Christmas is coming and for people in the UK and other English speaking countries, it is a very important festival or holiday. It is worth noting that for a lot of people it is less about the religious significance and often more about seeing family and friends, taking time off work and sharing presents. There is still a strong Christian theme for some people but not everyone will consider it like that. It is a month away but many people in the UK will be putting up decorations on the 1st of December and the shopping and planning have certainly started.
We thought it might be useful to look at some key phrases that are useful to know around this time of year.
First of all, just saying Happy Christmas is a very common phrase and a very simple and easy way to be polite and to give someone your best wishes. But there are other ways to express this.
Season’s Greetings – This is a simple phrase and is often used as a welcoming phrase. You will see it written on signs above shops or as you enter a restaurant or bar. It is not something you would say while saying goodbye to someone, but it could work well if you are welcoming someone to your home or place of work. It is often used in greetings cards too.
Merry Christmas – This is a very common and very friendly thing to say. It is simply saying “I hope you have a happy Christmas”. Merry is another word for happy.
Happy Holidays – This is a very American term and really not used in the UK at all. You may hear it on movies and TV shows, but it is worth remembering it is a very American phrase. It still means happy Christmas but in America they say Holidays.
…and a Happy New year
It is very common for people to say Happy Christmas and also Happy New Year at the same time. This becomes more common as Christmas gets closer. It is not very common to say earlier in the month. New Year’s Eve is a very important part of the Christmas season and it is polite to say “Happy New Year” to people around that time.
There are a number of other ways to say happy Christmas as you may be saying goodbye to people as you leave work.
Enjoy Your Christmas – this is a good example of how to express good wishes for Christmas as you may be leaving work or someone else is leaving. You can also say Enjoy Your Christmas Break. The word break is used to describe a period of not working over Christmas which can be very important.
It is very polite to say Happy Christmas in whatever way you prefer and can be a very positive and happy way to greet or to say goodbye to someone in the UK.