Christmas wishes: what to write in a Christmas card

By Keely Chace on November 6th, 2020

Oh, what fun it is to sit down at Christmastime and write a little something to the people who’ve added to your joy all year long! Of course, it would be more fun if you had no shortage of ideas about what to actually write in your Christmas cards.

That’s where this guide comes in. It offers tips and inspiration from Hallmark writers to get you started, whether you’re signing three cards or 63. You can adapt these Christmas wishes and message ideas to work for a traditional Christmas card, holiday newsletter, custom photo card or other seasonal greeting.

Just click on the specific category you’re interested in, or read the whole guide and mix and match to create just the right holiday message for each person on your list. May your pen be merry! May your words be bright!


Gearing Up to Write

Here are four simple tips for adding some cheer to the task of signing your season’s greetings:

  • Stock up: Before you start, make sure you have enough stamps, cards, envelopes and working pens. You don’t want to run out of something when you’re on a roll.
  • Keep it short and sweet: You can express Christmas joy and caring without saying a lot.
  • Get a soundtrack: Set the jolly mood by putting on some of your favourite holiday music. Make it part of your card-signing tradition.
  • The more, the merrier: Many hands make light work, so enlist the help of family members if possible. Even very young children can sign their own names or add a cute drawing. Older kids may enjoy adding personal messages of their own to cards. If there are cookies involved, they might even help address envelopes.

For Friends


  • “Peace and joy to you and yours this Christmas season.”
  • “Wishing you a very merry Christmas and the chance to do lots more fishing in the new year!”
  • “Thinking warmly of each of you and wishing your family an extra measure of comfort, joy and hope this Christmas.”
  • “Have your best Christmas ever!”
  • “Merry Christmas with lots of love,”
  • “We hope you have a nice, relaxing Christmas, Susan!”
  • “I hope your holiday season is full of good things.”
  • “Praying you have a wonderful Christmas filled with moments you’ll always remember.”
  • “May your season be merry and your presents underwear-free (unless you really need some!).”
  • “So grateful to have a friend like you at Christmas and all year long.”
Writing tip: When the card has already said it all, or you just feel like keeping things short and sweet, a straightforward “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” message might be just what Santa ordered.

For Family


  • “Merry Christmas with thanks and love,”
  • “Having parents like you is the best Christmas gift there ever could be.”
  • “At Christmas and always, what a blessing you are.”
  • “So glad we’re family…and so grateful for all the great Christmas memories we share.”
  • “Merry Christmas to our favorite L.A. niece. We’ve had fun keeping up with your photos and blog posts! Wishing you many more adventures in the new year!”
  • “For me, the holidays start when we get together. Looking forward to talking and catching up soon!”
  • “Merrily and gratefully,”
  • “Thinking of you with lots of love at Christmas.”
  • “You’re someone who helps me remember the true reason for the season, and I’m so grateful for you.”
  • “When I think back on all the happiest moments this year, your wedding day stands out. Hope the two of you enjoy a wonderful first Christmas together.”
Writing tip: It’s a big deal when family or friends are celebrating their first Christmas as a married couple, in a new house, with a new baby or any other exciting holiday firsts. Be sure to call it out in your personal message to them.

For Those Who Are Far Away

If your card is for family members or close friends you won’t get to see at Christmas, let them know you’re missing them.


  • “Missing you even more at this joyful time of year.”
  • “Really, really wish you were here!”
  • “We may not be together in person on Christmas morning, but you’ll be in my mind and in my heart. You always are.”
  • “I’ll sure miss being together for Christmas this year. Eat a few extra hunks of fudge for me, OK?”
  • “Christmas won’t feel the same without you here, but we wish you a wonderful holiday time with Emma’s family. Miss you already!”
  • “Wish we could be together this holiday season, but since we can’t, I’m sending good wishes your way.”
  • “Just can’t believe it has been so long since we’ve seen each other. TOO long!”
Writing tip: Miss-you message not required. If not being together for Christmas is a sore subject, then skip it and focus your message around love, gratitude or a warm holiday wish instead.

Difficult Circumstances

Christmastime can come with mixed emotions for someone facing illness, job loss, bereavement or other challenging circumstances. Here are some ideas for letting them know you’re thinking warmly of them during what might be an especially difficult time of year.


  • “I know this probably won’t go down as your best Christmas ever. I hope it helps a little to be reminded how much I care about you and wish you a brighter new year.”
  • “You’ve had more than your share of challenges this year. Wishing you peace and hope at Christmas and a new year full of better days.”
  • “I hope the holidays are extra gentle and sweet to you and give you lots of reasons to smile and lots of time to rest.”
  • “Hoping that the new year brings you new possibilities.”
  • “Our hearts are with you and your family. All our love,”
  • “It’s hard when Christmas comes during a difficult time. Just want you to know I’m thinking of you.”
  • “Sending you hugs this Christmas. Take good care of you.”
  • “Sometimes the holidays only seem to remind us of what we have lost. But you will never lose the love and caring of those who know you and want the best for you.”
Writing tip: If you’re sending the same card to everyone on your list, consider whether it feels right for the people or family you know who are facing a difficult time. If not, then you may wish to choose a different card for them—something with quieter language and design, with more focus on peace and hope, as opposed to “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” wishes.

For Professional Relationships

Let your relationship guide you when signing a Christmas card for someone you know in a professional context. If it’s a colleague you’re close to, you can be as casual in your message as you would with nonwork friends. If it’s a supervisor, client or someone with whom you have a relationship that’s more strictly about work, then keep your message more formal.


  • “Happy Holidays and all the best to you in the year to come!”
  • “It’s a pleasure to work with you and a joy to wish you a merry Christmas!”
  • “The holidays are a perfect time to remind you how much I appreciate your business. I hope you enjoy a wonderful season filled with the people and traditions that mean the most.”
  • “You make work a lot less like work and more like a caring community. Merry Christmas, with thanks for all you do!”
  • “Holiday time and all the time, I so appreciate the great work you do.”
  • “Wishing you some well-deserved downtime over the holidays. You’ve earned it!”
  • “Merry Christmas to my totally talented stylist! Thank you for keeping me looking good all year.”
  • “Wishing you the beauty, blessings and joy this season brings.”
  • “Hoping that the new year brings you new opportunities and new possibilities.”
  • “Warmest wishes for a happy holiday season.”
Writing tip: It’s great to express gratitude for the working relationship you share, but beyond that, resist the urge to talk shop. Your card is a place for official Christmas business only.

Warm Closings

A warm closing before your signature is like the bow on top! Choose one of ours, or come up with one of your own.

  • Warmly,
  • Love,
  • With love,
  • Lots of love,
  • Love always,
  • Much love to you,
  • All my love,
  • Best wishes!
  • Warmest wishes at Christmas and always,
  • Merry Christmas!
  • Wishing you joy,
  • Warmest wishes,
  • Gratefully,
  • Blessings,
  • Christmas blessings,
  • God bless,
  • Hugs and kisses,
  • Peace out,
Writing tip: One Hallmark writer likes to keep it simple by closing with “Love,” for everyone on her list, no matter how close the relationship is. She just figures, if ever there was a season to be all about the love, Christmas is it.

Credits: Additional contributions by Cat Hollyer, Renee Daniels, Kevin Dilmore, Suzanne Heins, Diana Manning, Lisa Riggin and Amy Trowbridge-Yates.

Keely Chace is a Hallmark Master Writer who loves reading, running and spending time with her husband and daughters. She shares writing tips in her "What to Write" series on Hallmark & Community.