3 Tips to Write Meaningful Holiday Card Notes (Plus a Surprise Recipe)

Unconventional Holiday Greetings: A Brief Guide to Making Your Holiday Cards Meaningful

Eating peppermint bark. Buying gifts (one for them, three for me…). Planning extra days off. Maybe those are things you relish about the holidays.

For us, it’s all about writing holiday cards. When our clients are agonizing over which cliché to go with this year, or how to make holiday cheer seem more (actually) genuine, we are sitting pretty, pens in hand, tossing off one pithy message after another and making each other chuckle.

Okay…not. Reading and writing the same stale notes may be a drag–for everyone. So here’s some advice for drafting a holiday business greeting that’s personal, meaningful, and fun for both the hapless writer and his/her inundated recipient.

1. Write It By Hand

For once in your smartphone-addled, electronics-addicted life (okay, we’re talking about ourselves again), resist the urge to go digital! A handwritten note is far more personal, thoughtful, and warm. Isn’t it Shakespeare that said “he whoeth put quill to paper wins one trillioneth points for love and business?”
Hack: If your longhand is feeling rusty, this process can turn your handwriting into a digital font you can use forever, removing the pain without deleting the effect.

2. Keep It Sweet

It’s the thought that counts, not the word count. Keep things light and to the point, while personalizing to your recipient. Congratulate your clients on any milestones (weddings to new offices). Update them about yours. Do both in a fuzzy blur. Below is an example from JotForm: good list in an unconventional order:

Our most-opened card said “Jingle Bells, Copy Sells.”

Keep your closing warm and pointed. Here are a few that tweak the usual cliché:

  • Wishing you a happy 2016 (How did that happen?)
  • Wishing you a 2016 that’s only slightly better than last year–because really, you want to keep building up.
  • Happy holidays, season’s greetings, and all that jazz.
  • Drink some eggnog for me! 
  • Drink a quart of eggnog for me (burp). 
  • Here, take my eggnog (I’m lactose intolerant).  

3. Consider Putting It Off

If you’re using your holiday greeting to spread business cheer, consider waiting till January 4. Yes–embrace procrastination! Winter can reward latecomers with a New Year’s (or MLK Jr., say) greeting that truly stands out–‘coz everyone else has already put away the wrapping paper and eaten the last chocolate-covered reindeer. And you are still partying. 

At the end of the day, don’t overthink things. So long as you don’t offend, your card is sure to do what you intend: remind your recipient you exist, and inject a little more warmth into the relationship. 


Gingerbread Blog Recipe

From everyone at MarketSmiths, we wish you a well-written holiday season!

Jean Tang

Jean Tang

A champion of high-end content, Jean is a living tribute to copywriting for humans. In 2012, at a TEDx talk, she declared her now widely viewed “War Against Bland.” The visionary founder of MarketSmiths, Jean leads her growing team to captivate, inspire, and motivate readers. She has helped thousands of global clients generate revenue from words (up to 12,000% ROI), and transformed the writing of hundreds of seminar attendees at the SXSW Interactive Festival (2014 and 2015), SXSW V2V (2014), the Small Business Summit (2014, NYC), and other venues.

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