How to say ‘Happy holidays’ professionally

Luka Kovac

Last updated on: December 1, 2022

Are Love Actually and Home Alone on the trending lists of massive streaming platforms? 

Has “Let It Snow” again become one of the most popular soundtracks for people’s Instagram stories? 

If the answers to both of the aforementioned questions are yes, then it is the merriest time of the year – Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year. 

As we all know, during these holidays, it is common to greet our friends and family with happy holiday messages. But, what about our colleagues from work? 

How do you wish someone a happy holiday professionally?

In this article, we will find out what the best business holiday greetings are and why we use them.

How to say happy holidays professionally-cover

When do we say happy holidays?

There are many different religious and bank holidays around the world. Therefore, the right time for greeting your friends with traditional holiday messages is during religious holidays. 

However, it would be nice to know more about the different holidays, to be sure that we will honor dear people who celebrate them or the country we live in. Moreover, knowledge of holiday customs will save us from accidentally offending someone by greeting them for holidays they do not even celebrate. 

Here are some widely-known religious holidays when we could use the simple phrase “Happy holidays”

🔸 Christmas — It is the celebration of the day when Jesus Christ was born. Christian churches that use the Gregorian calendar celebrate it on the 25th of December, while those that use the Julian calendar celebrate it on the 7th of January. 

🔸 Eid al-Adha — It honors Ibrahim’s sacrifice of his son Ismail on God’s command. The exact date when it falls shifts each year, so it is best to check it before sending any greeting messages. 

🔸 Hanukkah — The celebration of the Jewish reconquest of Jerusalem and Herod’s temple. It is time-shifting, and according to the Gregorian calendar, it falls between November and late December.

🔸 Vesak — The honoring of Buddha’s birth and life. It falls on the first full-moon day in May.  

On the other hand, bank holidays differ from country to country. A few of the best-known bank holidays are New Year’s Eve, Armistice Day, Thanksgiving, and May Day. 

And, as you can probably guess, this article will focus mostly on New Year’s Eve. 

💡 Pumble Pro Tip 

To learn more about multiculturalism in the workplace and how to preserve it, check out our posts:

Is it professional to say happy holidays?

There is an ongoing debate on whether it is appropriate or not to say happy holidays to your colleagues and employees.

Furthermore, according to the author and journalist Melissa Mohr, holiday greeting messages have become badges of group political identification. Hence, people are worried whether their holiday greetings for employees or colleagues will be well-accepted. 

Frankly speaking, there is nothing bad in sending a happy holidays message. It is a cool and enthusiastic message. Moreover, it shows respect to your colleagues or employees. So yes, it is professional to say happy holidays to your coworkers. 

Generally, we recommend holding to the “Happy holidays” message if you work in a larger community where some people might not celebrate religious holidays. 

On the other hand, if you know that all of your colleagues are religious, feel free to use religious messages like “Merry Christmas!”

However, if you work in a multicultural company, be aware that not all people celebrate Christmas or, for example, Eid Al-Adha. Therefore, you should take care to learn the customs of other religious groups that are represented in your company, as well.  

💡 Pumble Pro Tip 

To learn how to become closer to your colleagues and learn more about them, check out our blog post: 

How do you say happy holidays in a formal email or a message?

Holiday messages should be tailored to the type of person you send them to. 

For example, be more formal with customers you do not know much about, and feel free to send more personal messages to colleagues you are close to. In any case, you cannot make a colossal mistake when you write a holiday message. 

Here are some messages we would recommend you send.

Holiday messages to colleagues you know well

After spending a lot of time with your colleagues, some of them might become your friends. You will talk about various personal matters and be there for each other. 

Therefore, if you know your coworker well, do not hesitate to send a more personal message for a holiday. 

Just like Saoirse did below, by using the direct message option on Pumble, a team chat app.

