Grammar Matters: How to Avoid Messing Up Your Holiday Card

Stop messing up your holiday cards: How to properly pluralize your name. Grammar matters!

The inspiration behind this blog post came twoas I clicked “send” on my online order of Christmas cards and shuddered when I entered my credit card information to pay for them.

Those things are flipping expensive. I even had a coupon! How did they still manage to cost a small fortune? Especially when facing the harsh reality that the recipients typically trash them once the holidays are over.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Oh, for the same reason we send moving announcements and birth announcements.

Because society tells us we have to do it.

I digress.

Which reminds me of a pet peeve that gets flashed before my eyes once other peoples’ holiday cards start arriving in our mailbox after Thanksgiving.

Incorrect name pluralization.

When this happens, I see the Smith’s (yes, I meant to do that) in an entirely different light.

Homegirl has a Ph.D. in biomechanics but can’t properly pluralize her name, and now a hundred people (the number of holiday cards she mailed out) know about it.

Le sigh.

Look, I realize grammar isn’t necessarily my bread and butter and effectively puts a bullseye on my back anytime I mistakenly send an email regarding the resluts of a recent trial. Because my grammar isn’t the best, I can see why anyone who is looking to improve their english and grammar would check out something like Effortless English Club to help build their confidence.

Whoops. I hate resluts. They’re so… gross.

Or worse, if I send a text about taht bottle of cabernet sauvignon instead of that one.

I can only hope my grammar snafus aren’t so public. Like they are bound to be on a future blog post because of the karma I’m putting out into the world just by writing this.

Digressing again.

Which also reminds me of Christmastime around five years ago where a handful of girlfriends and I were sitting around a table complaining about discussing mailing our holiday cards. One of the girls, we’ll call her Kathryn, asked me how many cards we ordered.

I told her.

Well...,” she said smirking, “we mail out [twice the number I said].”

Congratulations, Felicia!

Kathryn, among other reasons, is now an acquaintance.

Digressing again.

How to Make Your Last Name Plural

If Your Last Name Ends with These Letters, Add an s to the End:

a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, t, u, v, w, y

If Your Last Name Ends with These Letters, Add an es to the End:

s, x, z, ch, sh

The Critical Bottom Line: NEVER, EVER add an apostrophe. Ever.

Here is a walk down Burby Christmas card lane. Please note my hoarding failed because I somehow misplaced the 2010 card and those schmucks over at didn’t keep a digital copy.

How to pluralize your last name in a Holiday Card | The Champagne Supernova

How to Properly Pluralize your Name on Your Christmas Card:

Probably my favorite Christmas card to date.

How to pluralize your name on your holiday card | The Champagne Supernova

How to pluralize your last name | The Champagne Supernova

People sometimes ask where I order my holiday cards. Year after year, I get them from this site. The customer service and paper quality is bar none. (If you purchase cards through my link, I will get credit for the sale and buy you a glass of wine next time I see you!)


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Love, the Burbys.



    27 Comments on Grammar Matters: How to Avoid Messing Up Your Holiday Card

    1. martini
      December 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm (7 years ago)

      So what you say does matter as much as how you say it, especially in a professional environment. We’ve compiled a list of the top mistakes people make whether drafting an office memo or just chatting with coworkers around the water cooler.

      • jenniferdaku
        December 7, 2015 at 12:16 pm (7 years ago)

        Good points. Especially with the prevalence of emails and putting things in writing, things can come across in ways they weren’t intended.

    2. Monica
      November 20, 2015 at 4:09 pm (7 years ago)

      I JUST had this conversation with two girlfriends the other day!! I can’t handle the apostrophe on cards! My last name ends with a “z” and even though I agree that it should be an “es” on the end, I just usually say “The ___ Family” to keep it simple! Thanks for the timely blog!

      • jenniferdaku
        December 7, 2015 at 12:20 pm (7 years ago)

        Thanks Monica! Agreed the ______ Family is a safe way to word the card if in doubt!

    3. Natalie
      November 20, 2015 at 11:41 am (7 years ago)

      As an English major and a former college lit professor, I feel your pain on this! I don’t see how grown people who’ve made it through high school still mess this up–I always groan (and then point it out to my husband) whenever I come across something like “From the Brown’s.” I won’t lie–I definitely judge people on their ability to pluralize correctly!! 😀

      • jenniferdaku
        December 7, 2015 at 12:20 pm (7 years ago)

        LOL! Me too, sister, me too!

    4. Annie
      November 15, 2015 at 10:02 pm (7 years ago)

      Love this! Your Christmas card is too cute! And yes, why can’t people learn the proper use? I absolutely hate it when people make those mistakes. Now, I have awful grammar; but, I try to not miss the obvious ones! And eeks, they are so expensive every flippin’ year! I have been putting off ordering ours because it is always such a bummer and then having to add postage on top of it! Thanks as always for sharing!

