Business English Guide Blog: Essential Skills, Holiday Greetings

Once again, it’s almost the holiday season - a time of joy and light and gathering with friends and family. As we make our way towards the end of the year, where holiday work parties take place and people finalize work tasks before taking off for the holidays, some English-learners may wonder about how best to wish their co-workers a happy holiday season.

What is appropriate and for which type of co-worker? What if you are unsure about their religion or holiday customs? This business topic is intricately linked to culture, and today’s post will explore these questions from the U.S. workplace perspective.

In the U.S. in particular, several other religious and/or non-denominational celebrations are happening around the same time as Christmas. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice are the most prominent examples. Christmas is the most wide-spread holiday, yet it is also celebrated by non-religious people as well.

Since not everyone in your social circle is celebrating the same holiday, or you may not be sure what they celebrate, some examples of greetings are listed below. New Year’s, on the other hand, is a secular holiday, and “Happy New Year!” is a standard greeting that can be said to one and all.

Formal Holiday Greetings - for clients, customers, and new acquaintances:

  • Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

  • Season’s Greetings!

  • All the best this holiday season!

Informal Holiday Greetings - for friends, close colleagues, and close customers:

  • Have a very Merry Christmas (ex. Happy Hanukkah) and a Happy New Year!

  • Best wishes for you and your family for Christmas and New Year’s!

  • Sending warm wishes to and yours this holiday season!

  • Have a healthy and happy New Year!

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