GSA Instagram Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Content Queen: How to Properly Sign your Holiday Cards

A brief holiday public service announcement from the Content Queen.

’Tis the season that makes all grammar and punctuation nerds cringe. I’m talking about Christmas cards and how to sign them. Specifically, how to correctly make your family name plural. You might wonder what this has to do with direct marketing. Well, your family name is your brand, and we are all about brand around here. Plus, just consider this a little holiday gift from us to you, so you don’t risk annoying the grammar sticklers in your life. Pour an eggnog and let’s get started with a quick tutorial:

Rule #1

Do not use an apostrophe. Ever.
Correct: Happy holidays from the Smiths.
Incorrect: Happy holidays from the Smiths’. Happy holidays from the Smith’s.

Rule #2

If your last name ends in s, x, z, ch or sh, simply add -es to your name.
Examples: Happy holidays from the Joneses, the Foxes, the Schultzes, the Riches, the Nashes. Exception: If your last name ends in ch but is pronounced with a hard k sound, add only an -s, not an -es.
Should you stick an apostrophe at the end, because, you know, it ends in an “s”? No. Never.

Rule #3

If your last name ends in any letter other than the ones listed above, simply add an s to the end of your name.
Examples: Happy holidays from the Clarks, the Waides, the Copps, the Berrys, the Holms, the Petersons, and so on.
Should you stick an apostrophe at the end, because, you know, it ends in an “s”? No. Never.

Rule #4

Don’t change the base spelling of your last name to make it plural, even if your last name ends in “y.” The rules for making plurals out of words that end in “y” do not apply to last names.
Example: Happy holidays from the Murphys, not the Murphies, the Freemans, not the Freemen.

Rule #5

Apostrophes are for making words possessive. When you sign your Christmas card, you are not making a possessive. You are simply making your last name plural. Did I mention that you shouldn’t use an apostrophe when making your last name plural? Don’t. Ever.

Here’s a neat little trick if you are still confused. You can avoid the whole issue by just leaving your family name singular and adding “family” behind it.
Example: Happy holidays from the Williams Family, the Marsh Family, the Schultz Family. Easy peasy!

Here’s wishing you and your family a happy and apostrophe-free holiday.

Amy Fischer • November 29, 2018


Previous Post

Next Post