I admit I sincerely enjoyed receiving Christmas cards each year as I was growing up. I knew Santa was coming soon by the sudden influx of colorful holiday cards brought by the mailman. I remember fondly my mother allowing me to go ahead and open the cards that included the words “and family” or “and girls” (I had a sister) or “Dear Occupant” as part of the address. And, of course, I got to also open those that actually included my very own name too. An even bigger thrill was receiving a card addressed just to me!
So don’t forget to remember the entire family when addressing those envelopes and remember these pointers:
If you know the individuals by name on an informal basis, go ahead and list them all. For example:
Bob and Mary Jones
Bobby, Barbara and Ben
The more formal treatment would be:
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jones
For something in between you could use:
Mr. and Mrs. Bob Jones
and family (or) and children
Another source of mystery to me was wondering why my last name seemed to change from card to card. My maiden name was Cress and I remember receiving holiday cards addressed to The Cresses, The Cress’s, The Cress Family, and so on. We even got them addressed to The Crest Family but that is an entirely different story.
Rules of thumb:
If the family name ends in O or Y, add an S—The Romanos , The Sandys
If the family name ends in S, X, Z, CH or ES, add an ES—The Joneses, The Foxes, The Cortezes, The Bunches, The Marshes
If in doubt, just add the word “Family” as in—The Jones Family
The use of an apostrophe indicates possession or ownership like The Jones’s House so doesn’t really apply for holiday cards. Of course, if you are sending holiday party invitations you may want to indicate that the party is at the Jones’s House.
Party, did someone mention a party?! Count me “and Family” in!