeks of January is completely acceptable.
- Keep your cards appropriate to the recipient. "Be aware of each recipient's religion," says Marilyn. "And don't send a holiday newsletter to everyone on your list—reserve those for family and close friends, and send acquaintances a simple card."
- Personalize, personalize, personalize! Even if you choose to have a generic card printed for everyone on your list, says Marilyn, make sure there's a personal touch on each card. "Hand address them, sign your name or include an additional personal note," she says. "That makes everyone feel important and special."
- Digital cards—how do you navigate the e-card phenomenon? "Again, be mindful of who you're sending e-cards to," says Marilyn. "Your goal is to make everyone feel comfortable." So, she says, don't send e-cards to friends or relatives who aren't email savvy. "And personalize e-cards too," she says. "Use a handwriting font and make each message specific to the recipient."
- Get kids involved! "Let them decorate the card or the envelope," says Marilyn. Have kids tell you what they want to say and write it in the card for them, if they can't write it themselves. "Kids start to look forward to participating when you include them and it becomes a tradition."