Holiday cards are a valued tradition this time of year. Since much of our communications are done digitally, this physical touchpoint is a great way to foster relationships as a family or as a business. However, there are common grammar mistakes that show up on cards every year, which can be a poor reflection of you or your business.

So, we made a quick video that breaks down the most common blunders so you can be confident your cards are a great representation of you and your ultimate desire to connect, and spread holiday cheer.

Holiday Card Grammar Mistakes from Elly and Nora Creative from Elly and Nora Creative on Vimeo.

We hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch, but if you’re in a hurry, here’s the main points.

Mistake 1: Making Last Names Plural

Never ever use an apostrophe to make a name plural.

To make most last names plural, just add an ‘s’ to the end

Example: Smiths

If the last name ends in a ‘ch’ ‘s’ ‘sh’ ‘x’ or ‘z’ add an ‘es’ to the end

Example: Sanchezes

If the last name ends in a ‘ch’ but makes a hard ‘k’ sound, add an ‘s’

Example: Monarchs

The default is always to just use the singular version of the last name and add ‘Family’ to the end. This is especially great if you’re in the ‘es’ camp and aren’t a fan of how it looks.

Example: The Chambers Family.

Mistake 2: Season’s Greetings

While there’s no place of an apostrophe when you’re making last names plural, you do however need it when you’re saying “Season’s Greetings.” The greetings belong to the season in this example, so there is an apostrophe.

Mistake 3: Happy New Year

Another apostrophe issue. It’s pretty common that you’ll see cards that say Happy New Year’s, but that apostrophe has no place there without the word ‘day’ or ‘night’ after it. The correct way to offer this greeting is:

Happy New Year or

Happy New Year’s Day

Mistake 4: Merry Christmas

When you’re wishing someone ‘Merry Christmas’ on its own, both words should be capitalized, but if you’re offering it in the confines of a sentence, the word ‘merry’ should remain lower case. Here’s the correct way:

Merry Christmas or

Wishing you a merry Christmas.

the same goes for Hanukkah.

Happy Hanukkah or

Wishing you a happy Hanukkah.


We hope that you’ll find these tips helpful as you’re filling out those cards this year.


CEO + Creative Director at Elly and Nora Creative
Sara Chambers is a brand strategist and the CEO of Elly and Nora Creative, a full-service creative agency focused on building and activating brave, bold, and brag-worthy brands.

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