How to wish Merry Christmas in business emails

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sdcp, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. sdcp Senior Member

    Hungarian, Slovakia
    If I write a business email and at the same time, at the end of the email I would like to wish our partner pleasant holidays, is it ok to write I also would like to wish you a Merry Christmas?

  2. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    On it's own, your suggestion sounds a little odd, and one would expect something else to come after it. It just sounds a bit short.


    I would also like you wish you [and your staff???] a merry Christmas, and a happy new year.
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)

    With best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  4. cloudgazer

    cloudgazer Senior Member

    You could close your email with "Wishing you all a merry Christmas."

    Like nzfauna mentioned, many times we combine the wish for a merry Christmas with the wish for a happy New Year (or for a happy new year.)

    We might say something like "Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year." if we were refering to Christmas and the holiday season that continues into the first day or first few days of the next year.

    We might say "Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year." if we were offering a wish for the Christmas season and the entire following year.

    Usually you'll see "merry Christmas" as "Merry Christmas" and "happy New Year" as "Happy New Year" as panjandrum has shown, even if the phrases don't start the sentence.

    And a merry Christmas and happy new year to you, sdcp!
  5. Lexiphile Senior Member

    England English
    The suggestions from Panj and Fauna are great if you're sending the emails within Europe. Be careful, however, if you're sending them to America.

    When our American colleagues wake up, in 2 or 3 hours, they will tell you that you can't say "Merry" because it suggests excessive frivolity, you cant say "Christmas" because it offends other religious groups and you can't say "Happy New Year" because the year doesn't start on the 1st of January in everybody's calendar.

    I'm not quite sure what they say now ("Have seven days next week," perhaps), so, if you are planning to send emails to the USA, I suggest you wait for further advice.
  6. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    That's very funny Lexi, but I doubt our overseas friends are so picky when it comes to ending an email with a nice phrase. :D

    And there's a difference between writing something yourself and receiving it. One may even be completely against celebrating Christmas and/or writing Christmas cards, but I doubt they'd cease doing business with someone just because they received a holiday greeting.

    So I'm with Panj and Fauna here. Oh, and Cloud :D)
  7. sdcp Senior Member

    Hungarian, Slovakia
    Thanks Guys And Merry Christmas And Happy 2008 To You All!
  8. Pablo Ingles Senior Member

    London, England
    England, English
    Lexiphile's comments are not completely frivolous. When exchanging greetings with American business associates I tend to simply say 'Happy Holidays' or the rather bland 'Seasons Greetings' (for the reasons listed in the posting) .
    If I know them quite well I simply say (very multi-denominational) 'have a good one '
    regards to all PI
  9. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    This is political correctness gone berserk.
    If the greeting must be emasculated to such an extent it would be better omitted.
  10. Lexiphile Senior Member

    England English
    Just for the record, my post was certainly intended to be humorous and entertaining, but, equally certainly, not frivolous. PC is a very serious matter to many people (Trisia's mild objection notwithstanding), and some people really are offended by religious "assumptions."

    My thanks to PI for the valuable support! :)

    Edit: And I agree wholeheartedly with Panj.
  11. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    In New York, where we have many non-Christian customers we would not send an e-mail or Christmas card with the word "Christmas" in it.

    We would most likely write:

    "Seasons Greetings and a Happy New Year."

    (Since I work for an Orthodox Jewish family, we don't send out Christmas cards at all--but we are OK to display the ones we receive.)
  12. Lexiphile Senior Member

    England English
    See what I mean, sdcp? The Americans are awake now. "Season's Greetings" and "Seasons Greeting" have been around for a long time and were once used (even in pre-PC England) as a viable alternative to "Merry Christmas" -- after all, if all Christmas cards said the same thing, they would get boring. But recently, as Pack suggests, they are becoming the "greeting of choice."
  13. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    I can understand non-Christians sending Christmas cards/greetings to Christians, but not Christians sending them to non-Christians.
  14. Ynez Senior Member

    I think good wishes can always be welcomed :)
  15. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English

    When cards are sent to a business you cannot predict who will be viewing it. Where I work we have Christian and non-Christian employees. I think that is fairly common in urban areas of the USA.
  16. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Christmas fair enough, Packard
  17. Lexiphile Senior Member

    England English
    But surely the religious affiliation of the sender or recipient is not really the point. Christmas is certainly a christian festival, but it has also become a national holiday in pretty well all countries where Christianity is the predominant religion. Lots of people send and receive christmas greetings (in one form or another) to and from lots of other people, irrespective of their religion.

    The PC-problem concerns those people, of any religion but mostly Christian, who object to public exposure of Christian symbolism in a country where some of the people who see them might not be Christians. Whether or not the non-Christians are being directly addressed, intentionally or otherwise, is not important. And whether they really object to seeing these symbols or not is also not important (apparently!).
  18. gracemar Senior Member

    English Ireland
    When I send an e-mail near to Christmas thats business related and I want to add a seasons greeting I usually put this at the end of the e-mail:

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your business in 200? and wish you and all at Company x a happy christmas and new year.

    This can be modified depending on the client/supplier and your relationship with them etc
  19. J'adoreleCanard Member

    Happy Holidays is what I have found to be the most common greeting.
  20. Adam Cruge Banned

    India & Bengali
    " I would also like you wish you [and your staff???] a merry Christmas, and a happy new year."
    This sentence is ok ? If yes, then what is the meaning of it, it doesn't seem to be a grammatical sentence to me. Here I should wish you, not you wishing yourself.
    Please help, may be I am wrong.
  21. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    No, but everyone overlooked what is clearly a minor error.
    I would also like to wish you ... ... ...
  22. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    In certain places, it is common for non-Christians to mark Christmas in some way - I think this is true of Japan and also here in Singapore - so it is acceptable to say 'Happy Christmas' to non-Christians and to send them Christmas/New Year cards.

    The important thing is to know your audience, I suppose.

    I'm afraid I get turned off by 'Happy Holidays' or 'Season's greetings', and I don't think I'm alone.
  23. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK

    Me too. "Season's greetings" is OK, though.
  24. There has been a small resurgence of Merry-Christmassing in the USA in the last couple of years. Perhaps it is a reaction to what was widely perceived (correctly or not) as over-zealous attempts to purge any mention of Christmas per se from the public sphere, or perhaps people - especially younger people, for whom it is a new practice outside the circle of family and close friends - enjoy the novelty.

    In any context, business or otherwise, the key advice comes from natkretep and endorsed by Loob:

    If you know the person you are writing to well enough to know that they come from a Christian background, regardless of whether they are currently practicing Christians, it is perfectly OK to wish them a Merry Christmas. In greetings to those whom you do not know well enough to make a reasonable guess, Happy Holidays is an acceptable and common alternative for very impersonal communications. In the US, and in contrast to some of the comments above, Seasons Greetings is largely a commercial usage, wished by businesses to their customers collectively.

    In an email to an individual person whom you know even very casually, Americans are likely to turn the greeting into a complete sentence on the order of:

    I hope you have a wonderful (or great, or happy) holiday season and wish you all the best for the New Year.


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