How to Write Holiday Greetings—Correctly
- On November 13, 2018
The holidays are upon us and with them lots of opportunities to wish people well. Putting those wishes to paper correctly, however, can be tricky. Is it, for example, Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year or Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year?
Read these guidelines to find out:
- When you’re referring to the new year as in the next 12 months, new year always goes in lowercase, so if you chose the first version, you chose correctly. You would also write, I’m giving up Champagne for the new year because I drank too much of it on New Year’s Eve. (Champagne, according to A.P. style, gets the uppercase treatment because it refers to a geographic region.)
- Always capitalize the names of holidays: Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Day; Hanukkah (also Chanukah); Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Christmas; Kwanzaa; and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
- When you write Happy Thanksgiving, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas—particularly as standalone greetings—capitalize all the words. The same goes for Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays.
- As a general rule, however, keep things in lowercase. Many would be tempted to capitalize the main words in the following example, but this is more elegant—and correct—in every way: Best wishes for peace and joy this holiday season and a new year of health, happiness, and prosperity.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving is also correct.
As I said, it’s tricky.
Update on When to Dash: In its menu, the restaurant Sant Ambroeus explains that it’s named after Sant’Ambrogio, the patron saint of Milan. The following line is begging for a pair of dashes: Known as the “reluctant bishop” due to fact that he became bishop by popular demand rather than personal inclination, he ran the city for close to 20 years. This is much smoother: Known as “the reluctant bishop”—he became bishop by popular demand, not personal inclination—he ran the city for close to 20 years.