What To Write In a Holiday Card: Sounding Cheerful and Appreciative

, Staff Writer
Updated October 7, 2022
two examples of messages from the article to write in a holiday card
    woman writing a holiday card and Christmas tree with what to write in a holiday card examples
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You’ve gathered your family in their ugliest sweaters to take the perfect photo for your holiday card, but now you actually have to write the contents of that card. Holiday cards can come off as robotic if you’re not careful, but cards don’t need to feel like an obligation. They can be a great opportunity to tell the people in your life all the ways that you appreciate them, how much they’ve meant to you the past year, and your hopes for the year to come.

What To Write in a General Holiday Card

The good news about writing a holiday card: You have a ton of options for Christmas greetings, and there’s no singular way to write a holiday card. The contents can be as short or as long as you want. You could have one general message written in all your cards, along with extra text for your closest confidantes.

You don’t need to overthink it, but some general holiday messages can help get you started. 

  • Best wishes to you this holiday season, from our family to yours.
  • May this holiday season bring you all the gifts, warmth, and light that you deserve.
  • Wishing a holiday season full of love and happiness for you and your family.
  • Season’s greetings and a happy new year to you and your loved ones!
  • Hoping these holidays are full of all the gifts that you could ever ask for.
  • May this holiday season bring your family the gifts of peace, love, and joy.
  • From our family to yours, here’s hoping for a season of love, light, and laughter!
  • I hope the magic of this holiday season fill all the corners of your heart and home. 
  • You may not have gotten all the presents you wanted this year, but at least you got this card!
  • Take this card as a small token for all the gifts I forgot to get you this year.
  • Happy holidays! This card is a stocking stuffer in that you can stuff it in a sock and never think about it again.

What To Write in a Holiday Card for Professionals

Holiday cards are the norm for most businesses. Brands send them out to clients and employees, while coworkers may trade holiday cards instead of Secret Santa gifts. A lot of the above general messages can still apply, but you generally want to keep things professional so that you don’t lose out on clients or get a call from HR.

What To Write in a Holiday Card for Clients

If you own a business and have regular clients, sending holiday cards can be a great way to show your appreciation for their patronage, call out your own successes that year, and give some insight into your organization’s plans for the future.

  • Our team at [company name] wishes you and your family Happy Holidays and a wonderful new year!
  • Thank you for your loyalty and patronage! We are wishing you joy, peace, and a safe, happy new year!
  • We are proud and lucky to have clients as great as you, and everyone at [company name] wishes you a happy holiday season.
  • This year wouldn’t have been the same without you, so from the [company name] family to yours, we wish you a safe, fun, and joyous holiday season.
  • Our team thanks you for making our job so easy, and we hope to work with you more in the new year!

What To Write in a Holiday Card for Employees

It’s not as good as a raise or a promotion, but a holiday card can help to build or maintain a good work culture. It’s like telling your team that they’re part of a family, hopefully in a good way.

  • Thank you for being an irreplaceable part of our team! Wishing you happy holidays and a joyous new year!
  • We at [company name] appreciate your hard work and dedication, and we hope that your good spirits and fortune carry into the new year.
  • Thank you for making [company name] so merry. Wishing you joy and peace this holiday season!
  • Wishing our team members happy holidays and a rejuvenating new year!
  • As we continue to build great things together, we wish you and your family a joyous and restful holiday season.
  • Your hard work, persistence, and skill are part of what kept our team going this year. Wishing you and yours a fun, safe holiday!

What To Write in a Holiday Card for Coworkers

If you don’t want to get your coworkers individual gifts or want to supplement your gift, a card is a good way to show your appreciation. For immediate team members who you’ve worked with, it doesn’t hurt to be more specific about their contributions and how they’ve helped you on the job, though that can get a little trickier based on work hierarchies. Just remember to keep it professional.

  • Happy holidays! Sending you and yours some warm wishes and restful nights until we’re back in the office next year.
  • Working with you has been an absolute joy! Wishing you and your family a warm holiday season!
  • It’s been wonderful working with you this year. I hope you take a much-needed, restorative break and enjoy the holiday season!
  • Thank you for all your help this year, and I look forward to continuing our awesome work together next year.
  • This office wouldn’t be as merry and bright without you! Thank you for all your hard work, and here’s to a happy new year!

What To Write in a Holiday Card for Military Members

If you have a friend, family member, or mentor in the military, a holiday card can be a great respite that can warm them up when they really need it.

  • Thank you for your service to this country. Wishing you a warm holiday season and fun new year.
  • Wishing you and all armed service members warm season’s greetings and a happy new year.
  • Happy holidays and happy new year! I hope you never forget how proud we are of you and your service to this country.
  • We thank you for the sacrifices you make for this country and wish you warm, safe holidays.
  • Today and every day, we salute your bravery. Wishing you and your family happy holidays and a joyous new year.

What To Write in a Holiday Card for Teachers

Teachers are one of the many unsung heroes, molding young minds while teaching kids how to add or how the heck to use a comma. The least you can do is send them a holiday card. General messages work here, but your child (with some of your help and encouragement) should try to come up with a custom message specifically for their teacher.

  • Happy holidays to the best teacher in the whole wide world! I hope you take a much-needed break from chalkboards and lesson plans.
  • From my family to yours, wishing the best teacher happy holidays and a wonderful new year.
  • Thank you for teaching me all the ins and outs of commas and the English language. I hope you have a wonderful holiday break and relaxing new year.
  • I appreciate how fun you’ve made the school year so far. Wishing you and yours a restful, fun holiday season.
  • You make coming to class every day a fun adventure. I hope you have a great winter break and happy new year.

How To Write a Holiday Card

The hardest part about a holiday card is actually picking out the right card design. Do you go with a custom design with a family photo on the front? Or do you choose a premade, stock design?

For the actual contents of the card, if you’re overthinking it, you’re not doing it right. Holiday cards should be a no-pressure writing project.

Stick With a Short Message for Most of Your Recipients

This largely depends on how many people you plan to send cards to, but for the vast majority of recipients, stick with a standard short message template (like any of the ones above). Unless you really have the time, energy, and wrist strength, don’t plan or expect to write a detailed, custom message for all 100+ people in your address book.

Wishing you a holiday season full of love and happiness for you and your family.


The Johnson Family


Format Custom Messages Like a Letter

Reserve longer, custom messages for your closest friends, family members, and crush(es). Format these longer messages the same way you’d format a letter or email. Start with a salutation, followed by the body of your message, and ending with a closing or sign-off.

You shouldn’t write out an entire anecdote or life story here. The purpose of a holiday card is to show your love and appreciation for a person, maybe briefly reminisce about the past year, and wish them happy holidays and a happy new year.

Dear Edna,

Happy holidays! Thank you for your continuing friendship and support this whole year. I appreciated all the late night chats, words of encouragement, and coffee dates, and here’s hoping for more of that this coming year. I hope you get every gift you wanted on your wishlist, and I’m wishing all the love, good health, and fun adventures for you and your family in the coming year.




Write Out Your Message Elsewhere Before You Write on the Card

You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re midway through writing a message and realize that you’re rambling and running out of space. Your recipient probably won’t want a card covered in white out, so figure out exactly what you’re writing before you even set pen to card. This can help you gauge how much you want to write in relation to the space that you have.

Other Holiday Greetings for Every Medium

It never hurts to know greetings for other holidays. Along with being able to show some holiday cheer to all the diverse friends and family in your life, knowing the right greetings for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, and other holidays can help you get more specific in your cards.