Merry christmas and happy new year

Discussion in 'English Only' started by plusluck, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. plusluck New Member

    Which one of the following is correct?

    1. I wish you and your family merry christmas and happy new year!
    2. I wish you and your family a merry christmas and a happy new year!

    Thanks in advance!

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  2. Tazzler Senior Member

    American English
    Which is your choice, plusluck?
  3. plusluck New Member

    I am not sure. I think 2 is correct but 1 is also acceptable. What do you think?
  4. Tazzler Senior Member

    American English
    Oh, I see you edited. Yes, the second is right (but capitalize the greetings).
  5. plusluck New Member

    Haha, my fault! Thanks for your reply!
  6. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    In my opinion, both are correct with a little capitalization.

    1. I wish you and your family Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    2. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    I prefer #2.
  7. plusluck New Member

    Thanks for your reply! I am from HK too. Nice to meet you!

  8. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    I agree but - and I know I've said this in other threads so I apologize for repeating myself - while Christmas and New Year should be capped, there is no reason to cap either merry or happy. Yes, it is often done, but I have no idea why since neither one is part of the proper noun they are modifying. Christmas is often modified by the adjective merry, but merry is not part of the proper name of the holiday. And while New Year is often modified by the adjective happy, happy is not part if that holiday's name either.

    You can cap them if that's what you prefer, Plusluck, because many people do, including some of my esteemed colleagues on the WordReference forum, but you can also treat merry and happy just like any other adjective and write them lowercase.
  9. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
  10. Wordsmyth

    Wordsmyth Senior Member

    Location: Mostly SW France
    Native language: English (BrE)
    I suspect that it's because they're most often written as isolated phrases, rather than in sentences. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Birthday are frequently seen on greetings cards, banners, posters, shop windows, etc — and the first word (Merry, or Happy) is of course capitalised. In fact it would look very strange in lower case. So then people insert the fixed expression in a sentence ("We wish you a Merry Christmas") and leave those familiar caps as they're accustomed to seeing them.


Share This Page