Christmas Card Etiquette After a Death in the Family

Updated December 1, 2020
Man mailing Christmas cards in city

It's important to understand Christmas card etiquette after death in a family. The most important Christmas card etiquette is to be sensitive to the what the family is going through.

Important Christmas Card Etiquette After Death in Family

Some traditional etiquette rules advise against sending a Christmas card to a mourning family the first Christmas after the death of their loved one. This tradition extends to the family not sending out Christmas cards. This may be a leftover one-year mourning tradition that morphed out of the stricter mourning guidelines during the Victorian era.

Modern Considerations for Sending Christmas Cards to Grieving Family

Many people feel that ignoring the grieving family during such a family-oriented holiday is impolite in a modern society. The family needs greater support from family and friends during this difficult time when their loss is more pronounced.

Send the Grieving Family a Personalized Christmas Card

A kinder gesture than simply ignoring or avoiding the grieving family is a personalized, non-traditional Christmas card. You can find blank folding card or note with a Christmas motif to send to a grieving family during Christmas. This type of Christmas card demonstrates that you understand the grief the family is feeling, and that you're thinking of them.

What to Write in a Christmas Card After a Death

When you write your message to a family suffering from the loss of a loved one during Christmas, you first want to acknowledge their grief. You then want to offer them an uplifting message that reflects the hope of the Christmas season. Families suffering from the absence of their loved one during the Christmas season can find this approach to a Christmas card comforting. Your gesture of love and caring can help bring peace to their suffering.

Examples of Christmas Card Messages for a Grieving Family

Some example text to include in a Christmas card to a grieving family include:

  • Our love and thoughts are with you during the Christmas season and the promise of hope it brings.
  • May God bless your family during this Christmas season. With much love and prayers for peace and comfort.
  • May the promise of Christmas fill your hearts with comfort and peace.
  • Christmas marks the Holy birth of hope and the promise of life everlasting. God bless your family and grant you peace and comfort during this Christmas season.
  • Sending our love to your family. We wish you the comfort of the Christmas blessing of hope and faith.
  • May this Christmas bring you comfort and love. We're thinking of you.
  • Hoping you have comfort from our shared memories of past Christmases.
  • Thinking of you during this Christmas season and sending you lots of love.
  • May you have a peaceful Christmas and know I'm thinking of you.
Writing a Christmas Card

Should a Family in Mourning Send Christmas Cards?

The decision to send or not send Christmas cards can be a family discussion. If your family is like most families, one person is typically responsible for sending out the cards and may be the decision maker.

Decision Is up to You

There are no hard and fast etiquette rules about sending out Christmas cards the first Christmas after you've suffered a loss. Anyone you send a Christmas card knows of your loss. If you decide not to send cards, they will understand. However, many families find it comforting and reassuring to continue their Christmas card sending tradition.

Family Portrait Christmas Cards

If your family traditionally sends family portrait/photo styled Christmas cards, you may decide to go with a more traditional card this year. Some families may decide to continue the family portrait. This is another personal decision based on what you wish to do.

Message From Your Family Christmas Card

The message you choose for your Christmas card should be one of faith and hope. This is what Christmas brings to the world. If you can't bring yourself to write about that, then maybe you should forego sending out cards this year. It is certainly understandable, and no one will question the absence of your traditional Christmas card. If you opt to stand on your faith, you should decide what to say based on your family's belief.

Examples of family message for Christmas card:

  • We believe in the miracle of Christmas and wish your family the Christmas blessings God gives the world.
  • Wishing your family, the peace and love of the Christmas miracle.
  • May God bless your family during the Christmas season.
  • From our family to yours, wishing you the hope and peace of the Christmas miracle. In Jesus Christ, The [insert plural of surname].
  • Wishing your family peace and comfort during this holiday season.
  • Wanted you to know that our family is thinking of your family during this holiday season.
  • Your family has many friends who are thinking of you during this holiday season.
  • Our family sends love to your family during this Christmas season.
  • Our family sends heartfelt wishes to your family for a cherished Christmas season.

Deciding on Proper Christmas Card Etiquette After a Family Death

Christmas card etiquette for a family suffering from the loss of a loved one depends on the family. Many families find the Christmas miracle comforting and celebrating the birth of Jesus gives them renewed hope and a stronger faith.

Was this page useful?
Christmas Card Etiquette After a Death in the Family