Words to Write in Christmas Cards [Short, Simple, Funny, Touching]

By Billie •  Updated: 02/08/21 •  20 min read

What better time of year to let your appreciation for your friends and family be known than at Christmastime? Nothing replaces the time we spend sharing life’s both mundane and special moments with people we grow to care about, and while a once a year correspondence doesn’t magically create a lasting relationship, keeping in touch will spark and solidify the bonds of caring between people.

So, write!

In the name of convenience and supposed progress we have removed the art of handwriting (cursive writing) from the elementary school curriculum. Do we realize what is lost when we stop writing letters, the physical kind, to each other?

The celebration of people and their labours of love persist and thrive in our written letters. Let’s value effort again. Let’s put a piece of ourselves into the things we make.

Keep the care of Christmas alive by writing letters to each other.

‘Tis the season to return to soulful gatherings and meaningful living.

What to Write in a Christmas Card

What to Write in a Christmas Card

When writing, a general rule of thumb is to keep your message appropriate to the recipient and to the occasion. The most memorable Christmas card inscriptions are both

The Year Summary and Reflection

For family and friends, perhaps you want to do the annual “here’s my annual update” printed page enclosed with a generic Christmas card and mailed out to everyone you know with a mailing address. This is a valid option; it is faster, yes, but not as memorable as sending a handwritten, personalized card.

(Of course, if you’re writing your Aunt across the country and she requires paragraphs of life updates, then write accordingly.) Strike a balance between succinct and festive, and you’ll have appropriate Christmas card sentiments for everyone on your list.

Begin and end each inscription with a seasonal greeting (such as “Merry Christmas”). Follow it with a personal message appropriate to your relationship with the recipient, and close with a final festive wish, and your signature.

Most of the sentiments collected below, of which there are many variations, work for general seasonal greetings, too. For example, you can substitute a “Happy Holidays,” “Season’s Greetings,” for a “Happy Hanukkah,” or “Happy Kwanzaa,” depending on the holiday and your audience.

You could opt for a happy compromise between the personal and convenient, and send a form letter plus a short, handwritten personalized note to each recipient.

Happy writing!

Make Your Own Card and Make a Christmas Quote the Focal Point

Crafting an uplifting, memorable Christmas message for your cards can be a difficult task. Give yourself the gift of convenience by using one of these inspiring holiday quotes. While you’re here, look for other holiday quotes you love to include in your messages for all your holiday cards:

Or Let a Catchy Line from a Famous Christmas Song Be Your Homemade Card’s Inspiration:

Merry Christmas Card Messages

There’s something wonderful about the classic “Merry Christmas” greeting. If you want to call out Christmas, here are are some sample card messages with the word “Christmas” (That’s right, “Christmas” is not a bad word! Enjoy the celebration of togetherness and sharing!).

Religious Christmas Messages

Adding a religious note to your Christmas cards helps us remember the true reason for this joyous season — Food! Kidding. Here are some examples of religious messages you can include in your card.

Generic Happy Holidays & Season’s Greetings

If you’re not sure your recipients celebrate Christmas, using holiday and season’s greetings instead is a great option. Here are some ideas you can use to get started writing your own holiday message.

Short & Simple Holiday Greetings

If you only want to include a few words, consider one of these simple and short holiday greetings. These are especially good options if you plan on writing out your cards by hand this year.

Holiday Messages For Partners, Friends & Family

When sending holiday wishes to your closest friends, family and loved ones, feel free to get personal. Consider adding a short message about your family, special news and any important announcements you want to share.

Funny Holiday Greetings

A little bit of humour never fails, especially during the stressful holiday season. Make everyone who opens your Christmas cards this year smile with these fun and amusing holiday card messages. Or include your favourite holiday puns, witty quote or funny greeting.

For Those Facing Difficult Circumstances

Writing tip: If you’re sending the same card to everyone on your list, consider whether it feels right for the person or family you know who are facing a difficult time. If the card doesn’t quite seem right, then you may wish to choose a different card for them — something with a warmer colour and design, with more of a focus on peace and hope and strength, as opposed to the usual “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” wishes.

Christmas is for appreciating each other and engaging in joyful gatherings. And because it is such a social time of remembering friends and family, Christmas can remind some of us of our loved ones that have passed on or families that are separated by distance or circumstance.

Christmastime can also come with mixed emotions for someone facing illness, job loss, bereavement or other challenging circumstances. Here are some ideas for letting them know you’re thinking warmly of them during what might be an especially difficult time of year:

For Work & Professional Relationships

Let your relationship guide you when signing a Christmas card for someone you know in a professional context. If it’s a colleague you know well, you can be as casual in your message as you would with non-work friends. For a supervisor, client or someone with whom you have a relationship that’s more strictly about work and less personal, then keep your message more formal. Here are some ideas:

Writing tip: Refrain from mentioning work-related things in the card, beyond congratulating them on a job well done. They will appreciate your gratitude expressed for the working relationship you share, but who wants to think about work over the holidays?

A Business Holiday Thank-You Note

Writing your holiday cards for clients, business partners, volunteers, mentors, sponsors, teachers and others sometimes requires a sincere thank you. Use these ideas and sample card messages as a springboard for choosing how to express your gratitude at the end of the year.

If you happen to be sending out your cards later than you plan, consider including New Year’s greetings instead of the typical holiday messages.


I like to climb mountains, read Nietzsche, and explore the West Coast. I have a BA from York University (2003) in Toronto, Canada, and yet on this site I sometimes spell like an American (know your audience). Thank you. Thank you very much.

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