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Holiday Greetings Made Easy

When you are ready to send greetings to your customers, clients, employees, mentors, donors, vendors, service providers, and others who make you successful, apply these suggestions:

1. Saying Thank You.

If you have U.S. business associates, Thanksgiving, celebrated this year on November 24, is an ideal time to say thank you. But no matter where you and your customers live, it is good business sense to take every opportunity to thank the people who create your success.

2. Holiday Messages.

If you are stumped about what to write in a holiday greeting, use the short messages below as examples. Adapt them to suit your reader, your relationship, and your culture.

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.
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.

It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with you this year. We wish you the best of holidays and a prosperous 2017!
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!

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

Note: If you would like to have someone edit or proofread your holiday messages, please ask my partner, Scribendi. I do not provide this service, but Scribendi does excellent, fast work.

3. Writing Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Why not use your readers’ languages to communicate Christmas and New Year’s greetings? For correct spellings of worldwide greetings, visit Live Lingua or Omniglot. For some languages, Omniglot also provides pronunciations.

4. Happy New Year Messages.

For customers who do not celebrate Christmas, use a new year’s message like one of these:

To a customer:

Thank you for your business this year. It has been a pleasure helping you reach your goals, and we look forward to contributing to your success in 2023. We wish you a prosperous and happy new year!

To a client or customer:

I wish you a wonderful new year filled with abundant joy and treasured moments. May 2023 be your best year yet!

To a patron or volunteer:

Happy new year! Thanks to supporters like you, 2023 was a very successful year for us. We were able to exceed our goals and expand our services to the needy because of the generosity and commitment of people like you. [You may provide details.] Thank you so much! We wish you a new year filled with peace, joy, and meaning.

To employees:

Happy New Year! Yes, we survived 2022. In fact, we thrived because of your amazing hard work, creativity, and dedication. I am personally grateful to you for your tremendous efforts, and I wish you a rewarding, joyous new year. I look forward to our work together in 2023.


5. Email vs. Handwritten.

Should you email holiday greetings? If email is the only way you communicate with your customers and employees–or if mailed greetings are too expensive–then email is your choice. But even with email, use each person’s name. A bland message that says “Dear Employee” or “Dear Customer” might as well say “Dear Stranger.”

If you have people’s addresses and a budget to send greetings by mail, choose a tasteful card to send. Although tastes differ, think about your readers when you choose cards. For most business associates, cards with religious messages are inappropriate.
Although it takes more work and seems inefficient, addressing envelopes by hand shows your personal involvement. To confirm mailing regulations for Canada and the U.S., read my research about them.

6. Printed vs. Handwritten Signature.

Whenever possible, sign your cards rather than using a typed signature. Although a signature typed in gold or silver looks impressive, writing a message and signing your name show a relationship with your reader. Pass around cards at your workplace and have people who know the recipients sign them.

7. Holiday Letters for Business.

Holiday letters are usually reserved for personal friends and family. However, if you want to bring your business network up to date on the progress you have made this year, or if you want to share your personal side with your business associates, write and send one. Here are ideas that will help you sound sincere rather than boastful.

8. Responding to Holiday Greetings.

Although responding to holiday cards and greetings is not required, it is thoughtful to do so. Whenever you can spread peace, joy, and friendship in the world, do it!

9. Thank-Yous for Holiday Greetings and Gifts.

Ready to thank someone for a gift? Return to Number 1 above.

If you have a specific question about holiday greetings, please try your key words in this blog’s search box. I have written many posts about holiday greetings, and you may find the answer there. Or get my book Business Writing With Heart.

Happy holidays!

Syntax Training

Posted by Lynn Gaertner Johnson
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. She grew up in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

18 comments on “Holiday Greetings Made Easy”

  • Great post and ideas! I’m going to share this with the rest of my team as we work more with enterprise-level clients.

    Thanks and Regards/-
    Jason Webb

  • Hi, Jason. I stopped by to visit your website. You might want to give a visitor options beyond subscribing. Since I didn’t want to subscribe to something I had no information about, there was nothing for me to do or learn.


  • Great post! Watch out for Omniglot, though. The French holiday greeting is a literal translation and nobody in France would actually phrase it that way. I can’t judge the other languages! As professional translators established in France, we often see awkward, bumbling translations of holiday greetings (for example the subjunctive “*May* the New Year bring…” translated as the *month of May* in French…
    A holiday greeting is not the time to sound awkward! Best to call on a professional translator to make sure your business looks good regardless of the language!

  • Sara, thanks so much for your comment about Omniglot. You are certainly correct that a holiday greeting should not sound clumsy.

    I clicked on your link and was surprised to see “Traduction” in your company name. Your website is in English, but “traduction” is not an English word I am familiar with. In fact, the verb form, “traduce,” means “to cause humiliation or disgrace to.” Does the word have a different meaning in French?


  • @Lynn,

    “Traduction” simply means “translation” in French. Our company is established in France and French is our main language of communication (our customers are French). The English version of our website is for the rare non-French customer who occasionally looks for our services. That’s why the name of our company is in French! The decision to translate or adapt (or not) a business name, product name, or other trademark is a tricky one. For the reasons stated above, we opted not to.

  • I came across your post this morning, as I start to think about holiday cards for the 2011 season. Thanks for posting this–I hope it gets a lot of play this year.

    (Almost) season’s greetings from one writer to another,

  • Hi Lynn!

    We found your blog post very helpful in writing out holiday blog post: “Is your business phone ready for the holidays with holiday telephone greetings and on-hold holiday music and messaging?” We just wanted to share it with you and your readers. Take a look at it and let us know if you’d like to reblog our post. Cheers and happy holidays.

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