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How to Properly Address Your Holiday Cards

Picture this: you've finally set aside time to address your holiday cards. A stack of cheerful cards sits neatly on your kitchen table, a plate of cookies and a cup of hot cocoa nearby. You are ready to check off this holiday task! You glance at your list of names. John and Kate Jones are up first. Then you start to wonder, do I write 'the Jones', the Jones's, or the Jones'?

If you're last grammar lesson is a little foggy, not to worry. We've got a quick and easy refresher to help you properly address your holiday cards.

How to Make Last Names Plural

Using last names to address your holiday cards is common but some last names can trip people up and leave you wondering what is the proper way to handle them?

Rule #1

Whatever you do, don’t put apostrophes on your holiday greeting cards. I promise they don’t belong there. Apostrophes make your name possessive (no matter how you use them). What you're looking for is to make the name plural, not possessive.

Rule #2

In most cases, you only need to add an 's' to the end of the entire last name, even if the last letter is a 'y.' Whether it's the Johnson family becoming the Johnsons, the Rosaro family becoming the Rosaros, or the Baily family becoming the Bailys, the formula remains straightforward.

Rule #3

So, when is there an exception to this rule?

  • If the name ends in s, z, ch, or sh, you need to add es. That means the Jones family becomes the Jonses, the Walsh family becomes the Walshes, the Lopez family becomes the Lopezes, and the Lynch family becomes the Lyches.

  • If the name ends in x, also add es—unless the x is silent. In that case, simply add an s. So the Cox family becomes the Coxes, and the Bordeaux family becomes the Bordeauxs.

Rule #4

When in doubt, keep it simple. Sometimes even when we use the proper grammar rules, people feel like it "doesn't look right". If you follow these rules and it makes you feel awkward, just keep it simple. Don't worry about making a last name plural. "The Jones Family" will always be correct.

I hope these tips help you spread a little cheer with your holiday cards!


- Rachel Marie

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