What to write in a holiday card—130 thoughtful messages to make the season extra merry

Retro Christmas card with a tinsel backdrop background.

’Tis the season—for sending the jolliest messages of all! People have been sending Christmas cards and holiday cards for centuries, and these merry missives continue to be a beloved tradition enjoyed by both senders and recipients alike. But, what exactly should you say in a holiday card to family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues? Read on for our top tips and inspirational examples, and learn all about crafting a festive message (and creating a holiday card that’ll have everyone hoping to be on your nice list).

First—find the perfect holiday card!

Two holiday cards from Evite.
Two holiday cards from Evite.

Before you can start writing your holiday messages, you need the cards to write them on. One of the easiest, most eco-friendly and most economical ways to send holiday and Christmas cards out to loved ones is digitally.

Evite offers a wide range of holiday cards, Christmas cards, New Year’s cards and Hanukkah cards to choose from (as well as our Design Your Own Card templates), all with customizable envelopes, liners, stamps, stickers and backgrounds to make your cards especially joyous. Many of our holiday card templates come with room for a festive photo, so you can make your cards extra personal. AND, you can easily customize your chosen holiday card with individual messages to each recipient (or use the same greeting for all) quickly and easily.

What to write in a holiday card

Fact: the holidays are a busy time for everyone. Between parties, traveling and holiday shopping, sitting down to write out a flawless holiday message to everyone on your list can feel like a chore. But it doesn’t need to be (you’re sending cheer to people, so it should be fun for you, too!). Holiday messages generally follow a simple format, so all you need to do is follow these steps and add a little personalization and you’re good as (silver and) gold.

  1. Wish your card recipient a “Happy Holidays,” “Season’s Greetings,” “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” or “Joyous Kwanzaa.” This is your opening greeting, so keep it short, sweet and festive. “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” are especially popular choices as they're more inclusive, while the wordings that are more rooted in specific faiths should be used thoughtfully with family and friends.
  2. Write a message that’s true to your relationship with the recipient. If they're someone close to you, make it heartfelt and personal. If they're a business colleague, be polite and professional. If they have a sense of humor, include a joke, pun or witty note. And if you want something that works for all holiday card recipients, a favorite quote from a song, poet or author is always a great idea.
  3. Add your sign-off and signature at the end. Some sign-offs to consider include:

Warmest wishes,

Love always,

With love,





Peace and joy,

Peace be with you and yours,

Wishing you joy,

Holiday card message ideas

Classic Christmas card with Santa.

Classic holiday wishes

  1. Have a holly, jolly Christmas.
  2. May your days be merry and bright.
  3. Sending holiday cheer.
  4. Warmest holiday greetings.
  5. Sending our love.
  6. Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
  7. Hope your holiday season is filled with joy.
  8. Best wishes for a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year!
  9. Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
  10. Sending warm wishes of peace, happiness and good health this holiday season.

Holiday card next to a painting of a Christmas tree.

Sentimental season’s greetings

  1. May peace, love and prosperity be with you always.
  2. Your continued friendship brightens our lives more than all the Christmas lights in town.
  3. Whatever brings you beauty, meaning and happiness, may it be yours this holiday season and beyond.
  4. Sending the warmest of thoughts, biggest of hugs, and brightest of lights to you.
  5. Let us cherish family and friends this holiday season.
  6. May the gifts of love, peace and happiness be in abundance this holiday season.
  7. You’ve always made the holidays the brightest of seasons for me. 
  8. May the holiday season fill your home with warmth, your heart with love and your life with pure joy.
  9. Sending lots of love and warm wishes to you and your family this holiday season.
  10. Enjoy every precious moment of merriment, laughter and goodwill this Christmas!

