101 holiday messages and wishes to write in your holiday cards

You’ve landed on the best Christmas card idea, picked out the perfect photo, have your mailing list ready to go, and now it’s time to write your Christmas card message! Though your Christmas card design and photo are essential, your holiday greeting takes consideration too. To help you find the right holiday card messages for 2020, we’ve gathered our favorite ideas for any type of holiday card. From holiday photo cards for families to professional holiday cards, we’ve compiled a list of happy holiday message ideas from Paperless Post to match the tone you’re going for (from short and sweet to classic or COVID-friendly).

COVID holiday card ideas

This year has been like no other. Coronavirus has affected our lives in untold ways including keeping up with friends and family to share family updates. We’ve designed a series of Covid-friendly holiday greetings for 2020 that put Covid front and center, even if it’s in a lighthearted way.

Acknowledging that we’re living through a global pandemic in your online Christmas cards is a great way to say, “we’re all in this together.” Whether you want to write something motivational or use humor to lighten the mood, here are some Covid Christmas card messages to get you started:

1. New Year? Yes, Please!

2. Best 9 of Quarantine 

3. All I want for Christmas is a vaccine.

4. Merry Christ-mask

5. From our bubble to yours.

6. Wish we were Christmasing together.

7. You’re essential to us.

8. Hang in there! Holiday wishes for a happy and healthy end of the year!

What do you write in a holiday card?

When it comes to warm holiday greetings, there’s no right or wrong way to fill out your holiday card. You can share what your family’s been up to with a Christmas letter, or keep it short and sweet with a simple happy holidays message. Just stick with a length that works for you. Not sure when to send holiday cards? We have a guide to holiday card etiquette.

Keep in mind whether you want to send holiday or Christmas greetings. You can lean into references for the Christmas season if you’re sending cards to friends and family who celebrate the holiday. Or send a neutral holiday message if you have friends who celebrate other religious holidays or none at all.

Depending on which Christmas card you selected, you can let the design influence your wording. If you’re sending photo cards, keep your note short and sweet, or if your card is double-sided, there might be more space to keep friends and family in the know.

Just like cards in the greetings aisle, you can also always use the sample message provided by Paperless Post. You can fully customize any of our holiday card templates, or leave the wording as is and add your names. Whether you’re sending it to business colleagues or best friends, you’ll hit the right note for everyone on your list.

What are religious holiday card greetings?

If your motto is “Jesus is the reason for the season,” there are many ways to lean into religious themes in your Christmas card message. Here are a few examples of religious Christmas card sayings to get you started:

9. Warmest wishes for faith, hope, and peace this Christmas season.

10. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. 

11. He is the reason for the season.

12. Jesus is the reason for the season.

13. Best wishes for love and peace during the Christmas season. 

14. May God bless your Christmas season with joy and love.

15. May the Lord grant you and all your loved ones peace, joy, and goodwill.

16. Wishing you a season that’s merry and bright with the light of God’s love.

17. Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

What are short holiday card greetings?

While you might get personal if you’re sending to a smaller list, sometimes it’s better to keep holiday greetings short and sweet if you’re sending it to a large group. You might be better off sending 2020 holiday card messages that are short and to the point. There’s no need to write an enormous paragraph to convey your warm wishes. Sometimes less is more. Especially when paired with a family photo or a line of text, a simple holiday greeting is all you need. Here are a few sample holiday card messages to get you started:

18. Warmest wishes

19. Season’s greetings

20. Joy & Peace

21. Happy Holidays

22. Joy and good cheer

23. Love & Warmth

24. Sending our love

25. Merry Christmas to you

26. Wishing you Joy & Wonder

27. Merry Everything

28. Peace on Earth

Classic holiday sayings that never go out of style

Why mess with the classics? If you want to keep your holiday greetings simple or looking for something timeless to write, these holiday phrases are always a safe bet:

29. Feliz Navidad

30. Happy Christmas

31. Merry Christmas

32. Joy to the world

33. Have yourself a Merry (Manhattan) Christmas [or wherever you live]

34. Tidings of Joy

35. Warmest wishes

36. Jingle all the way

Holiday card messages for New Year’s greetingswhat to write in a New Year's card

“Champagne Dazzle” by Paperless Post“Wild Rose New Year” by Rifle Paper Co.

If you can’t wait for this year to be over, New Year’s greetings are a great way to look forward. These cheerful greetings are also an excellent alternative for non-religious holiday cards. Start brainstorming with these holiday card messages:

37. Happy holidays! Sending you all our love this holiday season, and wishing you much joy in the new year.

38. Best wishes for a joyful holiday season and a happy New Year.

39. Sending you love and good luck for the New Year.

40. Merry and Bright. Seasons greetings and warm wishes for the coming year. 

41. Wishing you the best for the holidays and beyond.

42. Happiness and health to you and yours in the year ahead.

43. Cheers to the new year and new beginnings!

Holiday greetings for family and friends

what to write in a holiday card  “Gold Heart” by The Indigo Bunting 

It’ll be displayed on the mantle all Christmas season long, so make your happy holidays message to friends and family counts. Somewhere between short and sweet and a full paragraph, these holiday card messages are just right:

