Christmas wishes, messages and sayings for all your friends, family and colleagues. Sending thoughtful wishes your way in the hope you know the joy and.
We all love to party.
There’s nothing better than familiar faces, fun music and good food.
In the English-speaking world, one of our favorite reasons to celebrate is Christmas.
Towards the end of the year, Christmas music plays everywhere and Christmas decorations appear on the streets. Shops begin stocking up on festive food and gifts, schools and offices will close for the holiday and people begin preparing to welcome friends and relatives.
This is a cheerful time to be living or studying abroad, but you might find yourself a little confused by the unfamiliar language or etiquette for the holidays.
Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas yourself, it’s always nice to be able to share your good wishes like you would at any other time of year. We’ve put together some key English Christmas greetings to help you spread love and joy this season.
It’s time to get yourself in the party spirit and learn some English festive phrases!
The first recorded Christmas card was sent in 1611. But Christmas cards didn’t really become popular until 200 years later, when ordinary people could afford to send mail regularly. Nowadays, they aren’t just a tradition but a big commercial business, especially in the U.K. and the U.S. They’re a lovely keepsake that lots of people hold on to for sentimental (emotional) reasons.
In recent years, some businesses have started sending out Christmas cards to their clients as well. These friendly but impersonal greetings can be a nice touch, particularly if you work in a small company.
Plenty of people send cards or even longer Christmas letters to friends and family, which are often displayed in the house during the Christmas period. If you’d like to surprise an English-speaking friend, there are plenty of different phrases you can write inside your card.
Below, we’ll first cover common English greetings that are perfect for almost any holiday card, as well as conversations. Then we’ll recommend some more specific greetings for the different types of people you might be writing to. Finally, we’ll show you how to craft a more formal Christmas letter with example greetings in English.
Sending a thoughtful Christmas card is a great way to practice English and participate in English-speaking holiday customs.
If you’re not one for sending cards, most of the greetings below can also be used in spoken English. We’ll let you know which ones are typically reserved for writing.
You can also check out the holiday-themed videos on FluentU to learn how native speakers use these greetings naturally. FluentU provides real English videos—like movie trailers, music videos, inspiring talks and more—with built-in interactive subtitles, quizzes and flashcards so you learn new words while you watch.
Sign up for a FluentU trial to watch videos like this mischievous guide to Christmas jokes (and much more) with all the learning features.
This is a very general greeting that means you’re wishing a person good health over Christmas. It’s quite impersonal, so it’s perfect for someone you don’t know too well.
Although it’s very common, you’re more likely to see this one written down than hear it spoken.
This is also an ideal phrase for someone you’re not very familiar with. If you don’t know whether they celebrate Christmas (or if you know they don’t) the word “holidays” makes your greeting less specific.
This is a very common one to hear out loud in all types of social situations towards the end of the year.
This is another very common greeting that’s specific to Christmas. You’ll see it written down and hear it spoken aloud many times during the Christmas season.
This is a very common variation on the above greeting. It’s a standard phrase to see on Christmas cards.
A longer, more formal version would be: “Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
(For whatever reason, you’re not likely to hear someone say, “Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.”)
“Tidings” is an archaic (very old) English word that we wouldn’t normally use today. It means “news” or “information.” If you go to church, you may hear it in Christmas hymns, which is why some people continue to write it in cards. This sort of greeting would be appreciated by a religious friend.
Due to its formal tone, this one is better for cards than conversation.
The words “peace” and “blessings” often have a religious tone in English. This is a nice greeting to send somebody who you know is a Christian.
Again, this phrase is a little more formal, so you’re more likely to write it than to say it.
“Good cheer” is another way of saying “fun,” but we only tend to use it in Christmas greetings. In everyday speech, it would sound a bit old-fashioned.
This phrase is a way of reminding someone that they’re always in your thoughts, so you could send it to someone you don’t see too often.
You may want to personalize your holiday card with some more specific greetings. Below are some suggestions that you can use depending on who you’re writing to.
You can also mix these with the common English Christmas greetings above!
The holidays aren’t easy for everyone. If someone you know has lost a loved one, or has had to deal with a difficult event, a cheerful card might not be appropriate. A phrase like this subtly reminds someone that you have their circumstances (situation) in mind.
If you’re writing to your colleague or boss, make sure to let them know you value their input in the workplace! Your card is urging them to enjoy the time off, so avoid mentioning work itself!
If you haven’t seen someone in a long time, it’s nice to use your message as a way of reconnecting with them. Suggesting a meet-up in the New Year gives someone time to get in touch over the holidays.
If you’re studying in an English-speaking country, you may want to give a holiday card to your professor. This is a simple way of expressing gratitude and is sure to brighten their day.
Remind your friends how much you enjoy their company! If someone is staying with you over the holidays, there’s nothing to stop you surprising them with a card too!
If you’re writing to someone you see regularly, it’s nice to personalize your message. A phrase like this reminds a close friend that the best Christmas present is them!
Christmas cards tend to be quite short, so some people like to write letters instead. These tend to be more formal than cards, and have more of a personal tone. You should only send them to people you’re really familiar with.
Letters aren’t very common these days, so that makes them even more special and valuable to the recipient. You might like to write a letter or email to English-speaking friends overseas to let them know how you’re doing. Writing a letter can be a bit challenging in a second language, but it’s a fun and creative test of your English writing skills.
