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Sending Holiday Greetings

These days people are searching the Web for suggestions on how to write holiday greetings that are suitable for business. I’ll be glad to provide advice. My best suggestion is this:

Send a message that’s right for your reader.

In our world of global communication, know what holidays your reader celebrates. According to a list of ethnic and religious holidays provided by the University of Kansas Medical Center(KUMC), these are just some of the special days celebrated around the world over the next few weeks:

  • December 16-24, Las Posadas, Mexico
  • December 25, Christmas, Christian
  • December 26, Boxing Day, Canada and United Kingdom
  • December 26-January 2, Hanukkah, Jewish
  • December 26-January 1, Kwanzaa, U.S., African-American
  • January 1, New Year’s Day
  • January 6, Epiphany, Christian
  • January 7, The Nativity of Jesus Christ, Christian Orthodox
  • January 10, Eid al-Ahda, Islamic, Muslim
  • January 29, Chinese Lunar New Year, China, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam
  • January 29, Tet Nguyen Dan, Vietnam
  • January 31, Al Hijra, Muslim New Year

To send a message that’s right for your reader, learn about the holidays your reader is celebrating.  Use KUMC’s list to find out more, or do an Internet search for details.

In the United States, opinions are flying over whether to say “Merry Christmas” since not all North Americans celebrate Christmas. In the face of the controversy, I return to my original advice: Send a message that’s right for your reader. If you don’t know whether your reader celebrates Christmas, use “Happy Holidays” instead.

Here are examples of holiday sentiments that are right–depending on your reader–for business relationships in North America. I hope they are helpful to you.

At this joyous time of year, we are grateful for our work with you. We wish you abundance, happiness, and peace in a new year filled with hope. Happy holidays!

I hope you and all your coworkers, family, and friends have a lovely holiday season filled with joy and meaning. Best wishes for a prosperous new year.

It has been a pleasure to work with you this year. We wish you the best of holidays and a happy new year!

As the year ends, we think about all we are grateful for. Our relationship with you is one thing we treasure. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. We wish you a merry Christmas and much success in the new year.

As gifts are given and received this holiday season, I think of the gift of knowing you. Thank you for the pleasure of working with you. Happy holidays!

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you this year. It has been an honor and a valuable experience for me. I wish you a happy Hanukkah and a new year filled with all good things.

Merry Christmas! I hope you have a holiday that fills your heart with joy!

Wherever you are and whatever you celebrate in the coming weeks, I hope your holidays are filled with peace, prosperity, and love.

Happy holidays!


Other search spellings: Chrismas, Channukkah, Hannukah, Xmas

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.