I’ve noticed in France that New Year seems to be the big occasion. People send New Year’s cards rather than Christmas cards. It’s an inadvertently elegant solution to the question of what to say to people at this time of the year.
As a Canadian I tend to be politically correct to a fault – at least in public. I don’t want to exclude or offend anyone. Still it’s difficult to not say Merry Christmas. A few years ago I sent a Christmas letter to family and friends – it wasn’t as tacky as it sounds – and ended it by saying “Whatever you celebrate at this time of year, celebrate it with joy”. That prompted an e-mail from a friend asking “who’s this Joy woman and can I meet her?’. So much for politically correct! (My editor didn’t get the joke. If you’d like it explained please e-mail me.)
This year I’m saying Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Bonne Année, Joyeux Noël, and Meilleurs Vœux!
Happy Holidays, (I’m trying to cover it all)