Gratitude and appreciation

  1. For the happy moments we’ve shared together to the joys yet to come, we thank you for being a part of our lives. 
  2. No gift under the tree will ever be as meaningful to me as your friendship.
  3. Thank you for being in our lives and making the world a brighter place. Happy holidays!
  4. I’m grateful to call you my friend and share the joy of the season with you.
  5. With each Christmas that passes, I’m grateful to know you’ll be there by my side.
  6. Cheers to another year of joy, friendship and making memories. Merry Christmas!
  7. I can’t tell you how much you mean to our family. Have the happiest holiday ever!
  8. I cherish every moment I spend with you and can’t wait to see what the new year brings our way.
  9. Wonderful friends like you make our lives that much happier.
  10. Another Christmas, another year spent making amazing memories with you and your family. May the new year bring more of the same!

Shared memories

  1. Remembering the good times and looking forward to creating many more memories together!
  2. How many holidays have we spent together? Well, not enough, so we’re going to have to keep on being friends! Happy holidays!
  3. I still remember the look of excitement on your face when you opened your gifts from Santa. May you always find that amount of joy in everything you encounter.
  4. The holidays always remind me of all the fun times we had when we were little during Christmas!
  5. I still remember every gift you got me (and save every card you send!).
  6. My memories of us together are what I cherish the most during the holiday season.
  7. Remember when we were kids, and it felt like Christmas would never come? Now that we have kids of our own, I can see why our parents thought it came all too quickly!
  8. As I grow older, I realize how much you did to make the holidays so special.
  9. You’ve always known how to make home a little warmer, cookies taste a little better and the tree shine a little brighter.
  10. We need to catch up over a cup of cocoa, watch some holiday movies and relive our childhood soon!

Funny holiday sayings

For kids:

  1. Rarely calm (but always bright!)
  2. Ho-ho-hope you have the merriest Christmas ever!
  3. Oh, ginger-snap, it’s Christmas!
  4. On the (mostly) nice list!
  5. Hope you have a tree-mendous holiday!
  6. Have your elf a merry little Christmas!
  7. Snow much joy!
  8. What Santa doesn’t see won’t hurt him.
  9. Another year of just missing the naughty list!
  10. Peace, hope and cookies!

For adults:

  1. Hope your holidays sleigh!
  2. All the jingle ladies.
  3. We’re just full of holiday cheer(s)
  4. Merry AF.
  5. It’s the most wine-derful time of the year.
  6. A mistle-toast to the new year is in order!
  7. It’s a sleigh from us.
  8. Best in snow.
  9. Full of Christmas spirit(s)
  10. The glow-up is real.

For pets:

  1. Have a Meowy Christmas and a Happy Mew Year!
  2. Peace and woof to all! 
  3. Hope your holidays are pawsitively awesome!
  4. Fur real, hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
  5. Furry & bright!
  6. Peace, joy and plenty of chew toys!
  7. Eat, drink and be meowy.
  8. Santa Paws says I’m on the good boy list.
  9. Feline festive.
  10. Paws on earth and goodwill to all!

Religious holiday greetings

  1. May the Lord grant you and all your loved ones peace, joy and goodwill.
  2. Wishing you every blessing as we celebrate the birth of our Lord.
  3. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. — Luke 1:14
  4. Wishing you a season that’s merry and bright with the light of God’s love.
  5. May God bless you and yours this Christmas and all through the year!
  6. Have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year!
  7. May His love surround you at Christmastime and always.
  8. Warmest wishes for faith, hope and peace this Christmas season.
  9. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. — Luke 2:14
  10. May God fill your Yuletide season and all your days with immeasurable prosperity and joy! Merry Christmas!

Nondenominational holiday wishes

  1. Wishing you a very happy holiday and an amazing New Year!
  2. Spreading holiday cheer this season.
  3. Warm wishes for a happy holiday and a joyful New Year.
  4. Season’s greetings to you and yours.
  5. May your holidays be filled with love, laughter and lots of cookies!
  6. Wishing you and your family the best this season and beyond.
  7. Sending peace and love to you and your family this season.
  8. Merry everything and happy always.
  9. Happy holidays from our home to yours.
  10. May the wonder and magic of the holidays fill you with delight.