An example of a friendly direct message sent to a colleague via Pumble
An example of a friendly direct message sent to a colleague via Pumble

Here are some other ideas that you can use in a happy holidays email to coworkers:

“May the holiday season fill your and your family’s hearts with happiness and love! With a lot of love, I wish you happy holidays/merry Christmas/New Year!” 

“I hope a holiday season will come with peace and joy for you and your family that will last throughout the year! Happy holidays/Merry Christmas and New Year!”

“May the holiday season bring you prosperity, health, and a lot of love! Have a wonderful holiday season/Christmas and New Year!” 

“Festive season brings us all together. May the peace and warmth we feel now last throughout the next year! Wish you happy holidays!”

“Love. Laughter. Warmth. May these things that fill our homes for holidays/Christmas last forever! I wish you happy holidays and New Year!” 

“I send you warmest greetings, full of best wishes for you and your family! May the holiday season bring you and your family health, love, prosperity, and peace! Wish you a bright and merry holiday season/Christmas and New Year!”

Why is it best to send these holiday messages to colleagues you know well? 

As you have noticed, these messages are pretty personal and friendly. We can use them because we feel close to the people we send them to. 

However, there are a few things to bear in mind before sending these holiday messages. 

Firstly, in a holiday message to colleagues you are close with, include best wishes for families only if you are sure they have families or are on good terms with them. 

We do not want our carelessness to ruin their holiday spirit.

Secondly, we mentioned multiple choices above. You can use Merry Christmas or Happy holidays messages. If you choose the former, you have to be sure that your friend is Christian because you do not want anyone to be offended because of your ignorance. 

On the other hand, if you are not 100% sure if your colleague celebrates religious holidays, stick to the standard Happy holidays message. 

Finally, if you think it is appropriate, add some more specific wishes to your colleagues i.e. to get a promotion, buy their own flat/car, do something from their bucket list, etc.

Holiday messages to colleagues you do not know so well

There are colleagues we do not know so well, or even at all. We know their names, maybe their positions in a company, and that’s it. Nothing more.

Therefore, some would say that it would be slightly inconvenient to send them direct messages for holidays. On the other hand, maybe that one message you send for a holiday can make you two closer. 

Needless to say, it is up to you to choose the right approach. 

However, we would recommend you use team channels on chat and collaboration apps like Pumble. 

A short and clear message sent in the group chat will be polite, and it can earn you respect from others. 

Róisín Kelleher wishes everyone in the Pumble group chat Happy Holidays
Róisín Kelleher wishes everyone in the Pumble group chat Happy Holidays

Here are some additional examples of messages that you can use in direct messages or group chats to express holiday greetings to colleagues you are not so close with: 

“I wish you all joy and happiness in the next year. Happy holidays!”

“Have a wonderful holiday season and happy New Year!”

“May you all have lovely holidays and great success throughout the year! Warmest greetings to you all!” 

“Happy holidays to you all! May we all have a prosperous and healthy new year!”

“Happy holidays and New Year! May the next year bring even more joy and success!” 

“I hope you are all enjoying the festive season! All the best in the next year for you and your dear ones!” 

Why is it best to send these holiday messages to colleagues you do not know so well? 

We all know that business holiday greetings can be slightly boring sometimes. We want to avoid that. 

The aforementioned messages are neither too personal nor too ordinary or mundane.

As you have seen, we avoided using the phrase “Merry Christmas!” in all of the greetings messages above. Why is that? 

That is because, in the majority of cases, we are not so familiar with people from large company groups. Imagine greeting a Muslim with Christian greetings or a Christian with a Jewish one. That would be ignorant — not to mention that one who does that might look rude and disrespectful. 

Therefore, it is best to use the Happy holidays message. 

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

If you wonder how to maintain contact with your colleagues, our article about that topic will surely help:  

Holiday messages to a boss

Should I send a happy holiday message to my boss? 

That is a pretty common question in December. 

Let me be straightforward here — yes, you should send a holiday message to your boss. Below is one of the ways to do so.

