The holiday-card season is here. Soon, mailboxes will be filled with greetings and warm wishes. When it comes to making a holiday card, there are several things that can go …
AUBURN UNIVERSITY — The holiday-card season is here. Soon, mailboxes will be filled with greetings and warm wishes. When it comes to making a holiday card, there are several things that can go wrong. From blurry pictures to misspellings, your card can quickly find its way onto the naughty list. To keep your card in Santa’s good graces, there are several things to keep in mind.
Holiday cards are often the bane of an English teacher’s existence. Why? Because they often include grammatical errors. Glenda Freeman, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System communications editor, said one of the most common mistakes in holiday cards is misusing the apostrophe.
People will often use an apostrophe trying to make their last name plural. For example, people may write from the Whitehead’s. However, Freeman said an apostrophe shows possession, not plurality.
“As a rule of thumb, add ‘es’ to last names that end in s, x, z, ch and sh to make them plural,” Freeman said. “For names that end in all other letters, simply add an ‘s’ to the end.”
Last names are not often seen in their plural forms, so it may look odd to some people. Another option is to sign your card from The Adams Family.
The apostrophe is also often omitted where it is needed. For example, in the expression season’s greetings, the apostrophe is needed because the greetings are of the season.
Grammar and Writing Tips
"Embracing the holiday season provides an excellent opportunity to reestablish connections with loved ones,” Freeman said. “Whether through traditional mailed cards or digital greetings, accompany your heartfelt wishes with a message free of spelling errors, typos and grammatical mistakes.”
Taking the Perfect Photo
Photos are great to include on holiday cards. However, there are a few things to remember when choosing the photo. Margaret Barse, an Alabama Extension multimedia producer, said photos should be fun.
“Family life isn't perfect, and your photos can reflect that,” Barse said. “However, if you only use one picture for your holiday card, you may want to think a little more about the framing and how to put your best foot forward.”
“I know it's easier said than done but keep trying to get the photo where there are no closed eyes and pets and children are looking forward,” Barse said. “The best thing is that with today’s cell phones and digital cameras, you can keep filming until you get it right, unlike my childhood of using rolls of film.”
By following these tips and tricks, you are sure to sleigh your holiday card this year. For more information on other holiday-related topics, visit www.aces.edu.