Etiquette expert reveals the 'plain rude' Christmas faux pas you should avoid this year

Note to self: Don't ever make this mistake

christmas card
(Image credit: Getty Images)

According to an etiquette expert, this is the one holiday faux pas you should avoid at all costs - and it involves Christmas cards

The holidays are a festive a joyful time of year - a time when families and friends come together to spend time enjoying each other's company, drinking and eating and laughing to their hearts' content. Some people, however, can't always find the time to catch up around the holidays - it is a rather busy and expensive season, after all - so some opt to send Christmas cards in lieu of an in-person visit. 

Christmas cards have been woven into the fabric of the holiday season for centuries, so it stands to reason that, over the years, there have become some Christmas card faux pas that one should always avoid, and etiquette expert William Hanson just laid them out for us. 

christmas card

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The #1 Christmas card faux pas to avoid this year

William revealed that one of the worst etiquette mistakes you can make around the holiday season is not personalising your Christmas cards. 

"If you’re sending cards, you should definitely personalise them inside by including the recipients’ names, as well as your own as a sign-off. What’s the point of sending cards if you can’t be bothered to pop their names down?" he told us. "Leaving off names doesn’t signal you’re really busy and have too many cards to write. It just reads as plain rude."

Another rule William swears by when it comes to Christmas card etiquette is not sending cards to people who don't send them to you, and vice versa. Of course, there can be exceptions to this rule - perhaps there are family members or friends of yours who are incapable. However, when it comes to card-sending etiquette, William goes by the "three year" rule. 

"Tt is fairly standard practice amongst the more prolific card writers to keep a list of who sends you cards and who you, in turn, send to," he started. "I have a rule that if I don’t get a card from someone for three years, they’re off the list, however much I may love them. You have to give to receive!"

Tangled Christmas tree lights

(Image credit: Getty Images)

William also gave a tip for those trying to save some money this holiday season - because as we know, this can be a pretty expensive time of year - and one way to save some money is by hand-delivering cards to those who live close to you.

"With rising stamp costs, there is nothing wrong with hand-delivering Christmas cards," he said. "Save on the ink, too, and don’t write out the recipient’s address on the envelope, just their first names. If feeling a little extra, in the bottom right-hand corner, one adds ‘by hand’."

Madeline Merinuk
US Lifestyle News Writer

Madeline Merinuk is woman&home's US lifestyle news writer, covering celebrity, entertainment, fashion, and beauty news.

She graduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Journalism from Hofstra University, winning multiple student journalism awards, including a National Hearst Award, during her time there. After graduating, she worked at, the digital site for the Today Show, where she wrote pop culture news and interviewed big-name personalities like Emily Ratajkowski, Haley Lu Richardson, Emma Corrin, and more.

Her personal interests, in no particular order, are: cheese, Joni Mitchell, reading, hot yoga, traveling, having multiple chapsticks in every handbag at all times, and dancing to ABBA songs as if she were in the Mamma Mia movies.