Not sure how to write Christmas and New Year greetings in English? Or, simply tired of the same old "Merry Christmas! Love, (your name)"? You're not alone!
Our students often ask us to help them write holiday greetings that are more fun and creative. So, we’ve put together the following guide for both writing and saying holiday greetings. We’ve also included some samples at the end.
“Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays?”
Christmas is now celebrated around the world by a lot of people, regardless of their religion. For example, in the US, the majority of non-Christians celebrate it.
However, some people dislike being wished a “Merry Christmas,” because of the holiday’s Christian origins. So if you don’t know how the recipient feels about Christmas, simply use “Happy Holidays.”
Since December is packed with holidays, such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years, “Happy Holidays” conveniently includes them all!
In more formal messages, you’ll also see people write “Seasons Greetings!”
“Happy New Year!”
On December 31st and January 1st, people will wish each other a “Happy New Year!”
However, people often combine the two big holidays into one greeting: “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”
How to Customize Basic Greetings
Now that you know everything you need to know about the basic greetings, let’s look at how to customize them.
An easy way to do this is by using different adjectives. For example, you can say, “Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!”
Some adjectives you can use are:
In addition to the basic greetings above, there are some other classic holiday card expressions you can learn (and customize as you see fit).
“Wishing you …”
Often, in writing, the basic greetings start with an expression like “Wishing you ….” For example:
- Wishing you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
- Wishing you a lovely holiday season!
- Wishing you a magical holiday season and a fantastic New Year!
Best wishes is also a good phrase to use in combination with holiday greetings. For example:
- Best wishes for the New Year!
- Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!
- Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!
Instead of “Best wishes,” you can also say the following:
- Warm wishes
- Warmest wishes
Finally, don’t forget you can tell people to enjoy the holidays!
- Enjoy your holidays!
- Enjoy your winter break! (if the recipient is a student)
- Hope you enjoy the holidays with your loved ones!
- Hope you enjoy this special time of year.
Mention the Family
Don’t forget that holiday greetings are often not just meant for one recipient, but for their whole family!
“To You and Your Family”
Most of the time, we write greetings to not just one person, but also their family. Of course, you can list out everyone (including pets) if you want.
But it’s more common to simply say “you and your family.” For example, “Best wishes to you and your family this holiday season and in the coming year!”
“To You and Your Loved Ones”
Instead of “you and your family,” it’s also common to say “to you and your loved ones.” “Loved ones” includes anyone who matters to the recipient. For example, “Wishing you and your loved ones health and happiness this holiday season!”
“To You and Yours”
You can also just say “to you and yours,” which has the same meaning as the previous two options. For example, “Happy holidays to you and yours!”
Other Useful Phrases
“End the year on a good note”
In English, you can “end” something “on a good note,” so you can tell someone that you hope they end the year on a good note. This means that even if the rest of the year may not have been great (like the one behind us), you end it in a good way.
This expression is also used with different adjectives:
- Hope you end the year on a positive note!
- Hope 2020 ends on a cheerful note!
- May you end this year on a bright note!
“Filled with“ or “Full of”
When you send someone a holiday greeting, it’s always nice to hope that their holidays are “filled with” or “full of” things they like. For example:
- Wishing you a holiday season filled with happiness and special moments!
- Hope your holidays are filled with laughter and champagne!
- Have a merry Christmas and a New Year full of delightful surprises!
This phrase is perfect for adding a personal touch. For example, you can wish someone “a New Year filled with bubble gum and bungee jumping” if those are the things they like.
In more formal messages, this phrase is often used with the structure “May … be ….”:
- May your holidays be filled with happiness and special moments.
- May your holidays be full of joy and laughter!
“Here’s to a … “
This is an expression typically used when making a toast. You can also use it in your greeting messages to make it more bright and cheerful. For example:
- Here’s to a wonderful holiday season!
- Here’s to a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
- Here’s to ending the year on a merry note!
- Here’s to a great year ahead!
Sample Greeting Messages
Now it’s time to combine all the tips above.
Greeting Messages for Friends and Family
You might see something like the following in a card:
Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!
You might see something like this in a text message:
Hey Matt, Just wanted to wish you a joyful Christmas and a fantastic New Year! Can’t wait to see you in the coming year!
In addition to holiday greetings, it’s common to remind the recipient to relax. For example:
It’s been a busy year for you! Hope you can end the year on a more relaxing note.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
You can also use your greeting card to thank the recipient for something they’ve done for you this year.
Thanks again for always helping me in science class. Hope your holidays are filled with fun and the year ahead full of exciting science projects for the both of us!
All the best,
Professional Greeting Messages
Here’s a greeting message you can write to a business partner:
It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this year. Here’s to another year of successful collaboration!
Happy holidays to you and yours,
Here’s a greeting message you can write to a coworker:
Thanks to your passion and dedication, our team has reached new heights this past year. Enjoy the holidays and see you next year!
Here’s a message you can write to a client:
Dear Bill and the team at Texas Medical Instruments,
We were able to reach our milestones for this year thanks to your support. We look forward to continuing this partnership and we extend our sincerest wishes to your team.
Here’s to an even better year to come!
Pat and everyone from Synology
We hope this has given you an idea of how to write greeting messages this holiday season! If you need help writing them or simply want someone to check your messages, remember our tutors are here for you. Your first session is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose!
In the meantime, happy holidays and may the next year be a lot more cheerful than this one!