English phrases for the festive season


We are now in the week of Christmas & very soon the New Year..

As with all traditional holidays and celebrations there are specific phrases and sentences that are handy to know.

With the English language the majority of the greetings and phrases used for this time of year are very common and traditional. So once you get a few of these into your daily use, you will always be able to use them…every year!!!

Merry Christmas – this is used the most and is a great one to know as you can use it verbally or write it on a Christmas card. ‘Merry’ means happy or joyful…when put together it means that you are wishing people a happy and joyful Christmas.

Happy Christmas – is an alternative greeting to Merry Christmas and it has the same meaning.

Season’s Greetings – this is also another greeting for Christmas and is used mostly in winter, and is another example of an old greeting. 

Happy Holidays this is a non Religious greeting that does not mention Christmas specifically and is the safest option ‘if’ you do not know the person you are speaking to celebrates Christmas or not..For example they could be Jewish/Buddhist or Hindu.

Example of use Mark: Merry Christmas!

Katherine: Thank you and a Happy Christmas to you too!

Katherine: Seasons Greetings to you and your family!

Jenny: Thank you Katherine, wishing you and your family happy holidays.

New Year

The ending of the year marks many celebrations around the world. Most cultures (apart from the Chinese being one) follow the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar was first introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII and marks the start of a new year on the 1st of January. It is usually celebrated by firework displays, parties and followed the next day by lots of hangovers.

As the clock changes from midnight to 1am marking the start of a new day, the moment midnight strikes, an old year passes and a new year begins on the stroke of midnight. Many people choose to make what’s called New Year’s Resolutions ..As they plan their new upcoming year. And a week later most would have either forgotten these plans or changed their minds.

Again like a Christmas greeting, a New Year greeting will include either the words ‘happy’ or ‘merry’. You can add a few words such as ‘healthy, prosperous, safe or fantastic’ before the ‘New Year’ part of the sentence or even stating the year (for example 2016) instead of the words “New Year” is also fine (see below)

Here’s only a few of the phrases that you may use for this day.

Happy New Year – this is a greeting that people use on 1st January, on New Year’s Day, but many people include this phrase on a Christmas card, for example:

-Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

-Wishing you all the best in the coming New Year!

-May the New Year be full of promise for you and your family!

-Fantastic New Year!

-A safe and Happy New Year!

Example of use:

Andrew: Wishing you a fantastic New Year!

Mary: Thank you and same to you1


Andrew: Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!

Mary: Thank you and wishing you a safe and happy 2016!

So we know you’re probably running around crazy today buying gifts, food, drink etc, but we do really hope that this has been helpful and that you have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.



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