Winter holidays are the time when we are full of joy and we are filled with happiness! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as a well-known song says, but to make it remain the same wonderful further on, we sometimes need to refresh the basic knowledge regarding the holiday etiquette.
And one of the most frequently asked questions about Christmas time is how to respond if someone says merry christmas to you. What is the most correct and polite answer? Shall you use the same phrase to answer a christian and, let’s say, a Muslim? Finally, won’t that be rude if you just say “merry christmas too”?
Today we tried to answer these and other questions to finally figure out how to answer if someone wishes you merry Christmas.
How Should I Respond to a Merry Christmas?
So how to respond when someone says merry Christmas? Well, there are plenty of different ways you can respond in fact, and do it politely and nicely even if you are one of those who for some reasons do not celebrate this holiday.
You can try out one of the following variants:
- Same to you
- Thank you
- Thanks, same to you
- Thanks, you too!
- Happy holidays
- Have a happy Christmas
And many others. Of course, some of them are better to use than others depending on a particular situation. But in general, you need to remember that those who wish you Merry Christmas do this not because they want to force their religion onto you! In most cases, this is just a simple gesture of politeness.
People are simply wishing you well by adding a little bit of cheer in the greeting! Besides, since the majority of people in the USA celebrate this holiday, it is natural to assume that you celebrate it as well.
Anyway, how to respond to such a greeting correctly no matter whether you celebrate Christmas or not? Read on to learn more about each variant possible.
Say “Thank You”
This is perhaps the simplest and the most obvious Merry Christmas reply! Just thank the person who wished you it to let him or her know that you feel pleased and you accept the congratulation.
Besides, just because someone wishes you Merry Christmas does not mean you must say it back! Moreover, it would probably feel quite unnatural if you say it back. So that is not the right move, probably. This is why a simple “thank you” will be a sufficient reply that will satisfy both parties. It acknowledges the gesture while offering a friendly response. Besides, this way, the situation will hardly become awkward!
Use “Thanks, Same to You!” As a Reply
This is a bit more detailed answer if you wonder how to respond after someone says merry christmas. When using this phrase, you express gratitude for the greeting and also wish the same to the person who was so kind to you.
Besides, this phrase does not sound too formal thanks to the “same to you” ending. So it can be used with both close friends and family, as well as colleagues or people whom you barely know.
Reply With “Thanks, You Too!”
This is a bit more informal variant of the “thank you” version that can be used for expressing gratitude. It also allows you not to wish the same back in case you, for instance, do not celebrate Christmas due to religious or other reasons.
Say “Happy Holidays”
This reply is another good way of preventing it from becoming an issue when someone wishes you Merry Christmas. Just say “Happy holidays” in return! Since it is a general term, it means that anyone can relate to it. Besides, people will appreciate the gesture from you, and both you and your interlocutor will be able to go along on your way.
Reply With “Happy Holidays to You Too”
This reply to merry christmas is a bit more extended version of the previous variant. And as you can guess from the wording, it will be more suitable as a reply if someone not just wished you Merry Christmas but literally said “Happy holidays to you!”.
Say “Merry Christmas to You Too” Or “Merry Christmas to You As Well”
This response to Merry Christmas is a good option if you don’t mind greeting the person in response since you also celebrate this holiday. However, as a response to a greeting from a close person (for instance, a friend or a relative), it might sound a little bit too formal.
“Have a Happy Christmas!”
Such a response will also help you to prevent the whole situation from becoming awkward and uneasy. But do please note that it will be suitable for those who also celebrate Christmas only! If you know the person does not do it, or you are not sure whether he or she celebrates it, better opt for another version of reply.
Take an Opportunity to Educate
Instead of trying to figure out how to respond to merry Christmas, you can take an opportunity and educate the person, of course, if you have time and you feel like doing this! And if you know for sure that your interlocutor will appreciate and accept it right.
For example, you could take a moment and share some interesting information about this holiday that you have recently learned. Besides, it could be a great chance for you to share more about your religion (which could be quite interesting for someone!).
So these are the most common ways you can answer “Merry Christmas” in a polite and friendly way. Also, since these variants are pretty varied, you can easily pick the most suitable one depending on the situation and whether the person who greets you celebrates this holiday or not.
Things to Never Say When Someone Says Merry Christmas to You
Since you have already learned what response phrases will be the best for answering such a common greeting as “Merry Christmas!”, we guess it might be also useful to learn what you shall never ever say when being addressed with this greeting.
It does not matter whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the following things must never be done when someone wishes Merry Christmas to you:
- Never yell at the person!
- Do not demean or insult the person!
- Do not show any disrespect!
Even if you don’t celebrate it, you can simply avoid responding or politely let the person know that Christmas is not “your holiday”.
And surely there is no need to start a conflict and escalate the situation, turning it from something awkward into a huge scene.
Countries That Don’t Celebrate Christmas As a Public Holiday
Being aware of basic cultural and religious distinctions between you and people of other nations is important because it helps to avoid those uneasy situations that may suddenly become a conflict.
And even though it’s hardly possible to start an international conflict by not answering or not wishing Merry Christmas to someone, we still suggest you check out what countries do not celebrate it as a national holiday:
- China (except Hong Kong)
- Iran Israel
- the Maldives
- North Korea
With this list in mind, you can be sure that you will not make a mistake by wishing Merry Christmas to someone who does not celebrate it because of any religious reasons, for example.
So, now you are aware of how to respond if someone says “Merry Christmas” to you. We provided you with a few handy and all-purpose phrases that can be used for both answering those who celebrate the holiday, and those who celebrate it not.
Remember though, that you must always stay polite and delicate when it comes to such a seemingly simple situation! Christmas is a Christian holiday, and if the person who greets you values his or her religion and traditions greatly, showing any disrespect to them might become a cause of a huge conflict.
So remember to behave kindly and answer the greeting with a general phrase in case you don’t celebrate Christmas. And may it be merry and bright to you!
The 25th of December is initially the date of a pagan holiday called winter solstice. Yes. One day after is still ok. There’s a legend that this tradition comes from Georgian England where the king’s wife started decorating this tree for Christmas first.
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐ Is Christmas a Christian holiday?
⭐ Is it ok to greet a person with Christmas on the 26th of December?
⭐ Why do we install a Christmas tree for this holiday?
The 25th of December is initially the date of a pagan holiday called winter solstice.
Yes. One day after is still ok.
There’s a legend that this tradition comes from Georgian England where the king’s wife started decorating this tree for Christmas first.