Addressing holiday cards for modern families

posted 10 months ago in Holidays
Post # 16
Member
278 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2018

I agree with you this is important! As someone with many last names in the family, I appreciate it. I also dislike when the woman’s last name is eliminated in addressing the family.

In all three examples, I would go with the hyphenated option i.e. Smith-Jones family. I think it’s the most inclusive.

Post # 17
Member
651 posts
Busy bee

Just use first names on the envelope. 

Also, yes, you do have to write a message inside the card. The only way getting a stock card would be ok is if it from a car dealership. 

Post # 18
Member
6789 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

newbee73 :  Basically every single holiday card I receive is the same as you’re describing, so I wouldn’t worry about that. 

As for addressing them, for very complex families with many different last names I’ve just stuck to first names in the past. That way everyone’s included and Christmas cards really aren’t supposed to be formal anyway.

ETA: None of these cards I’ve received has ever had anything hand written on them. Never. I feel like people here are getting so hung up on this point. They’re just Christmas cards. If you don’t like them when you receive them you can just throw them away. 

Post # 19
Member
2735 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Well done OP, I think you’ve uncovered the Uk and Irish Bee’s equivilent of evening invites in the US.

 

if that is how it is done where you are ok, but I would still hand write the first names on the card. Start the trend and honour the relationships 

Post # 20
Member
11945 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

”It’s very common in the US to order pre-printed cards, usually it has a greeting like, “Merry Christmas Love, Husband, Wife, Kid, Dog”, but it doesn’t address the recipient.”

I’m in the US and this is not at all my experience. It’s bad enough if the card has no personalized note, but I’ve never once seen one that does not address the recipients. Neither are appropriate.

As for the outside envelope, I’d address the couple by name according to their preferred form of address and the children on subsequent lines. And then everyone by first name inside along with a short personalized note. For example, 

Mr. John Smith and Ms. Jane Doe

Miss Charlotte Smith

By the way Mrs. Jane Doe is incorrect. If keeping a name it’s Ms.

Post # 21
Member
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

If Ms Brown marries Mr Jones, She’s still Ms Brown, not Mrs Brown unless she’s married to Mr Brown. I kept my last name so I am Ms Iliketurtles82, whose married status is not reflected in my title. Unlike Miss, Ms is generic and refers to a woman who may or may not be married. 🙂

In all three of your scenarios I would say the x-y family. 

Post # 22
Member
2491 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

iliketurtles82 :  I don’t think that’s true. Mrs. is defined as a married woman. I have seen nothing stating that there is any variation as to “she’s only Mrs. if she took her husband’s name.” It’s used to refer to a *married* woman regardless of name and Ms. in the English world is properly used for ANY woman if you arent sure whether they’re married or not. 

Post # 23
Member
2491 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I think the classic “tacky and self-centered” ways of weddingbee are showing on this thread. It’s interesting to me that so many people feel sending a Christmas card with a family photo on it means the senders are a self-centered family who want their photo posted on a wall. Since I was a kid we always took family photos and my mom sent them out to friends and family.  My husband and I are now our own unit and send family Christmas cards of us with our dog. Our friends and family love them and have even asked if we’re doing family photos because it’s the rare time they get a printed photo of us. Another friend asked if she could take family pics at my house to send out this year for her baby’s first Christmas.  I receive them from friends and family and enjoy having the pictures up every year for Christmas. I guess I’m just glad I don’t have a bunch of cynical people in my life who would think the intent behind my card is that I want to be plastered in their house because I’m soooo special. I love this quote: “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.” It’s very befitting of a lot of the backlash I see bees get here for innocent things that MOST people don’t actually find offensive. OP I think your breakdown is fine and I wouldn’t be offended or scathed from it. If there’s mutliple names in the family then maybe just use first names or main person + family. 

The Smith Family

The Smith-Brown Family

John and Family

Jane and Family 

Anyone seriously harmed from something this small doesn’t have any other issues to worry about. I can’t imagine!

Post # 24
Member
759 posts
Busy bee

all the pearl clutching over the pre printed Christmas card is insane – pretty much every one I receive is like that – there’s a nice family picture with a generic note. It’s nice to know someone is thinking of me and see a recent picture of their kids / family, it’s nice and innocuous. 

 

As for the addressing – for the blended families I’d go with:

Ms. Carter and Ms. Jones

and Family

 

or on the second line you could put the kids first names. I would find it presumptuous to be called the “Carter-Jones family” when they’re not married. I doubt anyone is thinking too deeply into it, but I think naming the couple then adding “and family” still acknowledges the unit without taking it too far. 

Post # 25
Member
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

DoubleD :  “Ms. in the English world is properly used for ANY woman if you arent sure whether they’re married or not.”

That’s exactly what I was saying, I don’t know where the attitude is coming from. 

Post # 26
Member
2491 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

iliketurtles82 :  Sorry not trying to come across negatively but I took the first part of your post as if you were implying that if a married woman chooses to keep her last name she isn’t technically a “Mrs.” I think I misread your post. My apologies. 

Post # 27
Member
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

DoubleD :  Actually you read that part right. I’m really pretty sure I’m not a Mrs even though I am married. Aren’t I still a Ms because I didn’t change my name? I’m not any less married of course lol so definitely not saying that!

Isn’t this true? My mom kept her name as well and she was always a Ms.

Post # 28
Member
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I find addressing things to the Smith-Jones family a bit weird if nobody is actually hyphenating.

I usually go with the Smith/Jones family.

Post # 29
Member
900 posts
Busy bee

1. Have you asked any of these families how they prefer to be addressed? We have two friends who are in blended families where spouses and kids have different last names. I just shot over a quick text asking how they want their mail addressed before adding them to the Christmas card list. 

 

2. I wonder if the photo card thing is regional or socioeconomic? We live in an affluent area in the South where we both grew up and most of our college and childhood friends live in similar affluent enclaves across Texas, California, NYC, DC and the South and we literally send and receive hundreds of photos cards each year. No personalized greeting. It’s fun to get pics of everyone’s families and see how their kids are growing up! The only person who ever includes a hand-written greeting in a non-custom Card is a girlfriend who grew up in the UK….which makes more sense after reading this thread!

Post # 30
Member
6789 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

dgirl715 :  Maybe it is socio-economic but I wouldn’t say regional. I live in Chicago and basically all I receive are photo cards. And I get them from friends and family all over ths US: Louisiana, Virginia, New York, San Diego, Seattle…

I’ve never actually sent a photo card myself but it’s so humorous to read this thread. I guess all my friends and family are just rude and self-absorbed and I should have been offended all these years. 🤷‍♀️

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