44. Wishing you a happy holiday and sending you all our love from afar.

45. Health, happiness, and peace during this holiday season and through the coming year.

46. May your holidays be filled with warmth and cheerful celebration.

47. Best wishes for a sparkling holiday season.

48. Happy holidays. Here’s to a joyful holiday season.

49. Wishing you a season that’s merry & bright. 

50. Hoping your holiday season is filled with joy.

51. Wishing you joy and good cheer. 

52. Sending you the very best wishes for a joyful holiday season.

53. Wishing you love & warmth in this holiday season.

54. Love is all around

55. Happy holidays friends

56. Happy holidays fam 

What should I write on a holiday photo card?photo cards for friends and family

“Magnolia Roundel” by Paperless Post “Mistletoe Bundles” photo card by Mr. Boddington Studio


What’s a better way to spread holiday cheer than a family photo in front of the Christmas tree? If you’re sending a photo holiday card, keep your holiday wishes short and playful. If you need to expand on your good wishes, add your details on the back. Here are some of our favorite Paperless Post holiday card messages for photo cards:

57. Merry & Bright

58. The [Your last name]s 

59. Happiest holidays.

60. Peace 

61. Warmest wishes from the [your name]

62. Joy

63. [the year]

64. Merry Merry xoxo

65. Joyful joyful

66. Best wishes

67. Have a wonderful holiday

68. Cheers to a wonderful holiday season

69. Have a blessed Christmas

70. Let it snow

How do you wish someone a happy holiday professionally?

what to write in a professional holidaycard

“Carnaby” by Paperless Post; “Snow Pine Valley” by Paperless Post.

Whether you’re sending corporate holiday cards to clients and customers, or wishing your employees a “Happy Holiday,” what to write in a holiday card is much different for business holiday cards.

You’ll want to make sure your business holiday card greetings is appropriate for anyone of any religion. So it’s best to use a neutral business holiday card greeting. Keep the tone cheerful and optimistic and let your recipients know you are thankful for them. If they’re clients, tell them you appreciate their business; if they’re employees, tell them you appreciate all of their hard work this year.

Make sure your business holiday card matches your business values. If you’re a serious company, stick to a simple greeting, but if your brand is more playful, a witty greeting works too. Here are some of our favorite sample holiday greetings:

71. Sending our best to you and yours. 

72. Season’s greetings and warm wishes for the coming year.

73. Here’s to a joyful holiday season.

74. Be merry and bright!

75. Sending you the very best wishes this holiday season. 

76. May you find health, happiness, and peace during the holiday season and through the coming year.

77. Peace on Earth & Good Will to All

78. Best wishes from your friends at [company name].

79. We appreciate your business and wish you the best in the coming year.

Wording ideas for modern holiday greetings

what to wrote in a modern photo holiday card

“Year in Review” by The Indigo Bunting

If you’re planning a modern holiday party this year, why wouldn’t you send modern holiday wishes for cards? With these Paperless Post holiday card templates, the work is done for you. All you have to do is add your photo or details, and you’re good to send.

80. The year in review: [List your top 10 moments from the year]

81. Season greetings. Health, happiness, faith, warmth, happiness, peace on Earth, good cheer, giving, hope.

82. May your days be merry and bright

83. Let your heart be light

84. The Holiday Times: Celebrate the Season!

85. Felix, Joyeux, Merry

Holiday card messages for family and friends

Looking for season’s greetings that are more out-of-the-box? Send your warmest thoughts with a bit of flair with unique Christmas card messages. Not feeling very creative? We went ahead and did some brainstorming to get you started. Here are our festive favorites:

86. Fa La la la La

87. Merry & Bright

88. Joyful, Joyful

89. Till the season to be holly

90. Hope your season’s full of sparkle.

91. ‘Tis the season

92. Calm & bright

93. Let it Snow, Let it Snow

94. Love is love is love is love

95. Oh, what fun!

96. Joy to the world

97. Making spirits bright

98. Hope, Peace, Cookies

99. So very merry!

100. Warm and cozy wishes

101. Santa Claus is coming to town…

The greeting card sign off

And of course, after your holiday message, don’t forget to add your signature! You can add personality with every line of the card, even your name. You can add your sign off into your template, or hand-write it at the bottom. Sign off as a family, or list everyone’s names out individually. You can even add the ages of your kids (and pets) if you like. These are our go-tos:

1. Xoxo

2. All the best

3. Lots of love

4. Love

5. Sending our best to you and yours

6. With love

7. With snow much love

8. Warmest wishes

9. Until next year

10. Wishing you love and warmth this holiday season


Browse Holiday Cards


Ready to start writing your own holiday card message? Get started with our Christmas and holiday cards, or cards perfectly suited for holiday greetings during covid. For holiday party inspiration we’ve rounded up our favorite holiday party tips from over ten years of party-planning in our guide to holiday party planning.  

Hero image: “Glow Strings Attached” by Rifle Paper Co.