When you write about wishing someone on their special day or a holiday, don’t capitalizeand such as the words birthday, anniversary, holidays, happy, and merry. Do capitalize names of holidays, which are proper nouns, like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving.
- Did you call to wish her a happy birthday?
- The whole team wished her a happy anniversary.
- As he took his leave, he wished them all happy holidays.
- She released a new song to wish her followers a merry Christmas.
- He took the occasion to wish the staff and students a happy Thanksgiving.
- The president wished everyone a happy Fourth of July.
Feel free to capitalize the words in a personal greeting to make it appear festive and exuberant (for example, in a personal message, a birthday card, or a holiday banner). Such informal messages are not governed by strict rules of style and grammar.
- Happy Birthday!🎈🎈🎈
- Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!
- Happy Birthday to the world’s 💕best sister 💕!
- Merry Christmas to your family from ours!
- Happy Holidays!
- Happy Graduation! You deserve the best from life.
- Happy New Home! Here’s to new beginnings.
If you wish to appear less informal (e.g., in an email to a client), don’t capitalize common nouns and adjectives (like birthday and happy), except of course at the start of a sentence. Remember to capitalize names of holidays.
- Happy birthday, Maya.
- Hello, and happy birthday.
- Happy anniversary.
- Happy holidays, Dr. Dash.
- See you next week, and happy holidays!
- We wish you a merry Christmas.
- Happy Thanksgiving to all our clients in Canada.
- We wish you a very happy Eid.
- Nusquam Corp. wishes you a happy Diwali.
The New Year greeting
You may either capitalize or lowercase the phrase new year in the New Year greeting. As the name of a holiday (the first day of the year or the year about to start), New Year is capitalized. But it can also be treated as a common noun and then be lowercased, particularly in formal writing. Whichever style you choose, don’t capitalize the word happy, which is an adjective, unless it appears at the start of a sentence.
- We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
- We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
If you are writing dialogue for a story, follow standard capitalization rules: Capitalize only proper nouns (names of holidays) and words at the start of a sentence. Don’t capitalize common nouns and adjectives (like birthday, anniversary, and happy).
- “Happy birthday, Maya.”
“Thanks, Farley, but it’s not my birthday.”
“I got you a present!”
“Oh! Then happy birthday to me.”
- “I just called to wish you a happy anniversary,” he said, “and a merry Christmas.”
- “Surprise!” we all yelled. “Happy birthday!”
Other, non-festive greetings like good morning and good night are also usually not capitalized.
The birthday song
Capitalize the words happy and birthday in the name of the song traditionally sung on birthdays, since it is a proper noun.
- The whole team sang “Happy Birthday” to me today. Should I tell them it’s not my birthday?
- She released a new recording of “Happy Birthday to You” to mark her daughter’s first birthday.