08 December, 2006

Reader Requests: Holiday Card Etiquette

So, would you believe that the 160 dog-gone pictures I ordered from Snapfish for our Christmas cards A) were printed with a glossy finish and not matte as I requested (I have an unnatural disdain for glossy ghigh sheen prints) and B) the color is so dark on mini #2’s face that it looks like there is a big shadow? UGHH! I feel like flinging them right back at the brown UPS truck that just pulled away from the driveway that delivered these things, but it’s a good thing I have better manners than that and that I also realize that desperate times call for desperate measures. And that means I need to suck it up and send it out as is. They really don’t look all that bad I guess, I just happen to be a tad picky about certain things, and my pictures are one of them. Whatever. It’s done. I need to move on from it (or put it on the short list of things I need to discuss in therapy next time).

But speaking of holiday cards, Susan emailed me with a holiday card etiquette question that I thought was a great one to share.

While showing my mother our holiday cards last night, she said “shouldn’t you have listed your husband’s name first and then yours?” I looked this up in Peggy Post and the only rule that I really found was that some people think the woman’s name should come first, some think the person writing the cards should sign their name last, and that if there are children involved, the father’s name always comes first. So, I don’t think I was wrong to put: Susan, hubby and puppy but I am wondering your opinion. On invitations, if a couple is hosting it would be listed Susan and husband last name, wouldn’t it?

When it comes to questions over written etiquette, I tend to always refer to my Crane's Blue Book of Stationery. It truly is a book I think everyone should own and I can tell you my own copy is both well worn and well loved. I hope you hedged a little bet over this because here's the deal. When sending a holiday card (or card in general), the woman's name should appear first (if using individual names), followed by her husband's name. If there are children, then their names should appear on the next line beneath their parents' names (of course, typing this I’m realizing I was in such a hurry to get mine printed I put Mr. M’s name first-YIKES! I'm now HORRIFIED!). Therefore, you are indeed correct!

Now, given what I've stated above, there are, as always, a few things to keep in mind. As you know, I tend to follow a hard line on traditional etiquette and wording and the proper placement of names and monograms. However, it is almost 2007 and the world has relaxed a bit, so in terms of Christmas cards being much more casual and fun these days (we are so lucky to have so many fantastic internet options!!) and not the basic ecru card it was in the past, I do think this is one of those times you can relax a little. In this day and age, sometimes a family is just too big to list all the members properly, sometimes there is only one parent, some times there may be 2 mom's or even two dads! So I think we have to keep those little things in mind a bit.

But like I said, congratulations, you are correct and I hope you won some money out of that bet!


Quinn Cummings said...

Every year, I lose my mind over the Christmas picture of Daughter.




It must be THE dress, THE lighting, her hair doing THE thing that, frankly, it has done for five minutes cumulatively in her life. But no mind, because this Christmas card is going to make the angels weep!

And I will end up screaming like a shrew and worrying my hangnails to a fare-thee-well to get it.

Never mind that I know that when pictures of other families come in to my house, I look at the card, think "Oh, they've grown", put the card up and never think about it again, and never notice whether the daughter's hair bow picks up a minor color on tree.

What I'm saying, MM, is the shadow which darkens your son's face and your peace is visible only to you.

Monogram Momma said...

You are so right, Quinn. I really needed that little reminder so I GREATLY appreciate it because this shaddow and glossy sheen (that is BLINDING ME) that I'm staring at tonight while assembling really isn't that big of a deal. And like you said, truly it's probably only visible to me.

So thanks for that little pick-me-up and thanks for stopping by monogram mommas!

Libby said...

Follow up question: Children (or pets, as the case may be) ought to be listed from eldest to youngest, right?
Love this post- and no more fretting over what I'm sure is a lovely photo of the Monogram family!

Monogram Momma said...

Great question Libby! I do believe you are correct, that you list from eldest to youngest. Since that is the way you would address an invitaion or card to multiple children, then that is also the way it should be printed on an actual card as well.

thepreppyprincess said...

When I address the card itself, I usually do wife, husband, kids in birth order, especially if I know the entire family well.

I am sure the cards will look lovely shadow or not!

liz said...

I've been doing it wrong for twenty years! Oh, well... I'm obsessed with getting the right postage stamp to go with the card -- I realized this year that I never look at the stamps on the cards I receive.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I always have Hubby listed first, then myself, etc...

Ah, the cards - we took our family photo the other night, it was a chore - the dog, she looked FAB in every picture (go figure?). We took about a dozen & finally landed on one - I ended up with a simple photo card from Shutterfly!

Susan D said...

Our cards seemed to be such an ordeal this year. It's just my husband and 2 dogs, but our dogs acted like they had forgotten to learn "sit" and "stay". Now I have just realized that I put MY husband's name first too. Whoops! Oh well, like you said - no one is going to notice that my dogs look a little crazed, but I do hope they just don't pull out Emily Post! I bet your cards are lovely!