Thoughtful Hanukkah messages

  1. Happy Hanukkah!
  2. Thinking of you during this season of miracles.
  3. Sending you and your family love during the Festival of Lights
  4. Chag Sameach!
  5. Wishing you and yours peace, love and light during this holiday season.
  6. May your heart be filled with the glow of the Hanukkah candles this season.
  7. Hanukkah Sameach! 
  8. Wishing you a peaceful and happy Hanukkah!
  9. Happy Challah-days!
  10. Here’s to a bright and meaningful Hanukkah.

Meaningful Kwanzaa greetings

  1. Have a blessed Kwanzaa!
  2. Sending you love and light this Kwanzaa.
  3. May this Kwanzaa bring you prosperity, unity and hope.
  4. Sending you and yours warm wishes this Kwanzaa.
  5. Wishing you joy this Kwanzaa.
  6. Let the flames of the seven candles warm your heart and light your way. 
  7. May your Kwanzaa be thoughtful and joyous.
  8. Habari Gani!
  9. Wishing you a bright, blessed Kwanzaa.
  10. Joyous Kwanzaa! Thinking of you and sending happy wishes your way.

Festive holiday quotes from authors, poets and songs

  1. “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

― Hamilton Wright Mabie

  1. “The mood is right, the spirits up. We’re here tonight and that’s enough. Simply having a wonderful Christmas time.”

― “Wonderful Christmas Time”

  1. “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”

― Bob Hope

  1. “Good tidings we bring to you and your kin. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

― “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”

  1. “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”

― Laura Ingalls Wilder

  1. “Rocking around the Christmas tree, have a happy holiday. Everyone dancing merrily, in a new old-fashioned way.”

― “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

  1. “Christmas! 'Tis the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.”

― Washington Irving

  1. “And so, I’m offering this simple phrase to kids from one to 92. Although it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you.”

― “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)”

  1. “I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  1. “Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.”

― Mary Ellen Chase

What to say in a holiday card for professional settings

Colorful holiday card next to a photo of people clinking glasses.

The holidays are a time to give back to those around you and reflect. Many businesses, organizations and workplaces embrace the holiday season as the perfect time to really thank the people that help make their company thrive. Not only is it a wonderful occasion to show gratitude and extend best wishes for the future, but it’s also a way to strengthen your relationships with these people.

When it comes to writing a holiday card message to coworkers, employees, clients or business partners, it’s important to remember that your tone should still remain professional and mindful of everyone’s beliefs. Some examples include:

  1. Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year from all of us at ____.
  2. Warm greetings to you and yours this holiday season. Happy New Year!
  3. May your holiday season be filled with joy!
  4. Wishing you a very Happy Holiday and a prosperous New Year.
  5. Sending our best to you and yours this holiday season.
  6. As the holiday season is upon us, we’d like to take a moment to reflect upon the year and thank you for making it one to remember. Happy Holidays!
  7. Our team is merry and grateful for your continued loyalty.
  8. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to you for being an integral part of our company. We wish you a holiday season surrounded by warmth and a new year filled with happiness.
  9. This holiday season, we are looking back with appreciation for your hard work and look forward to moving into the New Year together!
  10. Season’s greetings from all of us at ______.

Now that you know all about spreading joy with a festive holiday card message, it’s time to start creating yours! With Evite’s very merry collection of holiday cards, Christmas cards and Hanukkah cards, you can send your holiday cards from Evite instantly, or schedule them to deliver at a later date. Many people send holiday or Christmas cards the first week of December, but any time before Christmas is perfectly acceptable! And, if you find yourself unable to send yours out before Christmas Day, you can always send one of our New Year’s cards instead.

Planning to celebrate the winter holidays beyond only sending holiday cards? Our Christmas invitations, holiday party invitations, Hanukkah invitations, Kwanzaa invitations and New Year’s Eve invitations are here to help, as is our handy holiday to-do-list blog. And if you’re planning to throw parties and send cards year-round for birthdays, other holidays, and any-and-all parties, consider signing up for Evite Pro to enjoy unlimited cards, invitations and access to Premium features. Have fun, and Happy Holidays!

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