Mark uses the Pumble direct messages option to send a respectful and sincere holiday message to his boss
Mark uses the Pumble direct messages option to send a respectful and sincere holiday message to his boss

The point of a holiday message to managers or a boss is to make your leaders feel respected as an individual. Furthermore, it can be a way of saying “Thank you” if your boss makes your job easier by being fair and professional.

However, while writing a happy holidays message to a boss, you need to be careful not to make it look sycophantic i.e. like you are doing that to gain a promotion, for example. 

In any case, here are the messages we recommend you send to your boss: 

“Merry Christmas/Happy holidays, Boss. I wish you all the best in the new year!” 

“The last year was full of success for our company. I hope that it will be the same next year. Merry Christmas/Happy holidays and a prosperous new year!”

“Thanks for the support in the last year, wish you and your dear ones a lot of peace and love in the next year! Happy holidays!”

“Merry Christmas/Happy holidays and best wishes to you and your family/dear ones.”

Why is it best to send these holiday messages to your boss? 

A few days ago, we were surfing around the web for the purpose of researching holiday greeting quotations, and we found various messages. From clichés to really cringe business holiday greetings. 

Honestly, don’t ever send something like this, please — “Every day in the office with you is like all my Christmases come at once! Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but you’re still pretty great! Happy Christmas!”.

Unlike the aforementioned business holiday greeting, we listed messages that are respectful and that sound sincere. 

Nevertheless, to use some of the messages listed above, you need to know if your boss celebrates Christmas and has a family. 

So, inquire about your boss, and use the most appropriate message. 

Holiday messages from a boss to employees

Just like we highlight how important it is to make your bosses feel valued, it is equally important to create an atmosphere where employees feel appreciated, as well. 

Below we can see how a boss uses the channel feature on Pumble to thank and wish everyone happy holidays.

Matthew opted to use the general channel feature on Pumble
Matthew opted to use the general channel feature on Pumble

Therefore, if you are a boss, you need to find ways to say thank you to your employees from time to time. During the festive season, financial bonuses and holiday greetings for employees would be the right things to gift. 

Unfortunately, we are not economists, so we cannot advise you on the financial aspects of giving away the bonuses, but when it comes to holiday messages for employees, we have a few ideas:

“Happy holidays! Your passionate dedication to work makes this company special! Thank you for the diligent work and all the best in the new year!”

“I wish you a happy holiday season! May a plethora of prosperity, health, and love be there for you and your dear ones!”

“May the holidays bring peace, health, and prosperity to you and your dear ones! Looking forward to seeing you next year! Happy holidays and thank you for your hard work!”

“It is a privilege to see employees and colleagues as dedicated as you are. May the new year bring you a lot more happiness and prosperity. Happy holidays/Merry Christmas!”

Why is it best to send these holiday messages to your employees?

Your employees materialized your ideas throughout the whole year. They brought you success. Therefore, it is nice to mention their credits in holiday greetings. 

Again, it is easiest to send some of these messages in group chats or team channels, so that you do not have to direct message everyone from the company. On the other hand, if you do not have too many employees, you can send messages with holiday wishes for the staff individually. 

In any case, your employees will be delighted to see that their boss cares about them. 

Holiday messages to clients on behalf of the company

Happy holiday messages to clients are a nice way of showing them your gratitude and appreciation. Moreover, holiday messages to clients will reflect your company culture, and ensure an even more loyal client base.  

One simple message, like this below, can mean a lot to your loyal customers.

One of the things you can do on Pumble is to send direct messages to your clients
One of the things you can do on Pumble is to send direct messages to your clients

Here are some examples of messages that one can use: 

“On behalf of [the name of the company], we want to thank you for your unwavering support! Happy holidays!”

“Our team is sending you best wishes for prosperous and joyful holidays. Merry Christmas/Happy holidays and New Year!”

“On behalf of [the name of the company], we wish you Happy holidays/Merry Christmas and huge success in the new year!” 

