Holiday Greeting Card Etiquette for Business

It’s a professional courtesy to show appreciation to your business clients, vendors and those you routinely interface with throughout the year.  Now is the time to get your holiday cards ready to be signed, sealed and delivered with a festive stamp…sooner than later.

Before you gather the team around the holiday boardroom to personally sign each card, make sure your card selection is sending the proper message by following some basic holiday greeting card etiquette.

Avoid electronic signatures -To save time, you scanned in the signatures of your team and with a little help from Photoshop, placed them on your cards before printing.  Good idea? Think again.  The lack of effort doesn’t go unnoticed.  A handwritten signature and a personal note instantly adds distinction to your message.

Quality counts – Although cutting costs is certainly important in running a business, the relatively small amount you saved by skimping on holiday greeting cards may not be worth the savings. Consider purchasing quality card stock and a lined envelop to ensure your holiday greeting card is displayed on their front office counter with pride. Less attractive cards are generally “lost” in the shuffle.

Skip the pics – Seldom does a company photo warm the hearts of clients and professional friends, especially when you don’t recognize most of the people in the picture. A friendly greeting with an attractive winter scene or festive holiday message is favorable over a staged group photo of people you don’t recognize, standing in front of their office building,  half smiling while their holiday sweaters are on backwards.

Lick and stick – Running your holiday greeting cards through the company postage machine is a minor detail that is a major faux pas. Using a holiday stamp is favorable holiday greeting card etiquette and always your best option.

Better later than never – not really! Unless you want your card to get misplaced in the holiday mail frenzy, it’s advisable to send holiday cards out the week after Thanksgiving.  If you’ve missed the window and are dangerously close to your cards arriving after the holiday, opt for a “Happy New Year” greeting card instead.  Otherwise, you’ll take the risk of looking disorganized and having bad holiday greeting card etiquette.

It’s always better to give than receive, and that goes for your holiday greeting cards as well.

Good luck and start writing,


Diane Gottsman

Diane Gottsman is a national etiquette expert and modern manners professional, sought out industry leader, television personality, accomplished speaker, Huffington Post blogger, author, and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in executive leadership and etiquette training. Diane is routinely quoted in national and international media including The New York Times, The BBC, CNN, Bloomberg Business Week, Kiplinger, Huffington Post Canada, U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes. She is the resident etiquette expert for two popular morning talk shows, SA Living and Good Day Austin. She has been seen on The TODAY Show, HLN Headline News, WGN Chicago, and CBS Sunday Morning. Her clients range from university students to Fortune 500 companies and her workshops cover topics ranging from tattoos in the workplace to technology at the dinner table and the proper use of social media.


  1. says

    Awesome tips! This is very essential for businesses sending out holiday greeting cards to their clients. It’s a great way to observe etiquette. Thanks for sharing this, a must-read.

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