Holiday cards are lots of work. Family photos have to be taken. Cards have to be designed and ordered. Envelopes need to be stuffed and addressed. That makes the holiday season a prime time for grammar mistakes. Here's a quick guide to when (and when not) to use apostrophes on your holiday cards.
  1. It's versus its
    This one's easy to mess up, so make sure you triple check: "Its" is used to show that a non-gendered item possesses something. Example: the mistletoe lost its bow "It's" is a contraction that smushes together "it" and "is" to make "it's." Easy trick: always write it is first and go back and add the apostrophe if need be.
  2. Pluralizing your family name
    The easiest way to sign a holiday card is to sign as the entire family, instead of writing out every single name of every single person your friends ideally already know. But beware: plurals don't have apostrophes. It's not "Happy Holidays from The Murphy's." It's "Happy Holidays from the Murphys." Family names do own things — dogs, refrigerators, ideas — but when signing Christmas cards, families don't possess anything. No apostrophes needed.
  3. How to avoid apostrophes all together
    Stop making "it is" a conjunction. Just write out "it is." If you can use a gendered possessive pronoun, why not? Instead of writing "the dog lost its bone," you could say "The dog lost his bone." Don't make your family name plural. Just call yourself The McDreamy Family or The Pope Family. That's perfectly acceptable.