“As this year is drawing to a close, we want to thank you for the fruitful cooperation and all the great things we have achieved together. Happy holidays, and a lot of love to you and your dear ones on behalf of [the name of the company]!”

Why is it best to send these holiday messages to your clients? 

Here are a few reasons why companies send holiday/Christmas messages to valued customers, and why we recommend you use the aforementioned messages: 

  • It shows your appreciation of clients.
  • It can foster clients’ loyalty.
  • That is a nice example of economical marketing. 

Happy holidays messages to clients we listed above are nice ways to communicate with customers and make a distinction between your company and others. Namely, these messages are not intended to flatter your clients, but to convey holiday excitement and express gratitude. 

So, whether you are a small, family-owned business or a large multinational company, tokens of affection are always good choices. 

Other ways of saying happy holidays

How do you wish someone a happy holiday professionally, without using email or chat apps?

Well, you can use greeting cards — although old-school, they still make a positive impact on people who receive them.

Also, throwing a party for your employees or colleagues is always a good idea. 

Now, let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of both alternatives.

Option #1: Do not give up on holiday greeting cards 

There is an ongoing dilemma about whether holiday greeting cards are things of the past or not. The Digital era enabled us to send everything we want online, including gifts, money, greetings, and our warmest wishes during holidays. 

So, for some people, it seems pointless and dull to create and send holiday cards. 

And, we can agree with that. Sending the cards can be time-consuming, and it can take a lot of energy and money.

However, some business circles still appreciate the symbolism that holiday cards carry, such as showing affection and gratitude. 

Furthermore, it seems that holiday greeting cards are becoming a new craze among Millennials. 

Therefore, with goodwill, there is no particular reason why we should give up on holiday greeting cards.

If you have enough time, choose a few colleagues/employees/customers, and create holiday cards for them. After all, as one of my friends says there is nothing similar to putting pen to paper and writing down everything you wish to your dear people.

Option #2: A company holiday party, why not? 

A few days before writing this article, I got an invitation to the company’s New Year’s party. 

Of course, I and the majority of my colleagues accepted it because we want to meet with each other.

After I received an invitation, I thought a bit about the importance of a company holiday party.

Namely, during the last two years, we have gone through the difficult COVID-19 pandemic. It had, and still has, a great impact on our lives. People could not hang out, remote working became the dominant way of work, and pajama sales skyrocketed. 

Fortunately, nowadays, it is possible to gather with your colleagues, have an authentic conversation, and show personally how much they mean to you. 

Company holiday party strengthens the company culture and improves team cohesion, but most importantly, everybody has fun!

Here’s a screenshot of how the organizer uses chat apps to promote the company’s New Year’s party. As you will see, everything is clear and highlighted with emojis.

Katie notifies her colleagues about NY party
Katie notifies her colleagues about NY party

In summary: Don’t forget to celebrate!

There are various holiday traditions around the world. During December, we see how beautiful the world really is because we witness how different cultures embrace their tradition and celebrate holy days. 

People prepare holiday recipes, visit their friends, participate in prayers or sing hymns. Everything is brimming with positivity.

To us, happy holiday messages and holiday greeting quotations will always be great customs. They are like the cherries on the cake of holiday euphoria. 

Therefore, during the merriest time of the year, remember your colleagues/employees/bosses, and send them some of the aforementioned holiday messages. 

✉️ Do you have a favorite way of greeting your colleagues for holidays? Does your company organize holiday parties, and how does it influence interpersonal relationships within the company?
Let us know at for a chance to be featured in this or future blog posts. Also, if you found this blog post useful, share it with someone you think would also benefit from it.

Author: LukaKovac

Luka Kovac is a communication author and researcher at Pumble. His work is based on his knowledge of various communication methods, team-working ethics, and psychology. Since he is an experienced remote worker, his articles provide valuable insights into some vital strategies for successful communication and teamwork. When he’s not writing, he’s probably trying new interaction techniques and skills.

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