7 Great Holiday Phrases: Easy English

Today is December 1st and that means we are in the holiday season! Winter is here, Thanksgiving (in the US) is over, and it’s time to start decorating the house with holiday cheer! What are some holiday phrases in English that you could say to your old or new friends at this time of year?

Here on our second Easy English Blog, I’ll teach you! Here are some great holiday phrases to get you in the mood! If you missed last month’s blog, here it is again – we wrote about some Great Tips for Learning English.

Happy Holidays!

This is one of the best general holiday phrases. It’s good when you don’t know someone’s religion or what they celebrate. You’ll hear it from November to January. It’s great to say to anyone! Saying “Happy Holidays” makes everyone feel happy and part of the joy!  The holiday season is a time for sharing and being nice to each other – no matter what you or they celebrate! This is also a great way to start a conversation with someone you don’t know.

Happy Thanksgiving!

You only hear this in the United States. Thanksgiving is just an American holiday. We celebrate this holiday with a big dinner usually with our family, but also sometimes with close friends, neighbors, or other community groups. It’s a lot of fun to relax and tell stories with each other. This is my favorite holiday!

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah is a holiday celebrated by people of Jewish faith. It lasts for eight days. It can take place between late November and late December. If you have a Jewish friend, wish them a “Happy Hanukkah.” I’m sure they would love it!

Happy / Merry Christmas!

You’ll also hear this very often- especially in very Christian areas. In Britain, they say “Happy Christmas” instead of “Merry Christmas”. Hearing this holiday phrase “Merry Christmas” makes me happy. I remember being a kid and being with family and friends at the holidays.

Have a Happy Holiday!

This is a greeting you hear in stores or in more general polite situations. It’s usually said by the people who work there to you as you leave. They don’t know what holiday you celebrate. It’s an easy, general way to wish someone you don’t know a very nice holiday time. It is good for absolutely all people!

Happy New Year!

How do you tell someone to have a good next year? You tell them “Happy New Year!” People say “Happy New Year” from about one week before January 1 until a week into the new year. It’s an easy way to wish someone well. We may even ask if they have any new year’s resolutions, or goals for the coming year.

Happy Merry!

Many people say “Happy Merry” because it covers ALL the holidays at one time. Think about it- it’s a combination of Happy Holidays, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! It’s also a little funny because it is clear that the person wants to save time! Try it out next time and see what your speaking partner says!


You can now wish everyone a “Happy Holidays” this year with these great holiday phrases! Are you excited for the holiday season? What are some of your favorite holiday memories? Share them with us in the comments below.

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Erin Duffin lives in Berlin, is an English teacher,  yoga instructor, and is so excited that it’s officially Christmastime!