It’s Christmas time once again – a merry-making and gift-giving season, and a chance to spend time with our family and friends.
It is also that time when we send out holiday greetings to those dear to us. But in the digital age we live in and with the easy access to different social media sites, greeting someone online has somehow been the most normal thing to do. Still, there are those who prefer traditional ways. And whether you’ll go for a card sent via snail mail, e-cards, or party invitations, don’t forget to ensure that your message is clear, and to avoid confusion, your lines are free from grammatical and punctuation errors.
The following are some of the most common holiday greeting card mistakes that we often encounter.
Use of apostrophe
“Season’s Greetings,” one of the simplest holiday greetings, is still sometimes mistakenly set as “Seasons Greetings.” The addition of “’s” makes the phrase possessive, as the greeting came from the celebration of the season.
Another apostrophe mistake during the holidays is the New Year greeting. The correct greeting is “Happy New Year” and not “Happy New Year’s.” If you insist on using the latter, you should follow it up with another term, say “Happy New Year’s Day” or “Happy New Year’s Eve.”
Christmas, a proper noun, is always capitalized. But when using the term “merry,” it should only be capitalized when using it at the beginning of the line (e.g., “Merry Christmas”). Otherwise, it should be in lowercase when used in the middle of a sentence (e.g., We hope you’ll have a merry Christmas).
Surnames ending in “s” or “z”
When sending out gifts or greeting cards as a family, add an “s” at the end of your given surname (e.g., from the Gazmens). If your last name ends in “s” or “z,” simply add “es” to indicate that your greeting came from more than one family member (e.g., from the Santoses).
The Christmas season is also a time to invite friends over to a party. To get their response, just say “RSVP,” not “Please RSVP,” as doing so will make you sound redundant (RSVP is short for “répondez s’il vous plaît” in French, which, when translated in English, means “respond, if you please”). So to be safe, you can just write “Please respond.”
A universal holiday greeting we all grew up with is “Merry Christmas,” a phrase introduced in the 1500s. This greeting was solidified in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (published in 1843).
In the United Kingdom, however, Queen Elizabeth II wishes the British people a “Happy Christmas” in her annual Christmas broadcast. This phrase remains the most common holiday greeting during December in Great Britain and Ireland.
As we close this year, let us thank all those people who have been a part of our lives this 2017. So from the entire Lexcode family, we send you our warmest greetings for this holiday season!