AEE 438: Merry Christmas? Happy Holidays? What’s the Right Thing to Say?

how to give cards in American culture

The holidays are coming up and if you are living in the US then maybe you are wondering if you should send your friends or colleagues a Christmas card or a New Year’s card. Good question!

One listener wrote in with this question:

“Is it weird to send Christmas cards to my American friends because I am not a Christian? 

Is there some American standard for Christmas cards?

I just want to say thank you and keep in touch next year.

Is it better to send a Happy New Year card?”

-Eri, from Japan

 

What should you do?

  • Look at the context: Some social circles give cards and gifts but others do not. Some groups do Secret Santa and some groups don’t do gifts at all.
  • Ask someone in the group: Don’t be afraid to ask. Say, “So do we usually do gifts or cards?”
  • Stay on the safe side: If you are really concerned just send a Happy New Year card. This won’t offend anyone and it will be positive and forward- thinking.

 

What happened at Starbucks?

This year Starbucks took off their holiday decorations and just kept the red cup.

Some people were offended that they did this and called it the “War on Christmas.”

 

What do you think about what happened at Starbucks?

Let us know in the comments below.

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