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The guide: Should you send religious Christmas cards or secular holiday cards?

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Written by Vera C. Last updated on .

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Candles with Christmas tree in the background

If you are Christian but not sure whether to send religious Christmas cards this holiday season, then this guide is for you. There is no right or wrong answer, but these tips will help select the best possible card for each recipient.

Is the recipient definitely of a different faith?

If your recipient is Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or another religion, they may find an overtly Christian Christmas card disrespectful. A "holiday" card with seasonal greetings may be a better choice for these recipients. On the other hand, just because they’re not Christian doesn’t mean you’re not. For example, if you received a "Happy Hanukkah" card from Jewish friends, would you be offended? Probably not, because you know that Hanukkah holds religious meaning to them even if it doesn’t to you. So if you feel OK about it you can consider sending a Christian card, but first think about how the recipient would feel receiving it before making any decision. If in any doubt at all, play it safe with a holiday card.

Unsure if your recipient is Christian or atheist?

For married recipients, try this simple test: if the couple got married in a church of any Christian denomination, then you can safely send them a religious card. If they’re religious enough to get married there, they’re religious enough to receive a Christian Christmas card.

Are you sending to a business associate?

For business associates, a secular holiday card may be more appropriate (unless you know that they are Christian).

A neat solution - New Year's cards

If you find yourself getting too stressed out by this dilemma, consider sending New Year's cards instead. Anytime in December is good for these, although mid-December onward is best. Your New Year's cards will arrive to your recipient at the same time as they're receiving other people's Christmas cards. Besides solving the dilemma of what type of card to send, yours will stand out by being a New Year card. There are plenty of awesome designs for these.


There is no right or wrong answer as to what kind of Christmas card to send. This is not a case of suggesting you should always (or never) send religious Christmas cards. Instead, take into account both your views and the recipient’s:

  • One solution is to send Christmas cards to those who you know are Christian and generic holiday cards to those who are of another religion.
  • On the other hand, if all your recipients know that you yourself are Christian, you might feel comfortable sending entirely religious themed cards.
  • Perhaps most thoughtfully of all, consider how each recipient would feel receiving a religious card first before making your choice for that person. If in doubt, ask! Most people would be flattered that you’d like to know their preference for this.
  • Alternatively, send New Year's cards instead; time these to arrive to your recipients in mid to late December.

If you'll be hosting a Christmas get-together, you might also like to take a look at our easy and helpful guide for what to do when party guests arrive early. You won't get that sinking feeling anymore when it happens! You'll also want to make sure you have the best Christmas songs for your playlist.

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