Gift Ideas

What to Write in a Christmas Card


While sending well wishes through text or email is perfectly acceptable in this day and age, there is still no better way to send holiday cheer than with a classic Christmas card. And this year, sending heartfelt personalized messages to friends and family might be more important than ever, when so many of us are spending the holidays apart from our far-flung loved ones. “One of the season’s simple pleasures is sitting down with a cup of hot tea and reading the ‘real mail’ holiday cards and letters,” says Jodi R.R. Smith, founder of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. “There is something special about holding a piece of paper that was touched by someone you care about.”

But if you find yourself with a case of writer’s block when you sit down with your stack of Christmas cards, don’t get your jingle bells in a knot. Smith recommends keeping it short and simple. Summarize an accurate reflection of your positive life events — no boasting or embellishing — and feel free to include a photo or two of your brood, so those you don’t see often can check out just how much everyone has grown (or your new quarantine cuts!) Just don’t forget to “include well wishes to others in addition to your update,” says Smith. “After all, the holiday letter is part of your season’s greeting to others.” Still need a little more specific guidance? These simple Christmas wishes will help you get started writing thoughtful notes for all the special people in your life.

Don’t forget to check out Good Housekeeping’s Christmas 2020 guide!


  • “Merry Christmas! May your happiness be large and your bills be small.”
  • “This holiday season, let’s make it a point to cherish what’s truly important in our lives: cookies.”
  • “I told Santa you were good this year and sent him a link to your Pinterest board. Merry Christmas to you!”
  • “This Christmas, may your family be functional and all your batteries be included.”
  • “Merry Christmas! I put so much thought into your gift that now it’s too late to get it.”
  • “Please note: Christmas is canceled. Apparently, you told Santa you have been good this year … he died laughing.”
  • “Is it just me, or does Santa look younger every year?”
  • “Christmas is mostly for children. But we adults can enjoy it too, until the credit card bills arrive.”
  • “Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Have a wonderful Christmas!”
  • Mention a funny memory of Christmases past: “Merry Christmas! I’ll never forget the time you …”


    • “Merry Christmas! Wishing you all the happiness your holiday can hold!”
    • “May your holidays sparkle with joy and laughter.”
    • “I hope the magic of Christmas fills every corner of your heart and home with joy — now and always.”
    • “Our family wishes you love, joy, and peace … today, tomorrow, and always.”
    • “May your family have a holiday season that is full of wonderful surprises, treats and nonstop laughter.”
    • “Merry Christmas! Wishing you all the best this holiday season!”
    • “Wishing you a Christmas that’s merry and bright!”
    • “We hope you have a safe and relaxing holiday season.”
    • “I hope your holiday season is full of peace, joy, and happiness.”
    • “Merry Christmas with lots of love.”
    • “I hope your Christmas is filled with joy this year!”
    • “Happy Holidays! I hope all of your Christmas wishes come true.”


      • “Merry Christmas! I hope you receive one blessing after another this coming year.”
      • “May the Lord grant you and all your loved ones peace, joy and goodwill.”
      • “Wishing you a season that’s merry and bright with the light of God’s love.”
      • “May God’s blessings be yours this Christmas.”
      • “May the wonder of that first Christmas, the joy of God’s abundant blessings, and the peace of Jesus’ presence be with you always.”
      • “May the true spirit of Christmas shine in your heart and light your path.”
      • “Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas.”
      • “May God bless and keep you during the holiday season and all through the year.”
      • “May God bless your life with love and joy this holiday season.”
      • “Merry Christmas! May God’s love be with you.”
      • “May the spirit of Christmas be with you all year round.”


        • “The only thing I love more than Christmas is you.”
        • “It’s not what’s under the tree that matters most, it’s who’s around it. Every year I’m so grateful to have you there.”
        • “You put the merry in my Christmas.”
        • “Though we are apart, you are in my heart this Christmas.”
        • “Forget the mistletoe, you can kiss me anytime you like.”
        • “All I want for Christmas is you.”
        • “I’m so lucky to be spending another Christmas with you!”
        • “Merry Christmas! You’re the best gift I could ask for.”
        • “Holidays like Christmas make me so grateful to share life with you.”
        • “Christmas is magical because we’re together. “

          For Faraway Friends

          • “Missing you most during this festive time.”
          • “We may not be together on Christmas morning, but you’re always in my heart.”
          • “I wish we could be together this holiday season, but I’m sending warm wishes your way.”
          • “I’ll miss celebrating with you this Christmas. Eat a few extra cookies for me.”
          • “We may not be able to rock around the Christmas tree together, but I’ll deck the halls in your honor.”
          • “Even though we’re apart, our hearts are together.”
          • “Let’s have a Christmas video call — I’ll bring the cocoa!”
          • “Christmas won’t be the same without you here.”
          • “Even though we’re apart, I hope you have a joyous holiday.”
          • “Consider this card a raincheck for a belated Christmas hug.”

            For Hard Holidays

            • “Wishing you love and light in this challenging season.”
            • “I know it’s been a hard year for you and your family. I hope the New Year brings better days.”
            • “Our hearts are with you and yours, now and always.”
            • “Sending you hugs this Christmas season. Take some time to care for yourself.”
            • “We know you might be having a difficult time this year, more than ever. Wishing you strength and peace in these challenging times.”
            • “Sometimes the holidays can just remind us what we’ve lost. Remember that I’m always there for you.”
            • “I hope the holidays bring a chance to rest and recharge.”
            • “May God’s love lift you up during this winter of life.”
            • “We’re always here to support you, if you need a helping hand this holiday.”
            • “Warmest wishes that you can find in this shadowy time.”


              • “A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” —Garrison Keillor
              • “Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s a frame of mind.” —Valentine Davies
              • “Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart … filled it, too, with melody that would last forever.” —Bess Streeter Aldrich
              • “Christmas is not an external event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.” —Freya Stark
              • “I prefer the retro chic of spending Christmas just like Joseph and Mary did — traveling arduously back to the place of your birth to be counted, with no guarantee of a bed when you get there.” —Tina Fey
              • “I am not 100 percent certain what a sugarplum is, but for a few weeks every year I’ve got visions of them dancing in my head anyway.” —Jane Green
              • “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” —Burton Hills
              • “Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” —Winston Churchill
              • “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.” —Bob Hope
              • “Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.” —Helen Steiner Rice

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