Haps & Hols – a better and quicker holiday greeting!

When ho-hum holiday greetings like Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays have you down, just whip out your Haps & Hols and you’ll be all set!

“Haps & Hols.” It’s that time of year again to wish your co-workers, friends, and family a happy holidays. But you don’t know what to say . . . those “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” greetings are so saccharine, and leave you feeling blah when you should be filled with cheer. We’ve updated this post to solve your greetings malaise!

Haps & Hols to the rescue

We’ve got you covered. In a nod to the digital messaging and texting shortening our speech, we propose Haps & Hols replace the much longer and b-o-r-i-n-g Happy Holidays. It can also fill in for all of the other holiday salutation you use like: Warmest Holiday Wishes, Wishing you Joy and Peace (we might go with Joypeace!), Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth (just Peeeace?), Good Tidings for the Holidays (quaint and long), Season’s Greetings (just don’t!).

A very Haps & Hols to you with festive lights and ornaments on a holiday bush
A holiday tree adorned with Haps & Hols; photo courtesy @eyesofavery

If it fits your cultural context you can add in Happy Hanukkah (or Happy Chanukah depending on your spelling preference). You might say “Matunda ya Kwanza” to note the Kwanzaa celebration, which was created in the 1960s (read more here).

If you are inclined to good deeds, or have just lived in England or a former English Colony you might wish someone “Good Works on Boxing Day.” This is a tradition dating from Good King Wenceslas the 10th centuryDuke of Bohemia, of charitable giving the day after Christmas. Much of the charity has faded from Boxing Day, but the holiday remains in many parts of the world.

And of course when the year changes we have Happy New Years. Just make sure it’s in the right context. Of course with our penchant for simplifying language, we might go for Haps 22!

While scholars may argue that texting is ruining our language, we like to think of it as a very normal, evolutionary process. We don’t speak Elizabethan english for a reason . . . our language has evolved.

So what are the Haps and the Hols?

OK, let’s break it down. What exactly do we mean by Haps & Hols.

Haps is more than a short form for Happy. It conveys all of the good wishes we might have for someone to find Happiness. For the season, for the year, and for their lifetimes. Any time of year you can close a conversation with the quip: “Haps.”

Hols is the short form for Holidays. Not just Holiday. Not just Christmas. This is a salutation representing all of the days you might celebrate or consider celebrating this season. When you say “Hols,” you are telling someone you wish them to have a wonderful season of holidays, all going well for them, their friends, and their family. Pretty powerful for just a few letters!

What about the Holly?

Holly looking very happy growing wild
Holly growing wild in Northeastern PA

Hols can also encompass the joy from the decorations found in nature. Holly is any of 46 types of Aquifoliaceae, but usually applies in our common usage to either opaca (eastern United States) or aquifolium (Eurasia). Both have spiny-margined evergreen leaves and bright red berries.

Holly is a beautiful plant, and is often woven into wreathes, or gifted as a potted plant. We love to find it in nature as well, and encourage you to look for it as you travel.

So a greeting of Happy Hols most likely would mean our shortened form of Happy Holidays, but could also be a compliment on a really nicely growing holly plant.

Our Hols, along with Holly and Holy all trace back to origins in Old Germanic which became Halig. In Middle English (yes we are back to Elizabeth) Holin was used.

Holly growing alongside other bushes . . . one can just imagine the Happy Hols this can inspire!
Happy Hols!, more Holly growing nicely in PA

Hols can also refer to Holy, either as “consecrated to God,” or in its less formal form as “morally and spiritually excellent.”

Don’t confuse either Holly or Holy with Holey. Something “holey” would of course simply be filled with holes, and that would just be wholly (chuckle) unsuited for our holiday greeting.

Use it or be left behind

Actually, you should feel free to use any holiday greetings that feel right to you. We offer Haps & Hols only to give you another go-to option when the usual suspects feel too stuffy.

We’ve already tried it out this season, and its been received to mostly good effect. We had one question mark, but the rest of the feedback has been positive.

This is another in our series of posts on language, many of which are also about simplifying our phrases to fit (or even get in front of) modern usage. If you haven’t read it, check out our posts on “prahps“, and “don’t skep my nav,” they are both worth a read.

A bow in a festive holiday setting for a  Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and good cheers for the new years all in one.  You might even say Joypeace!
A bow on the season brings Haps & Hols all around; photo courtesy @eyesofavery

We wish you Joypeace! Please make sure you let us know where you’ve been able to put Haps & Hols to work. You feedback is always appreciated.

58 replies on “Haps & Hols – a better and quicker holiday greeting!”

LOVE IT ❤️ Hate the usual holiday mess, this is it >> will use. Haps and hols to you 🧚🏼‍♀️

So glad. This has the makings of a trend, please keep up the Haps and the Hols!

Very cool and convenient language for our times. Lovely photos on this blog too. I’ll check it more often.

Thank you. I’m glad you like the blog, and thank you particularly for noting our photos. Some of these are courtesy @eyesofavery and we really appreciate the ability to share those. Enjoy!

Thank you, and please check out some of our newer posts as well.

Thanks Suavadogo! We checked out your new blog and it looks like it will be fun as well . . . looking forward to seeing what you add.

Sure.. written down, but-quite possibly won’t work out in practice, oh well..

behind an n95 masksays:

Your logic should be accepted and normal for all.

I believe that you’re so elitist with this reasoning just to be oppositional. Or not. Happy Holidays anyway.

Lot’s to look at critically here, but not sure agree with your specific critique. But to each their own, and appreciate your commenting. Haps & Hols to you!

Jacob Muschampsays:

I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Fantastic work!

Thank you Jacob. We did all the work ourselves, so very appreciative of your comments. Haps and Hols to you!

Newton Birckheadsays:

Greetings! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Appreciate it!

So glad you are enjoying this site. Lots of other sites out there, but we like to think our eclectic blend of topics is unique! Haps & Hols!

Arlie Syndergaardsays:

I was able to find good info from your blog posts.

Thanks Arlie!

I’ve used this a couple of times now. I’m all in! Haps! Hols! All of them! Peace.

Maddie – thank you so much for stopping back in to share with us. Really appreciate you making a few visits to our blog, and we love hearing from visitors. Thank you, and Haps & Hols!

This is like falling into trap in the ground and coming out Amsterdam. Trippy? Be haps fabby people, and good hols all around. Not sure how this goes down but I try and try.

Thanks Sels. No traps just haps. Thanks for commenting!

Thank you fab people. I have been Haps and Hols all season, and people really like it – if they get it! And if they don’t, Hols with them.

I like that, Hols with them. May have to use that . . . thanks!

Really? ok i try but no give to me. just say *&^%$# holiday already. but hap and hol and all that if you say so.

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Thank you Katherine!

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A great post. Without any doubt.

Thanks. And good luck selling those machines! Love me some pinball!

Michael Dryncsays:

I don’t think I would use this, but nice idea

Thanks Michael. Give it a try. Really. It rolls off the tongue much easier than you expect it to. Haps to you!

Mia Havermansays:

This weather looks like a storm, or cloud at least. Snow?

Ameria Quintsays:

Bitch’n! Love. ☮

Season Greetersays:

Yes! Better. Haps.

Dube the Dubesays:

You’ve changed the way I great people at holiday time. Hopefully for the better, I don’t think any worse?!

With all the Fall season and holidays starting up, and snow on the way, thank you this is some good way to think about what we say to each other this time of year.

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