How to Make Last Names Plural on Holiday Cards

2 min read

Writing out holiday greetings is one of the highlights of the season. But stumbling over grammar and punctuation is never jolly. For example, how would you address a Christmas card to LeBron James and family? The James’? The James’s? Or the Jameses? Here are a few guidelines for pluralizing last names, and other tricky correspondence rules, to help keep the season merry and bright.

How to Make Last Names Plural

The rule for making last names plural is surprisingly easy. For most last names, simply adding an “s” makes the name plural.  

Johnson →  Merry Christmas from the Johnsons

Garcia →  Happy Holidays from the Garcias

Stewart →  Happy Hanukkah from the Stewarts

Patel →  Season’s Greetings from the Patels

It’s important to note the name itself doesn’t change. So, “Merry Christmas from the Murphys” would not become “Merry Christmas from the Murphies” in its plural form.

If you’re debating whether or not to add an apostrophe, don't. Apostrophes are a punctuation mark used to show possession or omitted letters. Apostrophes cannot make words plural. You will never need to use them when pluralizing a name.

Exceptions to the Rule

What would a grammar rule be without exceptions? If the name ends in the letters “s,” “x,” “ch,” or “sh,” add “-es” (instead of just an "s")  to the end of the name to make it plural.

Davis →  Happy Hanukkah from the Davises

Rodriguez → Merry Christmas from the Rodriguezes

Felix → Season’s Greetings from the Felixes

Finch → Feliz Navidad from the Finches

Walsh → Happy Holidays from the Walshes

Just a few more exceptions — if the “x” or “ch” at the end of the name is silent, it’s safe to go with an “s” ending. So, the Bach family would become “the Bachs,” and the Bordeaux family would be “the Bordeauxs.”

Ringing in the New Year

After the December holidays, folks start sending wishes for a warm and happy new year. But what's the correct way to handle the tricky apostrophe issue on this occasion?

Happy New Year’s from the Joneses

Happy New Years from the Joneses

Happy New Year from the Joneses

The last phrase, “Happy New Year from the Joneses,” is correct. Because apostrophes show possession, you should only use them if specifically wishing the family a “Happy New Year’s Eve” or “New Year’s Day.”

The same is true of “Season’s Greetings.” When sending out greetings that belong to the season, the apostrophe is needed.

A Christmas Miracle

If all of these greeting card grammar rules are starting to blend like peppermint swirls, there’s one surefire trick to get around them. Simply avoid plurals and apostrophes altogether:

Merry Christmas from the Flores Family

Best Wishes from the Baker Family

Happy 2022 from the Perez Family

Simply addressing cards to the “____ Family” can help you avoid puzzling over plural endings and exceptions to rules. It’s the easiest way to stay on the nice list.

Featured image credit: CasarsaGuru/ iStock

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