I hope you’ll get the greetings you want over the next few days. I suppose I will; meanwhile, my thoughts on returning the greetings are changing.
I used to worry about whether to reply to “Happy holidays” by saying “Happy holidays to you,” “Merry Christmas” (my preference) or something else.
But then I tried a response we’ve been using at church with a rather new (to us!) practice, exchanging or “passing” peace. The first person says “Peace be with you,” or “The peace of Christ be with you,” and the second person gets the easy reply — “And also with you.”
Without the use of “with,” it took me a little while to adapt this to use outside of church. But then I was wished “Happy holidays” on a Sunday, not long after church, and I didn’t have any debate left; I replied “And also to you.” (Just to, not with.)
That went over well, so I kept trying it. Now I recommend it. All it does is return to the person who’s greeted you the same greeting they sent out. It is civil, it is kind, and it balances the scales. The receiver may take from it whatever greeting they intended for you.
I’m finding more smiles from people I greet this way. That’s another recommendation.
Peace be with you, readers, and merry Christmas.
Filed under: Expressions