      Annie- All Things Big And Small

    5. Whitney Jordan
      November 12, 2015 at 1:27 pm (7 years ago)

      Such cute cards and GREAT advice! I agree with the PSA about the proper use of your/you’re their/there/they’re 🙂 I always enjoy getting photo cards every year, but they are a lot of work! I’m hoping to get a great family picture over Thanksgiving. Thanks for linking up with us this week 🙂

    6. Emily
      November 12, 2015 at 8:33 am (7 years ago)

      Please add a postscript about your vs you’re and their, there, they’re! There is a good chance I have your 2010 card. I always put mine in a box at the end of the season. Let me know when you do a post on hoarding!

    7. Toni @ Love in Brisbane
      November 12, 2015 at 1:36 am (7 years ago)

      I loved this. As an English teacher I can totally feel your pain.

    8. Aarika
      November 11, 2015 at 7:45 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing this post! Love it! I am an English teacher, and like I tell my students, so many errors can be corrected with simple spellcheck or proofreading. At least I am not the only one concerned with correct grammar. =) Happy holidays!

      • jenniferdaku
        November 11, 2015 at 9:08 pm (7 years ago)

        I don’t mind poor grammar in most situations, it’s just more of a shame when people spend tons of money to look silly on holiday cards. A girl I follow on Instagram recently posted a picture of herself proudly holding up a personalized pillow that said “The Johnson’s”. It took all I had to keep from pointing out in the comments of the grammar snafu. Cheers and thanks for stopping by, Aarika!

    9. Sara Glomski
      November 11, 2015 at 11:25 am (7 years ago)

      Thank you. I need to forward this on to half of the people that send us Christmas cards! My mom was an English major and won’t let me get away with anything, especially an apostrophe when there’s no possession.

      • jenniferdaku
        November 11, 2015 at 9:12 pm (7 years ago)

        I am definitely not perfect in the grammar department, but it’s really painful to see people spend a lot of money on holiday cards, only to look ignorant. Cheers!

    10. Nicole L
      November 11, 2015 at 10:36 am (7 years ago)

      THANK YOU! I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets itchy skin from bad grammar.

      • jenniferdaku
        November 11, 2015 at 9:12 pm (7 years ago)

        “Itchy skin.” LOL! Cheers and thanks for stopping by!

    11. Karen
      November 11, 2015 at 9:04 am (7 years ago)

      Great advice. Since my last name is Grosz, and I don’t like how it looks ending with es, I never use it. I say, “The Grosz Family” that way I avoid it all together.

      • jenniferdaku
        November 11, 2015 at 9:16 pm (7 years ago)

        Can’t go wrong with that one. And I’m sure people always butcher the pronunciation of your last name. I was so glad to get rid of my maiden name (Daku) to Burby, which you would think is pretty straightforward until people start adding letters that don’t exist, like Burberry. Come on, people!

    12. Julie S.
      November 11, 2015 at 8:40 am (7 years ago)

      Great lesson on pluralization. YES an apostrophe is possessive, NOT plural. I see that so much it makes my head spin lol. This will be my first year ordering real cards (now that we have a baby, I have a reason to use photos – before it was just the cheap pack of cards I can get at the store). I hope I don’t make any snafus. They let you review a proof copy before you order for realsies, right?

      • jenniferdaku
        November 11, 2015 at 9:18 pm (7 years ago)

        Yes, they send a proof! I bought mine from and am very happy with their quality. Cheers to you (and congratulations on the bambino!)

        • Julie S.
          November 12, 2015 at 2:56 pm (7 years ago)

          Ok good, I’m using Minted as well 🙂

    13. Julie @ Everyday Happiness
      November 11, 2015 at 5:43 am (7 years ago)

      I’m impressed with your consistently adorable cards, AND correct grammar! I’m probably skipping cards this year (GASP!) but I can’t do it. I can’t spend another million dollars on cards that everyone keeps up for one month and throws away.

      • jenniferdaku
        November 11, 2015 at 9:21 pm (7 years ago)

        LOL, I don’t blame you, Julie. You don’t know how many times I’ve thought about sending an e-Christmas card instead of a real one. Such a waste of money! (As an alternative, maybe you can have sheep hand draw cards, copy them, and then mail them out?)

    14. Amber | Cupcakes and Coffee Grounds
      November 10, 2015 at 11:14 pm (7 years ago)

      “…those schmucks over at didn’t keep a digital copy.”

      BAHAHAH…I died.

    15. Sarah
      November 10, 2015 at 10:35 pm (7 years ago)

      Fml… I thought it was “es” for names that ended in “S”. Thanks for setting me straight!! ??

    16. Kati
      November 10, 2015 at 10:21 pm (7 years ago)

      I totally agree with you one this one, but I think you made a slight mistake on your instructions. The first list of letters is the ones you want to just add an ‘s’ to and the second list you need the ‘es’.

      • jenniferdaku
        November 10, 2015 at 10:31 pm (7 years ago)

        OH MY GOD THANK YOU! This is what happens when I blog after being awake for 20 hours straight. I fixed it. UGH! (Hilarious, nonetheless!)