Christmas wishes: What to write in a Christmas card

Christmas card with flowers coming out of envelope

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!

Inspired? Create and share by tagging @Hallmark.

Find tips for crafting your own Christmas card messages and get some real-life examples and watch-outs from Hallmark Senior Writer Cat Hollyer in the video below or skip straight to message ideas using the links above.

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.
  • Update your address book: Keep a running list of addresses to use each year, and if you remember seeing that someone on your list recently moved or got married, check with them to make sure you still have their correct address information.
  • 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 favorite 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, Shanice!”
  • “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.”
  • “Looking forward to all the food and fun of our family gatherings.”
  • “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!”
  • “Merry Christmas to someone who makes our whole family so proud.”
  • “Merrily and gratefully,”
  • “Christmas is a great reminder of how much I love our loud and loving family.”
  • “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.”

For The One You Love  


  • “My favorite thing about Christmas is getting to spend it with you.”
  • “There’s no one else I’d rather make Christmas memories with.”
  • “Nobody does the holidays like us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
  • “My favorite thing about Christmas is getting to spend it with you.”
  • “Getting to love you is the best gift I’ve ever been given. Love you so much.”
  • “Merry Christmas! Now let’s find some mistletoe.”
  • “I fa-la-la-la love you.”
  • “You make my heart go pa-rum-pum-pum-pum.”
  • “Sharing this life with you is all my heart could ever want.”
  • “You’re on my nice list. (But feel free to try for the naughty list if you want.)”
  • “Another Christmas, and still nothing warms my heart like you.”
  • “I’m so thankful for another year of making memories, creating new traditions, and enjoying all the best parts of the holidays with you.”

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 tamales 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.

To Say Thank You  

There are lots of people who play a very specific, very special role in our lives—teachers, coaches, hairstylists, nurses, mail carriers, and so many more. They make a difference, and the holidays are a great time to let them know you’re thankful for them and everything they do.


  • “We couldn’t let the holidays go by without thanking you for everything you do.”
  • “Just want you to know how much you’re appreciated, by us and so many others.”
  • “Grateful for you all year long, but feeling especially grateful for you at Christmas. Thanks for everything you do.”
  • “Don’t know what I (or my hair) would do without you! Hope you have a merry Christmas.”
  • “So thankful for all the heart you put into what you do. Merry Christmas.”
  • “You mean so much to our family and so many others. Thank you for all of your hard work and for the caring way you do it.”
  • “You’re so great at what you do, and I’m so thankful.”
  • “I appreciate you. Just wanted to remind you of that.”
  • “You deserve all the happiness one holiday season can bring. So glad you’re in my life.” 

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.

Religious Messages  

For Christians, Christmas can be a time of great spiritual meaning as they remember the birth of Jesus. If you’re signing a Christmas card for someone who celebrates the season in this way, incorporating religious elements into your message can help it feel more meaningful and personal.


  • “Blessings to you this Christmas season.”
  • “Celebrating the good news of Christmas and the blessing of knowing good people like you.”
  • “Christmas is here and He is born! Hope your Christmas is blessed.”
  • “Wishing joy to your world and peace to your heart this Christmas.”
  • “So thankful for the blessing you are in my life. Merry Christmas.”
  • “Glory to the newborn King! Merry Christmas to you and yours.”
  • “Jesus is born! Have a merry Christmas.”
  • “Hope you feel all the blessings and love sent down from heaven on that first Christmas.”
  • “O come let us adore Him! Wishing lots of joy and love to you and yours this Christmas.”
  • “Rejoicing with you in the birth of our Savior this Christmas season.”
  • “May your spirit rejoice in the wonder of His birth. Wishing you a joy-filled Christmas season.”
  • “Wishing you hope, peace, joy, and love as you celebrate Christmas.”

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: If your colleague shares your religious views, it can be appropriate to incorporate your shared faith into the message you write in their card. If they don’t (or if you don’t know), it’s best to steer clear.

Playful Notes  

For some relationships, an overly warm or heartfelt message just wouldn’t feel right—and that’s okay! Sharing a laugh with a funny Christmas card can be just as meaningful, and adding your own lighthearted or playful message can be a great way of connecting with someone you have a more lighthearted relationship with. This kind of message can also be great for kids!


  • “Hope your Christmas is Santa-riffic!” 
  • “Yule have a great Christmas. I just know it!”
  • “Wishing you a delightful, merry, and bright-ful season!”
  • “Hope your stockings are stocked and your jingle bells rock. Merry Christmas!” 
  • “Remember, Santa is watching. Everything. Yes, even that. Anyway, Merry Christmas!”
  • “Happy slow down and cozy up season! Hope yours is merry all the way.”
  • “Fill your cup of cheer with whatever you want. Merry Christmas!”
  • “Wishing you all the joy, all the merry, all the cookies this Christmas!”
  • “You’re a gift in my life. And not the kind I’d return for store credit. Merry Christmas!” 
  • “Hope your Christmas is fa-la-la-la-lawesome.”

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!
  • Hope and peace to you and yours,
  • Wishing you joy,
  • Best regards,
  • Warmest wishes,
  • Gratefully,
  • Happy holidays,
  • Cozy wishes,
  • Heavenly peace,
  • Wishing joy to your world,
  • 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, Andrew Blackburn 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.