Holiday Greeting Cards 101: How to Pluralize Your Last Name

It’s that time of year when the world falls in love… (name that tune) and also when everyone starts to send out holiday and Christmas cards! You’ve survived family pictures, found a card design you like, and now it’s time to sign, stamp, and send your cards out to friends and family.

Easy enough, right? All the same, we’ve seen far too many occasions of one particular punctuation error that accompanies these cards. Here’s a simple crash course on pluralizing your last name so that when you send your sweet regards, you can be sure that they’re as grammatically correct as they are cute.

Option One – Keep it Simple:

An easy way to make your name plural is to add “family” at the end. I.e. The Johnson Family, The Clark Family, The Edwards Family, etc.

Yes, you read that right. Even Edwards can become plural without an apostrophe.

Just like this.

Other options: You can add “crew”, “gang”, “crowd”, “squad”, “clan”, or “household”. Whichever fits the style of your crew the best.

Option Two – Just the Name:

If adding a collective noun at the end is not quite your style, that’s okay! We’re going to keep it pretty simple in this variation too. There are only two options for pluralizing by adding letters:

  1. If your last name ends with a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h (exceptions: ch and sh), i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, t, u, v, w, or y – just add an s.
  2. If your last name ends with s, x, z, ch, or sh – add an e and s.

Here are some examples. The last name “Johnson” becomes “The Johnsons”. “Clark” becomes “The Clarks”. And “Edwards” becomes “The Edwardses”. Get it?

Please note that there are no apostrophes added to any names. We’ll illustrate the exceptions to this rule below.

If you want to wish your friends and family a Happy Holiday season from your pet (and only your pet), you’ll need an apostrophe. Because the cat belongs to you. Apostrophes show possession or omission of letters (like in can’t or won’t).

The key takeaway is this: If you want to send holiday greetings from your cat, dog, or dinosaur, you can use an apostrophe. Otherwise, leave it out! Our refrigerator card displays will look so much happier without the excessive punctuation marks – and that’s truly all we want for Christmas this year. 😉