You probably already know that I am a former English teacher. I loved teaching my students how to properly write a letter and format the address on an envelope. So here are my 5 tips for addressing an envelope!

1. Spell out everything!

Don’t abbreviate Street to St. or Drive to Dr. Don’t even abbreviate P.O. Box!


Mr. and Mrs. Tyson Stark

Post Office Box 2533

Breckenridge, Colorado


Also, this is my personal mailing address, and I love getting your Christmas cards. Especially when they are the new ones you ordered from your personalized gallery! 🙂

If you are worried about other ways to address correspondence, (married, unmarried, doctors, formal or informal) here’s a great article on Emily Post that explains the rules.

2. Handwriting all your addresses on the envelopes?

Print the actual address in all caps. It’s much easier for the postal workers to guarantee that your letter will get there.

3. The zip code should go on the last line on its own.

I like to align the address in the center of the envelope and write the return address on the back of the envelope.

4. Use a custom rubber stamp for your return address!

I ordered this one last year and LOVE it! I use it all the time throughout the year. Keep in mind, custom stamps usually take two to three weeks to arrive. Really helps with the hand cramps!

5. Mistakes happen!

Order extra envelopes to have on hand while addressing. My Holiday Cards usually come with a few extra white envelopes, but you can purchase 5×7 envelopes to have as a backup. I got some cute craft paper envelopes from Joann’s and just keep them in my office desk drawer.

Bonus Tip

Is it The Smiths’ or Smith’s or Smiths? I don’t know about you, but I still have to Google this rule all the time.

Last name: Smith

  • Do: Merry Christmas from the Smiths. You’re invited to the Smiths’ holiday party. From the Smith family.
  • Don’t: From the Smith’s

Last name: Jones

  • Do: The Joneses. The Jones family. The Jones’ holiday party. (When a name ends in “s” add “es”)
  • Don’t: From the Jones’

Last name: May

  • Do: The Mays
  • Don’t: The Maies

Names ending in “ch” (unless it’s pronounced with a hard k, like “monarch”), s, sh, x and z require an “es” to make them plural. All other names simply use “s.”

Need a spreadsheet in order to gather and organize your addresses for cards? I’ve created one that I love to use in order to keep all my addresses in one place! Please use my free spreadsheet template to organize all your addresses after you’ve gathered them.