How to Write Holiday Greetings
- On November 23, 2016
A neighborhood hotel sent out a flyer pitching its venue as a top spot for an unforgettable holiday party: Christmas Décor including a festive Christmas Tree in each room! A complimentary Champagne Toast with mention of this flyer!
Christmas is a proper noun, so it’s always capitalized, and Champagne is the region in France where Champagne is produced, so many style guides say the drink gets capitalized too (same goes for Bordeaux). But décor, tree, and toast are run-of-the-mill nouns that always go in lowercase no matter what they’re attached to.
Many of you are gearing up to send holiday greetings in some shape or form, so here are some guidelines for writing them correctly.
• Always capitalize the names of holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah (also Chanukah), Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. You would write, On New Year’s Eve we’re going to drink Champagne and on New Year’s Day we’re going to nurse our hangovers with more Champagne.
• When you refer to the new year as in the next 12 months, new year always goes in lowercase, for example, Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year. You would also write, We drank so much Champagne on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day that we’re giving it up for the new year.
• When you write Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas, particularly as standalone lines, you can uppercase happy and merry.
• The same goes for Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays. When they appear on their own, uppercase both words. Season’s greetings and Happy holidays are also correct.
• As a general rule, keep things in lowercase. Many would be tempted to uppercase the big words in the example below. Resist the urge! This is much 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