Again, you can certainly mix the common English Christmas greetings from section one into your letter.
Christmas letters tend to have a cheerful, lighthearted tone. Don’t worry too much about using impressive vocabulary or sentence structures. It doesn’t need to be an essay!
Begin your letter with a seasonal greeting. For example:
“I hope this letter finds you well and you’re having a restful holiday.”
Follow this up by telling your friend a little about your own Christmas plans.
“I’ll be spending this Christmas with my brother and his fiancée.”
Now it’s time for an update. Reflect on the key events of your year. Where have you traveled? Have you started a new job or school? You could include some photos.
Remember to frame your stories in a way that doesn’t come across as boastful or egotistical. You want your friend to know that you’re grateful for your experiences, and aren’t just showing off.
“Everyone in my new office has been so welcoming.”
“I was lucky enough to visit Paris in March.”
Finish your letter by sending your wishes for the upcoming year. Remind your friend to write back!
“Wishing you an exciting New Year with plenty of good surprises ahead. I look forward to hearing from you.”
Sharing Christmas greetings is a clear way of letting someone know you’re thinking of them. Christmas can be very important to some English speakers, but may be less important to others. Either way, people will always appreciate you taking an active interest in their traditions.
English Christmas greetings will be easy to learn if you live in an English speaking country because you’ll hear them all the time. Once you’ve impressed your friends with them, you can teach them some in your own language…
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When a friend or loved one is going through a hard time, the usual season’s greetings—“Merry Christmas!” “Happy Hanukkah!”—may not feel right. Still, you can find a kind and meaningful way to acknowledge the holidays. Try some of these phrases instead.
Your friend may not feel like participating in holiday events—or maybe they’re doing their best to maintain high spirits or to create new traditions to replace the old. However they feel about the holidays, it can comfort them to know that you’re thinking about them and that you’re there if they need you.
When someone goes through a life-changing event, it makes sense that the holidays will change for them, too. Let your friend know you’re there for them, however they feel or whatever they want to do. It’s okay if they don’t feel like celebrating—putting on a happy face might not be realistic or helpful. Plus, research shows that expressing feelings honestly can help people heal.1
You may worry that saying or doing anything happy when your friend is struggling is inconsiderate or hurtful. But it is possible for people to savor small, joyful moments even when they’re dealing with something painful. Sharing these moments can make your loved one feel supported and included.
If your friend is hurting, they may not feel particularly thankful about anything. Resist the temptation to tell them what they should be grateful for. Instead, consider taking this opportunity to tell your friend how grateful you are for them—what they bring to your life, why you value their company. It may inspire them to find their own gratitude, which can help them build resilience and find meaning.
Hopefully, these recommendations will help you support your loved ones this holiday season. Don’t worry about getting this exactly right. At some point, you might say something that you wish you hadn’t. That’s okay—just say you’re sorry and keep going. The most important thing is that you care and you’re trying.
Katherine O'Connor (known as K.O.) adores her five-year-old twin nieces; and strongly objects to her sister's plans to dispense with Christmas. Zelda is following the theories of child psychologist Wynn Jeffries, author of The Free Child (and, as it happens, K.O.'s neighbor). K.O. is particularly horrified by his edict to "bury Santa under the sleigh," andChristmas Letters
Katherine O'Connor (known as K.O.) adores her five-year-old twin nieces; and strongly objects to her sister's plans to dispense with Christmas. Zelda is following the theories of child psychologist Wynn Jeffries, author of The Free Child (and, as it happens, K.O.'s neighbor). K.O. is particularly horrified by his edict to "bury Santa under the sleigh," and she's out to prove that Wynn and his ideas are full of snow. He's not going to ruin her nieces' Christmas! Too bad the guy's so darned attractive!
Rainy Day Kisses
Seventeen years ago Susannah Simmons was a career girl who knew nothing about babies. But after babysitting her infant niece, Michelle, Susannah learned that one determined and screaming baby can make the corporate world look like child's play. Thank goodness for her charming neighbor Nate Townsend. Now he's her charming husband, and Susannah's a mother as well as an aunt. And every Christmas Eve, Michelle tells her cousins how their mom met their dad a story in which she plays a starring role!...more
Mass Market Paperback, 427 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by Mira Books (first published October 16th 2007)
Send this thank you ecard for the Christmas wishes you have received. Free online Warm And Thoughtful ecards on Christmas.
Christmastime is here—or as we like to call it, the most wonderful time of the year. To help you get in the spirit, go through this list of inspiration Christmas quotes. They’ll fill your heart with joy and remind you of the reason for the season. Many of these quotes are from people and films you know and love, so you'll definitely recognize some of these words. As you're wrapping gifts for friends and family members, choose one of these quotes to write on the tag. It's a little something extra that will make them feel loved. One quote that would work well is: "Christmas is the season of joy, of gift-giving, and of families united." When you're signing your annual Christmas cards, stick one of these festive sayings in each one. They'll make your letter stand out from the rest, especially if you include the quote: "Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand." And the next time you're watching classic Christmas movies with the kids, baking some Christmas desserts, or decorating your Christmas tree, share some of these sayings with your family. After all, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear," will have everyone excited for December 25.
The best Christmas wishes hit notes that are heartwarming, thoughtful, sentimental, and perhaps even a little sappy (it is Christmas, after all). Here's a collection.